kava for sleep

In the last few years, kava has become increasingly popular with individuals who want to treat insomnia or other sleep disturbances with natural methods. It seems that using kava for sleep helps a lot of people with some of the most common sleep issues. Drinkers have said that, unlike many manufactured drugs, kava supplements seem to be able to promote sleep in a deep, restful way without the danger of dependence or harmful side effects. 

Traditional knowledge and stories from people who have used kava for a long time often back up the idea that it can help people sleep better. Unlike alcohol or many drugs, kava doesn't seem to reduce mental clarity, awareness, or the ability to understand what's going on around you. Instead, it gives a unique sense of peace that doesn't shut down the mind.

How Kava Works

Kava also called kava kava, is full of chemicals called kavalactones, which can make you feel sleepy. Piper methysticum, which is the scientific name for kava, even refers to this. In Greek, "peper" means "pepper," and "methystikos" means "drunken."

People think that kavalactones help people sleep by making them less stressed and anxious. Scientists aren't sure how this works exactly, but one idea is that kavalactones turn on a protein called p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. This enzyme helps keep the body from reacting too much to stress. People may be able to calm down and sleep better if they can control this response. 

Kavalactones also seem to turn on GABA receptors in the brain, which control how nerve signals are sent in the brain. Kavalactones work like benzodiazepines like Xanax (alprazolam) in that they slow down the speed at which messages travel between the body and the brain. This helps make you feel more relaxed and sleepy. 

To ensure the best Kava experience, make sure that you use only high-quality products, such as Kava capsules and other Kava supplementation, that come in different varieties and are tested for safety. You can't go wrong with selections such as Apotheca Kava, Apotheca Remarkable Herbs Kava 1oz, and Apotheca OPK Kava Extract Capsules.

How is Kava Prepared?

There are two main ways to prepare Kava. These are:

Water Extraction

Most of the time, water extraction is the best way to get all of kava's benefits. Water extraction can be done at the factory or at home by the user. If it's done by the company that makes the kava, it happens after the mixture has been made and steeped for a while.

Once the active ingredients are taken out of the water, the juice is either put in bottles or dried. Bottled is faster and fresher, while dehydrated extracts can give you a very high concentration for mixing at home.

When kava is mixed with water at home, the process is similar to making tea. Super simple. The kava powder is put into a sleeping bag, like a teabag, cheesecloth, or a special soaking ball, and allowed to blend and steep in warm water. This lets the good parts of kava get into the water, where they can be used to make tasty kava tea or other types of kava drink.

The native people of the Pacific Islands, who have been using kava for hundreds of years, have always done it this way: they grind the root into a paste with water. So there you go. Traditional use has shown that getting water out of the ground is safe from one generation to the next.

Solvent Extraction

Solvent extraction is a way to make kava kava extract without letting the plant first steep in water. The powdered kava root is mixed with one of the numerous industrial solvents. The solvent is then left to evaporate, leaving behind the extracted isolate, which can be packaged and used. Most of the time, solvent extraction is very effective and cheap.

The issue with solvent extraction is that it may and usually does leave behind compounds or residues that are harmful or dangerous. Some research shows that using solvents to extract kava is dangerous and is even against the law in many countries that grow kava. On the other hand, studies have shown that water extraction is completely safe and doesn't pose any long-term health risks.

Since solvent extraction is so unpopular in the kava supplement world, we made sure that all of the kava products we looked at were either 100% raw and natural kava root powders or water-extracted concentrates that are safe to use every day.

Research on Kava and Sleep

Several scientific studies have looked at how well kava works to help people fall asleep. Most of them came out before 2010, and their reception was mixed.

Evidence Supporting Kava

A 2005 study on animals showed that kava might help you fall asleep more quickly. Lab rats that were provided an extract of kava fell asleep faster than rats that were not given the extract. What didn't change was how long each group of rats slept or how much REM sleep (dream-state sleep) they had. 2

In 2004, a small study showed that kava helped individuals with medical anxiety sleep better. Those who were handed a kava extract for four weeks said they slept better and felt better than those who were given a placebo (sham drug). 

People who had trouble sleeping because of stress also got better, according to a study from 2001. Most of the 24 adults who took 120 milligrams of kava every day said they slept longer, fell asleep faster, and felt better when they woke up. But this study didn't have a placebo (control) group.

Possible Risks

There is no right amount of kava to take. Like any other herbal medicine, kava could cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects are upset stomach, headache, sleepiness, dizziness, and bigger pupils. 

There are also worries about kava that are more important. The National Institutes of Health tell people not to use it because it could hurt the liver. Even if you only take the recommended dose for a short time, kava can hurt your liver. When kava is taken with alcohol or by people who already have liver disease, the risk goes up. 

Here are some early signs of liver problems:

  • Stomach ache

  • Abdominal swelling

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Dark urine

  • Stools that are clay in color

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin) 

Kava can also make it hard for the blood to clot, so people who take blood thinners like warfarin shouldn't use it. If you do this, you might bleed or bruise easily. Also, you should stop taking kava a week before surgery or a dental procedure to stop too much bleeding. 

Other Benefits of Using Kava

Kava is not just for getting better sleep. Here are the other reasons why people try using Kava.

It Can Be a Stress Reliever

The main reason people use kava is to help them feel less anxious and stressed. It might even help treat the symptoms of several anxiety disorders. There are about 40 million adults in the U.S. who have some kind of anxiety disorder, so it's not surprising that many people prefer natural remedies to drugs.

People like that they don't have to wait 15 to 30 minutes for a pill to work when they use kava to cure their stress and anxiety. Using kava also has few side effects and risks, which is different from most of the medications used to treat anxiety disorders.

The effects are also thought to be much easier on the body than those of alcohol and other commonly used stress relievers. Kava has been used in traditional Pacific Island medicine for hundreds of years to reduce stress and anxiety without harmful side effects or dangerous intoxication. It works faster, has less risk and side effects is easier on our bodies, and is natural?! Yes, thank you.

It Can Improve Mood and Lessen Depression

Kava's ability to calm you down works in several ways, like easing the symptoms of depression and making you feel happier. People think that kava has chemical properties that are similar to those of monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

If you can get past how it tastes, you should feel happier and more relaxed in just a few minutes. Because kava is similar to MAOIs, you shouldn't take it with your depression drugs. It can also interact with a lot of other drugs. Before taking kava, talk to your doctor if you are taking a similar drug.

It May Have Cognitive Benefits

Kava has been thought of as a good nootropic for a long time, and more research has shown that it does have positive effects on cognition. There was a measurable improvement in each person's ability to pay attention to what was going on around them and to remember things. Now, that's a perk that everyone can appreciate.

Similar studies have discovered that both reaction time and the ability to recognize things quickly improve. When kava was given to the subjects, they were better able to remember what things were. Even though the exact reasons for these improvements are not known, and more studies are needed, it is thought that the test participants' decreased anxiety may have led to their better performance.

When to Take Kava for Sleep

It works best as a natural sleep aid if you make it and take it a couple of hours before you go to bed, preferably before you eat or about two to three hours after. This is because a full stomach makes it much less effective. Whether you drink kava made from the root or flavored instant kava, your body will start to feel more relaxed, which helps sleep quality. The stress of the day will go away on its own, and you'll be nothing but a heap of goo ready to sleep well.

You don't have to fret about the effects of Kava losing its power over time if you use it to help you sleep at night. With a lot of other products and medicines, your body can get "used" to them, which means you have to take more of them to get the same good effects. But that's not true of kava. Kava doesn't work that way. It's an adaptogen, which means it improves the body's natural reaction to physical and emotional stress. 

As time goes on, you may even find that you need less kava to get the same effects. And drinking kava won't get you hooked, so you don't have to bother about that, either.


How much kava should I take to sleep?

Your unique constitution will determine how much kava you should take to treat anxiety or insomnia. However, clinical studies have indicated that kavalactone doses between 70 milligrams and 210 milligrams are effective. What dosage of kava should you take to support lessened anxiety levels? Taken 30 to 60 minutes before bed, doses of 150 to 200 mg were beneficial in supporting more peaceful sleep patterns. However, it is unlikely that these dosages will be sufficient to bring about the bliss and tranquility that many kava users do recreationally.

When should I take kava before bed?

As kava's effectiveness as a completely natural sleep aid is substantially reduced on a full stomach, it is best prepared and ingested a few hours before you intend to go to bed, preferably before you eat or 2-3 hours after. Your body will start to relax after you consume kava, whether it is made from traditionally cooked root or flavored instant kava. You'll naturally lose all of your day's stress, and you'll be ready for an excellent night's sleep as nothing but a pile of goo!

Will kava make me sleepy?

You can anticipate that after taking kavalactones, your sleep will get better because of the pain relief, reduced anxiety, restlessness, and stress-related symptoms. Kava is a fantastic alternative to sleeping pills since it encourages deep sleep without interfering with the necessary restorative REM sleep. Though few studies on kava's impact on a good night's sleep have been conducted, it is even said to assist in regulating the sleep-wake cycle.

What are the negative effects of kava?

Kava's effects in small doses include sensations of well-being, drowsiness, and muscle relaxation. However, prolonged kava consumption can cause several health issues, such as starvation, weight loss, and lethargy.

Buy Only the Best Kava Products At Apotheca

If you're in the North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia areas, Apotheca can give you the Kava products you need. Our mission is to provide you with clean, affordable, and sustainable alternative remedies to modern medicine. 

Our team researches, curates, and tests partner brands that put people first before profit. No product reaches our store shelves without being tested thoroughly for quality and efficacy. 

Our partners provide full test documentation and educational materials to support the customers' purpose of purchasing all-natural products to lead a healthier lifestyle.

We provide a safe, secure shopping experience in an industry full of uncertainty. Visit the Apotheca Store Locations to see what's in store for you.