Tongkat Ali is a Southeast Asian herb native to Malaysia, used as a cure all for anything from general fever to fatigue. Modern clinically tested iterations like standardized hot-water root extract are well-known for their ability to boost physical performance and for its properties that can help improve mood and reduce stress. This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. Australians considering the use of Tongkat Ali supplements or even Tongkat Ali coffee may be surprised to learn about its potential positive impact on sleep quality, given that it is renowned for boosting energy levels.
In this article, we’ll explore whether incorporating Tongkat Ali into your daily routine can potentially help get you a better night’s sleep!
Tongkat Ali and Sleep Quality
Standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract has been shown to promote better sleep via several parameters, improving increasing the duration of both REM and Non-REM (NREM) sleep, while also reducing sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep). A clinical study conducted in 2022 revealed that Tongkat Ali positively influenced sleep rhythms and delta power during the inactive phase of NREM sleep in a dose-dependent manner.
The results demonstrated that Tongkat Ali facilitates deep sleep (non-REM sleep) by lowering core body temperature (CBT), attributed to the ingestion of amino acids during sleep. Additionally, the study indicated that Tongkat Ali supplementation led to improvements in terms of disruptions (sleep waking) during the sleep cycle, contributing to an overall improvement in sleep quality.
Other clinical trials show that regular supplementation can improve various mood parameters and reduce overall stress. It works by reducing cortisol levels, boosting testosterone as well as dopamine, all of which can make it easier to relax and help with getting a better night’s rest.
Real World Applications
Aside from clinical studies, other real-world applications for Tongkat Ali’s sleep-enhancing properties includes the filing of a patent by Japanese scientists for Tongkat Ali to be utilized as a sleep aid in novel foods, based on earlier studies on improving sleep quality by reducing core body temperature (CBT).
In essence, the patent establishes Tongkat Ali's ability to lower core body temperature during sleep contributes to extended sleep duration and an overall improvement in sleep quality.
How to Use Tongkat Ali for Enhanced Sleep
Unlike most other natural sleep aids like melatonin or cannabis indica, Tongkat Ali is an adaptogen with mild stimulant-like properties. It won’t make you sleepy in the same way that the examples cited or drowsy flu medication will. In fact, it works in an almost opposite manner, making you more energized, optimistic and alert. This may sound like a contradiction, but evidence also shows that Tongkat Ali makes it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and with feeling more rested, lending credence to the idea that supplementation can help with mild sleep disorders like insomnia, narcolepsy, or sleep apnea.
If you are intending to use Tongkat Ali for enhanced sleep quality, we recommend taking 1 capsule (200mg) 15 minutes before you go to sleep. By allowing it to absorb during your sleep cycle, you can expect to wake up feeling refreshed and energized, without any lingering brain fog. It is essential to ensure you get a solid 6 – 8 hours of sleep to see optimum benefits from Tongkat Ali supplementation.
There are also plenty of calming exercises you can do to help Tongkat Ali work better. These include Whim Hof breathing techniques or meditative exercises. We also recommend discontinuing any physically or mentally draining exercises before going to sleep. This could include limiting screen time or physical exercise, for example.
Related article: When to take Tongkat Ali for best results
There is plenty of evidence that Tongkat Ali can help Australians get a better night’s sleep, with several clinical tests establishing key benefits such as improving sleep latency, reduced sleep waking, wakefulness, and even real-world examples in the form of a patent. Tongkat Ali’s benefits relating to improved mood and reduced stress is further evidence that it can benefit the natural sleep-wake cycle by helping with body and mind relax.
However, those considering Tongkat Ali for better sleep should be aware of individual variations in its effectiveness, as with all plant-based solutions. Please consult a healthcare professional if you have chronic sleeping disorders or mental health conditions before trying Tongkat Ali.
If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of standardized hot-water root extract for enhanced sleep quality, try our dose-optimized capsules, available anywhere in Australia.
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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Annie George