If you've been on the fence about adding CBD for sleep into your nighttime routine, then please keep reading on.
You might have heard of cannabidiol or CBD which is often touted for its medicinal-like properties. Many have claimed that CBD may help treat conditions like pain, insomnia, and anxiety. While it may be logical to be skeptical, new research suggests CBD may induce a state of relaxation and drowsiness that could help to induce sleep.
With the legislation around CBD use proving to be dynamic, the question of whether CBD can be useful as a sleeping aid is becoming increasingly critical. After reading this post, you will know everything there is to know about using CBD for sleep and determine if CBD is right for you.
What to know before you start taking CBD for Sleep?
Interest in using CBD for sleep is understandable as a recent Consumer Reports survey showed that almost 80 percent of Americans say they have trouble sleeping at least once a week. To make matters worse many existing treatments like prescription and over-the-counter drugs are rarely effective and may be unsafe too!
However, before you start medicating with CBD, be sure to talk to your health care provider first. Sometimes CBD isn’t an option for certain medical ailments and can affect everyone differently. (Read more on speaking with your medical practitioner.)
What do the studies say?
New emerging scientific research may provide some support for CBD as a sleep aid. A study in 72 participants with primary concerns of anxiety or poor sleep found participants anxiety scores decreased within the first month for 79% of participants being treated with CBD. Sleep scores also showed improvement within the first month in 67% of participants with the use of CBD in capsule form (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Mean anxiety and sleep scores for adults using cannabidiol treatment. HAM-A = Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale; PSQI = Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index.The Permanente Journal
Additionally, a 2017 article from Current Psychiatry Reports suggests that CBD may directly affect sleep by interacting with brain receptors known to regulate our body’s circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle). Researchers noted that CBD may also hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness. Albeit, the authors noted that, “additional controlled and longitudinal research is needed to advance our understanding of research and clinical implications with CBD”.
As CBD continues to grow in popularity, we can expect to learn what the true merits are for using CBD for sleep. However, Joseph Maroon, M.D., a clinical professor and neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has extensively researched the effect of cannabis on the nervous system. Dr. Maroon states that CBD’s properties may help patients sleep better due to the reduction in anxiety and pain levels, which are known to hinder both falling and staying asleep.
Should I take CBD for Sleep?
CBD may be more effective as an anxiolytic than a sleep aid. Research shows CBD has a greater effect at reducing anxiety than reducing poor sleep. However, CBD’s anxiolytic properties may prove effective for those experiencing poor sleep as it is often attributed to anxiety.
Concentration may matter. While research on dosing may be limited, a current study suggested that a low concentration may not be as effective for sleeping. In fact, patients reported feeling of wakefulness at low concentrations of CBD. However, your body’s metabolism of CBD will determine the overall effects you may experience. Many experts suggest starting at a dosage and gradually increasing the concentration as needed.
Consider the form. Vaping CBD would theoretically provide the quickest effects as this method bypasses the digestive system and hits the circulatory system faster. Another method is oral ingestion of CBD via capsules or oil-based tinctures. However, CBD oil is known to degrade as it gets metabolized by the body. The percentage of CBD absorbed into your blood, and the speed at which it is absorbed is known as bioavailability. (Read more about bioavailability). Water-soluble forms of CBD, or nanoemulsions of CBD, show the potential to have the greatest bioavailability. Opting for a water-soluble CBD formula may be most beneficial for a good night's rest.
Look for high quality CBD products. When choosing a CBD product, always make sure you purchase from a trusted source. Reputable companies will provide a third-party Certificate of Analysis (CoA) for each batch they produce. This way you can be sure your product is pesticide-free, contaminant-free and contains the correct CBD dosage. (Read more about how to choose one).
Tips for using CBD for sleep
For help staying asleep all night, try some of these tips:
- Create a relaxing night time routine. Taking a warm shower or listening to relaxing music before bedtime. Avoid using blue-light devices such as smartphones or laptops.
- Consider your meal time. Avoid having a late or large meal before bed and allow your body at least two hours to digest. Also avoid beverages containing caffeine or alcohol near your bedtime. Instead, consider drinking caffeine-free tea an hour before bedtime.
- Look for CBD products that contain melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in the middle of the brain. Melatonin plays a key role in maintaining the sleep cycle. Envy Hemp’s Water-Soluble Sleep Tincture with 250MG CBD is blended with melatonin, L-theanine, and other botanicals known for their relaxation properties.
- Avoid nicotine products. Smoking or vaping nicotine is not only a major health risk but nicotine can interfere with sleep cycles.
- Exercise in the morning. Do not let exercising interfere with your sleep. Avoid exercising at night or near your bedtime.
- Avoid taking naps. Taking naps during the day can throw off your sleep schedule and prevent you from staying asleep.
Having trouble falling and staying asleep is not only frustrating, but it can also affect your mental and physical health. If you are having sleep problems, talk to your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.