CategoriesLifestyle Tips & Tricks

How to sleep better at night naturally?

Having a good night’s sleep is of utmost importance nowadays with sleep issues becoming common with more and more people. Many complain about sleepless nights and disturbed sleep that causes fatigue and low energy levels throughout the daytime.

Here are the top tips that can help you sleep better at night naturally. Going for natural methods is the best mode of action because of the harmful side effects offered by chemical-based sleeping pills. These life hacks can help you get your 8 hours of sound sleep. Stop using blue light coming from the screen of smartphones and TV screens

The blue light coming from TV and smartphone screens has been shown to interfere with sleep. Binge-watching late in the night can make your brain alert and it gets hard to fall asleep.Stop consuming caffeine after 3 PM

Caffeine consumption throughout the day and especially later in the evening can cause you to stay awake at night. It is a known fact that the consumption of caffeine canenhance focus, energy, and overall performance.

It can stay effective in your bloodstream for 6-8 hours. So, the intake of caffeinated beverages should be stopped around 3 PM. Reduce long daytime naps

It has been shown by multiple sleep studies that shorter naps are more effective for your brain functioning as compared to longer and irregular naps. 

Taking random longer naps in the daytime can step in the way of a good night’s sleep. It s recommended to take shorter naps if you are tired during the dayLimit your alcohol consumption

Alcohol consumption can be bad for your sleep quality and routine as multiple studies suggest multiple herbal supplements in the market can its a negative impact. Many studies have shown that alcohol can increase the symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring and disrupted sleep patterns.

Alcohol consumption also alters the body’s circadian rhythm and interferes in sleep by altering melatonin production.Try to create a cozy bedroom environment

Maintaining an optimum temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement, 

Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable place.Go for early dinners

It will be beneficial for you if you follow a habit of eating early dinners.  Eating late in the night can reduce sleep quality and can hamper the release of HGH and Melatonin. 

Studies have shown that eating dinner 4-5b hours before bedtime can help induce sleep faster. Do relaxing activities in the evening time to calm yourself down. One such example is listening to classical music during the day

Intentionally planning some relaxing activities in the evening time can relax and calm you down. For example, listening to calming music, reading a book etc. Such activities can calm you down and create a relaxed space for you to fall asleep faster. Taking relaxing shower with warm water 

It has been shown through studies that taking a bath before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster.

You can also wash your feet with warm water before going to sleep if you don’t want to bathe.Avoid drinking too much liquid before bedtime

Taking fluids throughout the day is recommended to maintain optimum levels of hydration in the body. But, drinking too much water in the evening can cause frequent urination in the nighttime. 

This can come in the way of you getting sound sleep. So, it is recommended to reduce to intake of water and other fluids 2-3 hours before sleep time.  In addition to this, make sure that you empty your bladder before going to bed. This will reduce the unwanted trouble of getting up in the night frequently and you can sleep undisturbed for 8 hours at a stretch. Make sure your bed mattress, pillow and bed is comfortable

If you have an uncomfortable mattress that is causing strain on your back and a pillow that gives you neck pain then it’s high time to change them. 

Long term use  ofIt’s recommended that you upgrade your bedding at least every 5–8 yearsTry to get exercise or schedule your workout in the daytime

It is a well-known fact that exercise or any kind of physical activity is necessary for your well being. Also, daily exercise can reduce the time taken to fall asleep thereby improving sleep for people with Insomnia.

Exercising through the daytime is highly effective and it is recommended that exercising late in the evening can cause more alertness due to the spike in hormones such asepinephrine and adrenaline. This can further delay the onset of a good night’s sleep. Reduce or Quit smoking

Everyone is aware of the hazardous effects of smoking. But, did you know that cutting on your cigarettes can improve your sleep? The reason is “Nicotine”. 

Nicotine being a stimulant candisrupt sleep as well as raise the risk of developing sleep conditions, such as sleep apnea. It is also great at masking exhaustion gives you an alert mind immediately. 

Even if you wish to quit smoking, the withdrawal of Nicotine can cause irritability and lack of sound sleep.  These withdrawal symptoms subside over time, so it is always advised to quit smoking and be patient with yourself while quitting it.Get hold of good herbal supplements

Multiple herbal supplements in the market can help improve your sleep quality. These offer the benefit of being natural and free from any harmful chemicals. Practice meditation or relaxing exercises

Meditation has numerous benefits in calming a stressed mind and enhancing mental clarity. When meditation is practiced before bedtime, it helps manage stress and allows you to sleep better. Make a sleep schedule and follow it daily

Following a daily routine with specific timings allotted to various activities is the key to a healthy lifestyle. It is suggested that you should sleep and wake up daily at the same time. 

Studies have shown that irregular sleeping patterns can hamper your circadian rhythm and melatonin production. This will benefit in the long term by allowing the body to feel sleepy and wake up at the same time daily. 

  • Monitor your sleep position

The sleeping position also plays a key as side sleepers can experience more pressure on one side of the body. Back and stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress to keep their spine aligned. If you notice that your sleeping position has been an impeding factor that causes discomfort and body aches, then it’s time to make the necessary changes.Keep your sleeping place strictly for yourself

Sleeping with your pet or sharing your sleeping space with kids can interrupt your sleep. So, it is suggested that you keep separate sleeping spaces for kids and pets to ensure undisturbed sleep at night.  Avoid taking  chemical-based sleeping pills

Any chemical-based formulations have some side effects. Sleeping pills can interfere with normal breathing and can be dangerous in people who have certain chronic conditions such as Asthma etc. In addition to causing numerous side effects, it is addictive and often leads to sleepless nights when stopped. 

Some of the common side effects arechanges in appetite, Constipation, Diarrhoea,Balance problems, Dizziness,Daytime drowsiness, Dry mouth or throat, Headache,Heartburn, Weakness etc.

Sleeping Pills also causes drowsiness in the morning making it difficult to start your day with an alert mind.  Manage stress levels

Managing stress levels on a day to day basis is the key. High levels of chronic stress can negatively impact your physical as well as emotional health. 

Chronic stress in your life needs to be addressed and managed constantly to lead a healthy and balanced life. 

For this, you need to address the sources causing you stress and prioritize your activities to eliminate unnecessary stress. 

A simple thing that you can do is to make a stress journal and answer the following questions:

  • What caused you to stress?
  • How do you feel both physically and emotionally?
  • What was your response/reaction to it?
  • What did you do to make yourself feel better?

Simple lifestyle changes such as time management, making time for fun and relaxing activities, spending time with pets and loved ones etc can help reduce and manage stress. 

When your stress is managed well, you will feel happier, healthier and more productive. This will help you sleep better at night too. Acknowledge physical pain areas that need to be addressed immediately

If you are experiencing physical pain, then it is necessary to address it with medical intervention. There could be some underlying reasons for the physical pain that need attention as it could interfere with a good night’s sleep.  

Here are the top herbs that help you sleep better at night

Indian Valerian/ Tagar

Tagar is a root found mainly in the Himalayan region. Its benefits were mentioned in the Charak Samhita. The Valerian root offers a sedative and tranquillizing effect on the mind and body.  The sedative properties are helpful in inducing sound sleep, treatment of Insomnia and calming the mind. 


Best known for its apoptogenic properties. It helps the body manage stress by calming the body and mind. 

Many studies have been done on Ashwagandha that proves itssleep-inducing properties, improvement in sleep quality and reduction of sleep latency in patients with Insomnia.

Indian tinospora/ Gudduchi

Studies have proved the positive effects of Guddchi on memory and the nervous system.  It reduces prolonged sleep deprivation along with other multiple health benefits.


It is rich in flavonoids, glycosides and alkaloids that help soothe your nervous system by reducing mental fatigue. It acts as a natural tranquillizer for anxiety neurosis that further helps in improving sleep.


Also known as Brain Tonic in Ayurveda, Brahmi has powerful properties that calm emotional turbulence and also help improve concentration and alertness. It is also known for promoting restful sleep.


This natural ingredient has strong sedative properties that calm an agitated mind and support the nervous system. It has shown positive results for people with Insomnia as it relaxes the mind and promotes deep sleep. Results have also shown that it reduces mental stress, tension, anxiety and nervousness.



Ayu = Life / Veda = Knowledge

Conceived through meditation and intuition and passed on in form of poetry from generation to generation, this ancient science of life is sacred.

Ayurveda suggests that our body is comprised of the five elements of nature (space, air, fire, water, earth). These elements are combined into three categories called “Doshas” also known as Vata (space and air), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (water and earth).

Every person contains all three doshas and therefore qualities of all five elements, however, each of us has a unique blend possessing certain elements more than others.

Due to many sources of imbalances in and around us— including our environment, lifestyle, and diet— our ideal state can be disturbed. These disturbances leave us exposed to further stress and illness in the system. The holistic science of Ayurveda provides a path to return to your optimal state of balance. With the help of herbal remedies, lifestyle practices such as yoga and dietary changes, and traditional ayurvedic body-work (known as Panchakarma) Ayurveda offers a strong support in healing and cleansing the body/mind.

Sources of Imbalance

Many factors are involved in altering our ideal state in Ayurveda known as Prakruti, our nature or “constitution”, with which we were born. Some of these include: current season, daily weather, time of day, lifestyle and routine, our core relationships, age, pollution and the food we eat. By correcting these factors we can return to our ideal state, preventing and even curing disease from the body and mind.

5 Basic Elements

Space | Air | Fire | Water | Earth

Ayurveda recognizes that our body and mind similar to the Universe are made up of these five elements. To understand in depth, these are further categorized into the following three doshas (constitutions).

20 Main Gunas (Qualities)

These 20 main gunas (qualities) outlined in Ayurvedic text are used to describe the characteristics of the five main elements.

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CategoriesHealthy Foods

The Benefits of Ashwagandha

Your Complete Guide to Ayurveda’s Most Popular Adaptogen

The Benefits of Ashwagandha

Your Complete Guide to Ayurveda’s Most Popular Adaptogen

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years as a rasayana (rejuvenative). It is a renowned adaptogenic herb, which means it is used to help the body resist physiological and psychological stress by adapting to the needs of the body. Deeply supportive of many tissues and body systems, including the immune system, the reproductive system, a healthy thyroid, and much more, ashwagandha is a wonderful herb to help nourish overall health and well-being.

What’s in a Name?

A fun fact about this beloved Ayurvedic herb is that the Sanskrit word “ashwagandha” translates as “the smell of a horse,” (ashwa—horse, gandha—smell), which refers to its ability to bring you the strength and stamina of a horse while nourishing the female and male reproductive and nervous systems.

Its botanical name, Withania somnifera, also tells us something about this herb: somnifera translates as “sleep-inducing,” reflecting its relaxing and calming properties that bring us energy by supporting deeper rest.

Ashwagandha has other names as well. It is often called “winter cherry,” referring to its small, red berry fruit that looks like a tiny cherry tomato.

Ashwagandha belongs to the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family—the same family as tomatoes and potatoes. Another common name is “Indian ginseng,” though it is not related to the ginseng family and most likely gets this name in reference to its energy promoting qualities.

Freshly harvested ashwagandha being held over a bowl.

Characteristics of the Ashwagandha Plant

Ashwagandha plants are native to India, northern Africa, and the Middle East, but they can now be cultivated in temperate climates around the world, including in the United States. We even grew some at our Southern Oregon project farm!

Interestingly, ashwagandha’s adaptogenic properties and its ability to help the body adapt to stress is reflected in the fact that the plant thrives in arid conditions and in poor quality, alkaline soils. While most plants would suffer from severe stress in this environment, ashwagandha flourishes.

This perennial shrub grows up to three feet tall, and the entire plant is covered in silver-gray, felted hairs. The leaves are oval and about two to six inches long, and its small, yellow-green, star-shaped flowers grow up to a half-inch in any direction. The ashwagandha berry is enclosed inside a papery calyx that serves as protection for the fruit.

Although the leaves and berries have therapeutic value, most of the benefits are derived from the stout, fleshy roots of the shrub, which is what we use at Banyan.

Ashwagandha Benefits

Ashwagandha is used to tone, support, strengthen, and revitalize bodily functions. It has been revered over time for its dual capacity to energize and calm at the same time.

Maximizing the body’s ability to resist stress, it enables the body to reserve and sustain vital energy throughout the day while promoting sound, restful sleep at night.

Stress can cause fatigue, often manifesting as “hyper” signs like agitation and difficulty sleeping. By providing a nourishing, yet energizing effect, ashwagandha can support a healthy nervous system.

With the use of ashwagandha, stress doesn’t impact the nervous system with such intensity, and the “hyper” signs of stress and agitation will naturally resolve over time. In this way, ashwagandha has a rejuvenating and calming influence on the nervous system and, consequentially, on the entire being.

This quality of ashwagandha makes it a prime supplement to use in the toning and rejuvenation process. In addition to its dual energizing and calming effect, ashwagandha offers a number of benefits:

  • Supports a healthy immune system*
  • Calms mental processes*
  • Fosters healthy sleep patterns*
  • Benefits a healthy reproductive system in both males and females*
  • Supports sustained energy levels, strength, and vitality, including with physical activity*
  • Supports a healthy back and joints*
  • Supports healthy muscles*
  • Promotes thyroid health*
  • Promotes healthy functioning of the adrenals*

From the Ayurvedic perspective, ashwagandha is particularly balancing to vata and kapha in excess, and because of its heating, unctuous, building nature, it can imbalance pitta, and also worsen ama (toxic build-up).

Research on Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has become of interest to a number of researchers, particularly as it grows in popularity.

  • It has been the subject of studies looking at the benefit on the immune system, including possible support of the immune system during radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Used in combination with licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), safed musli (Chlorophytum borivillanum), and sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum), ashwagandha has been shown to support healthy cholesterol levels and antioxidant properties.
  • It has been studied for its stress-relieving effects, demonstrating its ability to help support individuals in times of stress and anxiousness.
  • A study using male participants has shown ashwagandha’s ability to improve energy, strength, and vitality.
  • Ashwagandha has been shown to support muscle mass, strength, and recovery.
  • Additional studies on ashwagandha can be reviewed on PubMed.
Ashwagandha plants

Ashwagandha Uses

Ashwagandha is incredibly versatile—it can be taken as a powder, a tablet, or a liquid extract, with or without food, and at any time of the day, even right before bed.

As an added benefit, ashwagandha root actually tastes good, and there are many delicious ashwagandha recipes, making it easy to incorporate this herb.

Take our free Ayurvedic Profile™ quiz to see if ashwagandha is one of the herbs recommended for you.

Traditionally used as a powder, ashwagandha can be mixed with water or warm milk and honey. Taken before bed, this mixture calms vata and fosters healthy sleep patterns, supports the reproductive system, and bolsters strength. A general serving is 1/4–1/2 teaspoon once or twice daily.

Ashwagandha is traditionally taken with ghee and honey (equal parts), which act as anupans (a medium for carrying herbs deeper into the tissues) for overall nourishment and rejuvenation.

While combining equal measurements such as 1/2 a teaspoon each is fine, be sure you are not putting in equal weights of honey and ghee (such as 1 gram each) as this is considered toxic. 

Taking ashwagandha with raw sugar adds a cooling effect and can even be substituted for the honey, particularly in the summer months. It can also be used with ghee and sugar as a supplement to support the female reproductive system and joints.

The Ayurveda’s Carrier Substances guide is a great resource for determining which anupan is most appropriate to use.

Ashwagandha Tea Recipe
Ingredients:1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha powder1 cup hot water1 teaspoon honey
Directions: Combine hot water with Ashwagandha powder and mix well. Add honey to taste. Sip and enjoy!
Ashwagandha Tonic Recipe
Ingredients:1–2 teaspoons ashwagandha powder2 cups milk1 tablespoon raw sugar1/8 teaspoon cardamom
Directions: Simmer 1 to 2 teaspoons powdered ashwagandha in 2 cups milk over low heat for 15 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon raw sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cardamom and stir until well mixed. Turn off heat. Drink a cup once or twice a day for a pick-me-up.

If you prefer a more convenient way of taking your supplements, ashwagandha is also available in tablet form. This can be an easier method, especially for those that travel a lot, have a shortage of time, or do not like the taste of ashwagandha tea.

Banyan Botanicals prefers tablets over capsules as it is still possible to taste the herb. Taste starts the digestive process and sends signals to the body as to what to expect, initiating the body’s own inner pharmacy. Take 1–2 tablets once or twice daily, in the morning, at night, or whenever is most convenient for you. They do not need to be taken with food.

Ashwagandha liquid extract is also available and provides an alternative method of taking this herb. It’s convenient, easy to assimilate, and has a long shelf life. Add 30 ml (approximately one dropperful) to water or juice 1–3 times daily.


  • Large doses of ashwagandha can cause abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. Ashwagandha has otherwise been tolerated well in the few reported studies that exist.
  • Though the herb is traditionally used in India during pregnancy, it is recommended that ashwagandha be avoided in pregnancy in the West; this is because of its spasmolytic activity on the uterus, and its induction of abortions in animals when given in very large doses.
  • From an Ayurvedic perspective, use ashwagandha with caution in cases of excess pitta and ama.

From Seed to Harvest: Banyan’s Ashwagandha

Any time you purchase an herb, there are a variety of questions to consider relating to the quality of the herbs, the values of the company, and the impact on the environment. We are committed to providing the highest quality organic ashwagandha that is grown sustainably and is fairly traded.

On the Map: Where Banyan’s Ashwagandha Is Grown

All of Banyan’s ashwagandha is grown in an arid region of north Karnataka (Southwest India). Due to the harsh farming environment and the limited choice of crops that can be grown, farmers here are poorer than average, and few can afford to dig wells for irrigation.

Ashwagandha is remarkably drought-resistant, making it the perfect crop choice for areas that are difficult to irrigate.

Caring for the Ashwagandha Plant from Seed to Harvest

As with any farming story, our ashwagandha plants’ journey starts with the soil before the seeds are even sown. In order to provide certified organic ashwagandha, we must first start with certified organic land, and all farming practices must meet stringent organic regulations, ensuring no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals are used.

Tending to the seeds is next. The way in which herbs are grown on the farm can have a significant influence on the quality and cost of the final product. In the case of ashwagandha, the spacing of the seedlings in the field is a surprisingly important factor.

Seeds are sown at the beginning of the monsoon season and harvested approximately five months later. The distance between the plants, combined with the time of harvest, determines the thickness, shape, and fiber content of the root.

If the seedlings are planted too close together, or harvested too early, they will not be well developed, and result in a poor yield. If the seedlings are spaced too far apart, or left in the field for too long, a thicker fibrous root will develop, which causes challenges when attempting to produce a uniform fine powder.

This is just one example of why it’s so important for us to support projects that maintain close relationships with the farmers. Only with regular communication and feedback can our herb suppliers understand and respond to the challenges faced on the farm.

And as a result of this dedicated communication, we get correctly spaced out seedlings that produce perfectly powderable ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha plant

Sustainability and Fair Trade in Action

Verifying sustainable planting and harvesting of our ashwagandha is another key part of the story.

All herbal companies have a choice in how ashwagandha is gathered, and like most other herbs, they can be harvested on private farms where sustainability can be managed, or they may be wild-harvested legally from their natural habitats.

Sometimes the herbs, particularly the endangered ones, are taken illegally, threatening long-term sustainability.

Because we maintain a connection with the farmers, we can ensure sustainable planting and harvesting of our ashwagandha plants.

It goes without saying that this whole process wouldn’t be possible without the farmers. Without their care, we couldn’t provide such amazing, high-quality ashwagandha.

Banyan strongly believes in making sure the farmers are cared for as a part of the supply chain. In addition to preserving our own relationship with our farmers, the farms we source from are inspected to make sure they follow fair-trade principles.