Psilocybin mushrooms enhance creativity and focus, so microdosing at night is not recommended.
So, you’re considering a microdosing regime. Your afternoons are a bit low energy, so you’re considering microdosing at night. But, you’re wondering how it will affect your already tenuous relationship with sleep? We feel you.
With cell phone addiction, global anxiety and depression on the rise, a war in Ukraine, and not to mention the current “vibe recession,” it’s a wonder any of us can get any sleep at all.
You’re probably sitting here wondering if microdosing psilocybin at night will make you more alert, or sleepy, like marijuana often can.
Well, we have great news for you. Psilocybin, the chemical compound in magical mushrooms, increases dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain, and, when properly microdosed, users report increased focus, enhanced creativity, and improved mood.
Psychedelics, like psilocybin, increase neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to change and to create new neurons.
So while psilocybin is not considered a stimulant like amphetamines, studies show it can make you more alert and increase neural activity in the brain. So— to best take advantage of psilocybin’s benefits —it’s best taken first thing in the morning as you prepare to meet the challenges and opportunities of the day.
That said, does taking psilocybin in the morning to improve alertness and productivity impact your sleep at night, hours later? According to recent studies, the answer is no. Researchers at the University of Oxford recently studied the effects of psilocybin in mice. They found that mice that were administered psilocybin experienced delayed REM sleep for approximately 3 hours, but did not experience long-term changes in sleep quantity.
Psilocybin’s ability to increase dopamine and serotonin - without impacting our sleep patterns - is one of the reasons we’re seeing increased curiosity from the scientific community, the general public, and even President Biden, about the benefits of psilocybin as a medical treatment for depression and other mental health conditions.
Learn to microdose with our free guide.
Quick biology 101 refresh: Dopamine is our body’s naturally occurring neurotransmitter that is also known as the feel good hormone, as dopamine levels directly correlate with happiness and, conversely, depression. Serotonin is another chemical in our nervous system that affects our emotions of pleasure, joy and reward, and also affects digestion and metabolism.
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in Prague, Czechoslovakia, are studying psilocybin’s antidepressant properties and the effects of psilocybin on sleep. In a recent study published in 2020, researchers conducted a double blind study on humans to evaluate the effect of psilocybin on sleep architecture on the night after psilocybin administration.
Researchers gathered subjective (participant’s feedback) and objective (via computing) assessments of sleep: sleep latency (the time it takes you to fall asleep), total sleep time, sleep efficiency, and the number of sleep cycles. By both subjective and objective measures, none of these metrics were significantly different in placebo and psilocybin conditions.
All in all, studies to date suggest that microdosing psilocybin is a great way to start your day, as it can lead to improved brain function, creativity, and mood. It can increase alertness, so it’s best to microdose in the morning. And, to date, studies have not found negative, long-term implications on sleep.
In sum: we do not recommend microdosing at night.
Caffeine is the original drug of choice for many people—the fuel of late-stage capitalism. Most of us know that drinking coffee in the afternoon can seriously impact sleep. In fact, studies show the the half-life of coffee—or the the time it takes to metabolize the coffee—is 5.7 hours for the average, healthy adult.
Many people turn to microdosing as an alternative solution to coffee in order to increase productivity and creativity, without the jitters. And, early findings suggest that people who microdose mushrooms drink less caffeine throughout the day.
Less coffee is a great thing for those looking to improve their sleep quality.
Importantly, be sure to consult a healthcare provider or professional, to follow a proper microdosing protocol, and, as always, to start low and go slow, when implementing a microdosing practice.
Learn to microdose with our free guide.
Benefits and side effects of Microdosing
How to microdose
Psychedelics & the Future of Health