If you regularly take ashwagandha, or are researching it for the first time, you might be wondering about how best to fit it into your routine. In this article, we’ll be answering some of the most common questions we get about taking ashwagandha, starting with: do I take ashwagandha in the morning or night?April 28, 2022 5:16 pm December 22, 2021 3:56 pm
When to take ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a root which is very important in Indian traditional medicine. It is probably best-known as being a sleep aid and stress reducer.
(If you need a quick recap, head over to our article which explains more about ashwagandha’s origins, uses and benefits.)
As a result, many people like to take it in the evening, before bed.
However, there’s also a case for taking it at other times of day. Ultimately, it depends on what works for you and which benefits are most important to you.
To find the right time for you, let’s look at the case for each time of day. Further down, we’ll also talk about some things to bear in mind when taking ashwagandha. Follow these to make sure you have the best possible experience with this special plant.
Ashwagandha and sleep
In scientific studies, ashwagandha has been shown to have a small but significant effect on improving sleep quantity and quality.(1)
This backs up thousands of years of knowledge from the ancient Indian medical practice of Ayurveda.
While our way of living tends to encourage us to simply ‘push through’ periods of poor sleep, it’s important to address the issue.
Poor sleep is a public health concern which results in a greater likelihood of accidents, higher absenteeism, healthcare costs and even premature death.(2)
Not to mention its effects on your individual wellbeing! Sleeping badly over a long period can make us feel exhausted, crotchety and bring on that all-too-familiar brain fog.
However, pharmacological treatments for insomnia often have unpleasant side effects which many patients find unacceptable.(1) As a result, they’re reaching for herbal alternatives in ever greater numbers. Ashwagandha is one of the herbs which is attracting interest in this area, and so far the results have been promising.
One review found that ashwagandha was able to improve sleep, anxiety levels and mental alertness first thing in the morning.(1)
Should I take ashwagandha in the evening?
If you’re keen to take advantage of ashwagandha’s benefits for your sleep, it’s a good idea to take it in the evening. That way, you’ll absorb the benefits of the root as you drift off.
We recommend waiting until 30 minutes to one hour after your evening meal, and then taking your ashwagandha.
We love to mix our Organic Ashwagandha Powder into a soothing moon milk. Not only is this the perfect vehicle for ashwagandha (more on that below), it turns it into a relaxing part of your bedtime ritual.
So, mix yourself up a moon milk, dim the lights and catch up with your favorite book or podcast. Bliss.
Ashwagandha’s benefits beyond sleep
However, ashwagandha doesn’t just help you get a good night’s rest. It has other benefits too – and some that may be of most help during the day.
As an adaptogen, ashwagandha can help modulate your body’s response to stress. There’s plenty more detail about this in our article about adaptogens and their uses, but we’ll summarize briefly here.
When your body responds to a stressor (be it mental or physical), you enter a state of alarm. This could be represented by being out camping and spotting a grizzly bear on the edges of the campsite!
This brief period followed by a longer secondary period of stress, usually when you’re dealing with the problem. For instance, running away from the bear.
Finally, once you’ve run out of energy, you enter a phase of exhaustion (hopefully long after you’ve outrun the bear).
This is all well and good if there really is a ferocious predator nearby, but in most of our lives the stress response is activated by things like work pressure, financial worries and other emotional stresses.
Ashwagandha and other adaptogens help by decreasing the intensity of your initial state of alarm and lengthening the secondary phase of stress. This also helps to avoid you reaching a state of exhaustion.
- Adaptogens for sleep: Achieve the miracle of a good night’s rest
- What are adaptogens and their health benefits?
"Taking ashwagandha in the morning is great for people who are keen to experience ashwagandha’s anti-stress effects during the day."
The case for taking ashwagandha in the morning
Taking ashwagandha in the morning is great for people who are keen to experience ashwagandha’s anti-stress effects during the day. You could also take it at this time if you aren’t concerned about using it to help you sleep.
What’s more, scientists believe that ashwagandha may have some other benefits which would be useful during your waking hours.
For example, some suggest that ashwagandha may help with memory and enhance cognitive ability (in people with mild cognitive impairment) – making it ideal to take before you embark on a day at work.(3)
If you’re keen to take advantage of these benefits, you may be better off taking your ashwagandha in the morning.
Can I take Ashwagandha in both the morning and the evening?
Yes! You can take ashwagandha twice in one day, in the morning and evening. This may in fact be a great option for you if you don’t want to have to choose between good sleep and lowered stress during the day.
However, if you decide to take ashwagandha in both the morning and evening, you must remember to split your overall daily dose.
This means taking half your dose in the morning and half in the evening. For our Organic Ashwagandha Powder, we recommend taking a total of 1tsp per day (around 4g). So, if you want to split your dose, you’d take half a teaspoon in the morning and half a teaspoon at night.
You should not take more ashwagandha than is recommended.
What’s the best way to take ashwagandha?
The traditional Ayurvedic way to take ashwagandha is in the form of a powder. Although capsules and supplements are available these days, we always recommend sticking to a whole food powder.
This is because the benefits cited by traditional medicine come from using the powder.