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Rhodiola Rosea for Sleep 

Rhodiola Rosea for Sleep

Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment. 


The use of Rhodiola rosea for sleep, stress, anxiety, fatigue, depression, and other mental health conditions in traditional medicine is as old as human civilization. Still today, it is widely used as a popular sleep supplement globally. But does it really help? Let’s try to find out together. 

In this article, we’ll be exploring the benefits of taking Rhodiola rosea for sleep and its associated conditions according to scientific research. But before we get into how Rhodiola can help sleep better, it’s important to learn the basics of sleep and its importance a little bit more. So, let’s get started. 

Table of contents 

  • Understanding sleep and its importance 
  • What is Rhodiola rosea? 
  • Benefits of taking Rhodiola rosea for sleep 
  • How to use rhodiola supplements 
  • Precautions and side effects
  • Final words

Understanding sleep and its importance 

Sleep is a naturally occurring restful state of body and mind that promotes freshness, energy, internal defense mechanism, and healing from within the body. An adequate good quality sleep is important to sustain all bodily functions, feel energetic and well-rested, and be ready for the day. 

But, a number of factors such as stress and depression affect sleep quality and make it challenging to get enough sleep. Poor sleep quality affects health, performance at work, relationships, and overall quality of life. 

In the fast-paced modern lifestyle, our sleep is getting worse day by day in terms of both quality as well as quantity. There are many different factors that contribute to poor sleep. 

Factors that affect sleep may include: 

  • Stress 
  • Anxiety and depression 
  • Insomnia 
  • Pain
  • Sleep apnea  
  • Poor sleep hygiene 
  • Disrupted sleep cycles for improper timings 
  • Excess use of technology 

Lack of sleep may affect all aspects of life such as work, relationships, and health including physical, mental, and emotional. Poor sleep has been linked to: 

  • Increased inflammation 
  • Reduced ability to focus 
  • Impaired metabolism that may lead to obesity, diabetes, and various metabolic disorders  
  • Elevated risk of developing cardiovascular diseases 
  • Worsening of existing inflammatory symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness
  • Decreased cognitive function and mental capacity 
  • Reduced sex hormones 
  • Muscle loss and fatigue 

What is Rhodiola rosea? 

Rhodiola rosea, otherwise known as king’s crown, golden root, arctic root, rose root, and others, is a bright yellow-green flowering plant that grows in high-altitude, cold areas of Asia and Europe. It has been used in traditional Greek and Chinese medicine for thousands of years. 

Till today, rhodiola rosea is considered the second most consumed adaptogen in traditional medicine. Adaptogens are a class of herbal medicines that effectively, gently, and safely help the body to adapt and regulate its stress response.  

The root of rhodiola rosea plant has been shown to have several therapeutic properties and has been used for the treatment of physical and mental stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depressed mood, all of which have a direct link to sleeplessness.   

Benefits of taking Rhodiola rosea for sleep 

As a potent adaptogen, rhodiola rosea has a direct impact on the body’s ability to manage and control stress and also on the physical and mental stress levels. Since stress is considered the root cause of various sleep issues, as a natural stress modulator rhodiola rosea promotes relaxation and calmness and certainly helps address the underlying root cause of sleep problems. 

A 2019 randomized controlled trial (RCT) published in the Chinese Journal of Clinical Otorhinolaryngology, Head, and Neck Surgery concluded that rhodiola may ameliorate the negative emotions such as depression and anxiety by preventing lipid peroxidation caused by oxygen free radicals in people who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).   

Moreover, rhodiola rosea has been shown to have positive effects on releasing brain chemicals such as serotonin and GABA that help regulate sleep with their sedative and hypnotic effects in the brain and may play a vital part in relieving sleeplessness. 

A recent 2021 study published in the Food and Function showed that extract of rhodiola rosea has potential hypnotic and sedative effects that can modulate the secretion of certain brain chemicals such as serotonin and GABA and may help relieve sleeplessness. 

How to use rhodiola supplements 

Rhodiola rosea might be taken as a supplementary capsule or a liquid extract (tincture) form. The recommended dosage for using rhodiola rosea for sleep varies depending on the percentage of rosavin, the key active compound in rhodiola.  In general, doses may range from 200 mg to 600 mg per day of a standardized extract containing 1% to 3% rosavins. 

Precautions and side effects

Current studies suggest that rhodiola rosea is generally safe and well-tolerated for most people. Side effects of rhodiola are typically rare and minimal that may include headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and stomach upset. 

The main concern people face when it comes to buying rhodiola supplements is the risk of adulteration or having low levels of purity and quality. Therefore, it’s important to buy from reputed manufacturing brands like Vorst from Canada that use only pure and natural rhodiola rosea in their products responsibly.  

Like all supplements, rhodiola may also interact with other prescription medications. Therefore, it’s always best to consult with a qualified natural medicine practitioner or nutritionist prior to starting rhodiola rosea for sleep or any other issues, especially if you’re on medications or pregnant or breastfeeding.  

Final words 

Rhodiola rosea has long been used as an adaptogen for thousands of years. The benefits of rhodiola rosea for sleep, anxiety, fatigue and depression have been recognized and prized in many traditional medicines such as traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Greek medicine. It has the potential to address the underlying root cause of sleeplessness by modulating the secretion of brain chemicals that regulate sleep. 

Rhodiola is generally safe, but it’s always important to consult with a certified naturopath or healthcare provider prior to starting Rhodiola for sleep or any other health conditions.

Here you can see Vorst’s special stress-relieving formula Stress Relief that contains a considerable amount of pure and natural Rhodiola rosea.  

Important resources: 

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31623042/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34585202/#:~:text=Abstract-,Rhodiola%20rosea%20L.,their%20roles%20on%20relieving%20sleeplessness.
  3. https://www.hearthsidemedicine.com/post/calming-anxiety-and-insomnia-without-meds
  4. https://erbology.co/adaptogens-sleep/
  5. https://coremedscience.com/blogs/wellness/a-guide-to-sleep-supplements
  6. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/rhodiola-rosea-benefits-side-effects-of-this-adaptogen
  7. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319619#possible-health-benefits-and-evidence
  8. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-is-rhodiola-rosea-used-to-treat-anxiety-3024972
  9. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rhodiola-rosea#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4
  10. https://greatist.com/health/rhodiola-rosea#dosage
  11. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-883/rhodiola