Psilocybin mushrooms, also referred to as magic mushrooms or Psilocybe cubensis, have been known to mankind for many centuries. People throughout history have been using these fungi due to their psychedelic nature.
It has been gaining special attention for the last few decades due to its various therapeutic properties like treating substance dependence, depression, anxiety, migraine, and whatnot. Moreover, it also helps in creating altered levels of consciousness, intense sensory experiences, and profound insights.
While their impressive ability to transform the mind and emotions is well-known, their effects on sleep remain largely unknown. Exploring the connection between shrooms and sleep, we’ll consider if these fungi cause disturbance in slumber or if they can effectively aid in dozing. To better discuss the connection, we will highlight personal encounters and scientific insights throughout this piece.
So, let’s dig in!
The Science Behind Magic Mushrooms!
Psilocin and psilocybin are noteworthy elements found in magical fungi that hold a tremendous influence on the human mind. Firstly, we have to understand the fundamentals of these mesmerizing mushrooms, before delving into the connection of these mushrooms with sleep.
Psilocybin, a hallucinogenic alkaloid found in magic mushrooms, transforms into psilocin after ingestion. It structurally resembles serotonin and hence, activates various serotonin receptors situated in the brain. This interaction prompts a range of effects, such as anomalies in perception, modifications in mood and state of consciousness, and potentially resulting in vivid hallucinations.
Magic mushrooms have a long history of serving therapeutic and spiritual purposes in indigenous communities. Today, exploring the use of these mushrooms as a cure for substance dependence, anxiety, and depression is still important. Furthermore, while some folks use them for these benefits, others just use them for fun, chasing a “magical” experience.
Sleep Patterns and Stages
Magic mushrooms have the potential to impact sleep, so it’s important to understand the unique stages that comprise it.
There are five main stages of sleep namely wake, N1, N2, N3, and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. N1, N2, and N3 are parts of the non-REM sleep. All these stages have a distinctive purpose that aids in replenishing sleep.
Stage 1: Wake or Alert
During the initial stage of sleep, known as Stage 1, the body starts transitioning from wakefulness to a lighter sleep state. Muscle activity decreases, and a sense of relaxation sets in. Eye movements become slower, occasionally rolling.
Stage 2: Light Sleep
In Stage 2 of sleep, the body enters a deeper level characterized by specific physiological changes, like further decrease in body temperature, heart rate, muscle activity, and eye movement.
Stage 3 and 4: Deep Sleep
During the stage of deep sleep -also known as slow-wave sleep (SWS), our body undergoes important processes for physical restoration and memory consolidation. Brain activity significantly slows down. Heart rate and respiration rate also reach their lowest levels, while muscles become fully relaxed.
Stage 5: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep
During REM sleep, our eyes move rapidly, and our brain activity increases significantly. The term “Rapid Eye Movement” (REM) refers to the quick, jerky movements of the eyes during this sleep stage.
Can You Sleep On Shrooms?
The connection between sleep and magic mushrooms is not unknown, as there are mixed opinions about it. Some people claim to sleep like babies while on shrooms, whereas others couldn’t even find a minute of peaceful sleep.
Despite the different users’ experiences, Psychedelics like magic mushrooms can have an extreme effect on both emotions and brain metabolism during sleep stages, particularly during the REM phase. It is known to extend REM sleep latency, which means that you will take longer to reach the REM phase. REM is the most restful stage with sleep being the deepest in it.
These mushrooms are also known to cause intense dreams that can result in a restless sleep.
Another reason for the delayed sleep is that your serotonin activity gets messed up by the use of psilocybin mushrooms. Serotonin is the chemical present in our brain that eases the progression of sleep from one to the next. This might result in not being able to get into REM -the deepest sleep stage- fast enough.
On the contrary, there is evidence of Psilocybin facilitating deep sleep or slow-wave sleep. Some studies conclude that Psilocybin can help in a night of better sleep by managing symptoms associated with mental disorders like anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, etc. However, there is little evidence supporting this positive aspect.
Magic Mushrooms and Sleep: Anecdotal Experiences
Many people who try these mushrooms report changes in their sleep and experiences. Explanations are contradictory; Some users claim they cannot sleep at all while under the influence of psychedelic mushrooms, while others report dreaming and sometimes having their dreams interrupted while on a trip with the shrooms.
Difficulty Falling Asleep
One of the issues users face is difficulty sleeping under the influence of psychedelic mushrooms. Psychedelic effects, including heightened sensations and intense emotions, can make it difficult to relax and enter the first stage of sleep.
Some people who use magic mushrooms report having very vivid and often strange dreams during their use of these fungi. These dreams can be so intense that they feel like an immense experience, eliminating the differences between reality and virtuality.
Restorative Sleep Disruption
Magic mushrooms have been linked with interruptions in normal sleep, which may result in reduced slow-wave sleep (SWS). SWS is important for the body to heal, and the decrease in slow-wave sleep can cause anxiety and fatigue the next day.
Subjective Sleep Changes
Numerous individuals who consume mushrooms often mention alterations, in their sleep routines, such as struggling to fall asleep and experiencing dreams.
REM Sleep Changes
The use of mushrooms might have an impact on the patterns of REM sleep. Some individuals have shared their experiences of having intense REM periods, which led to experiencing more vivid dreams and hallucinations.
Although these accounts offer some understanding of how mushrooms influence sleep it’s important to note that they do not provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject. It is necessary to examine the limited research available on this topic to better grasp the importance of shroom on sleep.
Scientific Studies on Magic Mushrooms and Sleep
Not much evidence is gathered on the effect of Magic Mushrooms on sleep and the reason behind that mainly is because using psychedelics for studies raises ethical concerns. Regardless, there have been a few studies and experiments that have explored the connection between the two.
Reduction in Slow-Wave Sleep
A study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology explored the effects of psilocybin on the sleep patterns of some healthy people. It was observed that slow-wave sleep (SWS) can be reduced with the use of psilocybin. This reduction in SWS duration might result in feelings of fatigue and dizziness upon waking up.
Another study published in “Front Psychiatry” explored the impact of psilocybin on dream experiences. The research findings indicate that the individuals mentioned experiencing a sense of being, in a virtual reality environment after consuming psilocybin. However, this study did not investigate the impact of the altered dream experiences on the quality of sleep.
Prolonged REM Sleep Latency
A research study published in Front Pharmacology discussed that Psilocybin seems to increase REM sleep latency and overall reduce REM sleep span. However, no effects on NREM sleep were found. Moreover, SWA (slow wave activity) was also found to be delayed. This means that the user will take more time to fall asleep and achieve a state of deep sleep.
Some Safety Measures To Consider!
While these mushrooms have the potential to enhance one’s experience and induce changes in consciousness levels, it is important to prioritize safety -particularly when it comes to their effects on sleep. Here are some important security considerations:
Your surroundings and mentality largely contribute to the impact of magic mushrooms. Ensure that you are in a secure setting preferably accompanied by a trusted friend or guide as you make use of these psychedelics.
The amount of mushrooms consumed can greatly influence the severity of the experience. Initiating with a small dose and gradually increasing it if needed, is the best way to go about it. High doses can be very overwhelming and dangerous.
One should know the laws that govern the use of magic mushrooms in your area. In many areas, they are illegal to possess and use.
It is crucial to note that magic mushrooms have risks, particularly if you’ve got a history of mental health issues, taking medication, or are pregnant/breastfeeding.
Nonetheless, it is important to talk to your health professional to know whether you can use psilocybin or not.
The relationship between magic mushrooms and sleep is a vast subject, which requires more research and proofreading. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the use of these substances can lead to difficulty in getting to sleep, and cause very vivid dreams and disordered patterns of sleep in general.
Although we are not sure about the connection of shrooms in aiding sleep -thanks to the little literature present on the subject, we know that there are some effects on reducing slow wave sleep (SWS) and transforming dream experiences.
The experience with magic mushrooms varies from person to person. It is vital to take magic mushrooms with caution and mindfulness. Always be sure to check the benefits and risks of these mushrooms before diving into exploring them.