To be fully rested, most people need eight hours of sleep a night. That’s no small feat at the best of times, but with everything going on at the moment, it can seem impossible. So in this article, we’re going to look at whether or not CBD products for sleep really do work.
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A consistent lack of sleep or poor sleeping patterns not only sets us up for a tough day, it can also cause harm to the body, including the immune system, digestive system, and cardiovascular system – never mind the consequences for our mental health.
As a result, many people find themselves turning to over-the-counter aids or prescription drugs to help them sleep, but these medications aren’t always ideal solutions. They can be ineffective, lead to drug dependency and continuous use can pose a number of risks.
Is CBD an effective sleep remedy?
So is CBD an effective remedy for sleep, and if so, how does it work? Firstly, while there are many anecdotal accounts of improved sleep with CBD, it is essential to note that there is not a well-developed body of evidence on using CBD as a sleep aid.
What does the research say?
The research that exists surrounding CBD for sleep is promising. A well-known 2019 study, for example, found improvements in sleep for 66.7% of participants, while 79.2% experienced reduced anxiety with CBD use and the improvements for those participants were more sustained over time.
While it’s crystal clear that there needs to be a lot more scientific research conducted before we have any concrete answers about the use of CBD for sleep, we do know that CBD alone is not likely to make you feel drowsy. But it seems what it can do in its own way is help with falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up feeling relaxed and refreshed. This could be because CBD may impact the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) or because it helps address the root cause of insomnia, whether physical or mental.
We know that the endocannabinoid system is partially responsible for regulating our sleep/wake cycle and that CBD may change how the CB1 receptors interact with our bodies’ endogenous cannabinoids.
What ways could CBD improve your sleep?
If you’re considering using CBD to improve your sleep, there are a few options you could try. If pain is one of the factors causing your sleeping difficulties, you may want to consider topical CBD or other CBD products that help with pain and inflammation.
If you find it’s a racing mind keeping you awake at night, you might try unwinding with products such as CBD bath salts, relaxing CBD teas and nighttime CBD oils that contain botanicals such as lavender or chamomile.
If it’s neither pain nor anxious thoughts keeping you awake, you can try a combination of CBD and melatonin, the naturally occurring hormone that regulates our sleep.
Do CBD products for sleep really work?
So while there isn’t adequate research to definitively say CBD improves your sleep, it can help you to relax before bedtime, which for many people, is all that’s required to ensure a good night’s sleep. Using CBD as an all-natural sleep aid can help ease your mind as you lay to rest so that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the challenges of the day ahead.
Regardless of how you choose to take your CBD, it’s important to remember to start low and go slow, but don’t be afraid to increase your serving size over time.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that if you are ingesting CBD through the digestive system (such as through edibles, capsules or softgels) it takes longer to feel the effects, so try to take it 45 minutes before you want to jump into bed.
Additional tips to help you sleep
Along with taking CBD, here are a few additional simple lifestyle changes that could help improve the quality of your night’s sleep;
- Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule that allows for eight hours of restful sleep.
- Turn off all your computer and phone screens one hour before bedtime.
- Take a few moments to reflect on the day and empty your mind by writing in a journal or making your to-do list before bed.
- Try to avoid alcohol and sugar in the evening.
- Consider investing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – this may be an expensive or less accessible option but could help get to the bottom of your sleep issues.
- Stop your caffeine intake approximately six hours before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet.
- Don’t smoke – nicotine is a stimulant and people who smoke take longer to sleep and wake up more frequently.
The last word
If other remedies haven’t helped, then perhaps you should give CBD for sleep a try. Research has noted that CBD poses few side effects, the most common can include diarrhea and changes in appetite and weight.
The other thing to consider is there’s more evidence for CBD’s ability to ease the anxiety than to help you fall asleep, though encouraging you to relax could be the answer to helping you sleep, too.