There are few things worse than laying wide awake at 2am unable to sleep. You look at the clock, you have to wake up for work at 6am, you look at the clock again, the stress slowly starts to build, and you get further and further away from that illusive slumber.
This happens to the best of us once in a while, especially, and ironically, when there is something important we have to do the next day that really necessitates a good, full night’s sleep. We all have restless nights from time to time.
The real problem, however, starts to arise when this becomes a regular occurrence that we can’t escape. Whether you can fall asleep but then consistently wake up a couple hours later and can’t fall back asleep, or you just plain can’t fall asleep at all.
We put up with it for a little while, but then we turn to the sleep aids. This is where people get creative, trying everything from large doses of melatonin or valerian root, to Benadryl, Tylenol PM, or nighttime cough or cold medicine. If the condition persists, people might turn to actual, heavy sleep medications.
There are a few possible problems with these common remedies, however. Oftentimes they either don’t produce the desired result or they can make you feel so groggy in the morning that you have little idea of where you are, who you are, or why you should even get out of bed. In addition to making you feel like you woke up in a strange place on the other side of the world, many of the stronger drugs can cause dependence.
Well, CBD may be an alternative and many people are turning to it to help them sleep better.
Does CBD Help You Sleep?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the main and most well known cannabinoids found within the Cannabis Genus of plants. In a nutshell, it interacts with your body’s biochemical communication highway known as the endocannabinoid system to trigger changes. The endocannabinoid system essentially works to maintain homeostasis, or balance, within your body and CBD is thought to help it achieve that goal.
Unlike its more well known cousin, THC, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce the euphoric feeling of being “high”. Instead, people consume CBD to help them with a range of issues, from pain relief and reducing seizures, to gaining a more restful night’s sleep.
There is a small but growing amount of evidence that CBD may help you sleep longer and better, but the research is still in its beginning stages. With that said, a study from 2019 that included 103 adult patients suffering from both anxiety and sleep issues found that CBD might help people with short term sleep problems. Specifically, anxiety scores for the first month improved for 79.2% of the patients and sleep scores improved for 66.7% of the patients.
CBD and Sleep: The Causes of Sleep Problems
When it comes to CBD and sleep, it’s first important to understand the root cause of many sleep problems. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, over 50 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder and another 20-30 million have intermittent sleep problems. The primary causes of sleeping problems or insomnia are the following:
- Mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Physical conditions like restless leg syndrome
- Medications that throw off your sleep-wake cycle
- Caffeine late in the day
- Loud noises, an uncomfortable bed, or other environmental factors
What makes researchers and scientists excited about the potential for CBD to help sleep is that it goes after the root cause. Whereas other sleep aids use chemicals to make you drowsy, despite whatever the cause of your restlessness is, CBD may relieve the cause itself.
How May CBD Help People Sleep
Although the mechanism is not completely understood, studies have suggested that CBD’s benefit when it comes to sleep stems from its calming effects. Specifically, its interaction with serotonin and GABA receptors in our brains. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that manages mood and anxiety, whereas GABA receptors (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) inhibit or reduce the activity of the neurons to help mitigate activity in the central nervous system.
In other words, CBD is thought to interact with two components of our bodies that are essential for falling asleep and achieving a good night’s rest. These interactions, along with its reported anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties, suggest that CBD may help sleep by both quieting our minds at the end of the day, reducing anxiety, and minimizing any pain or discomfort.
Unlike powerful sleep aids, CBD does not “knock you out”, rather it combats the issues that are keeping you from falling asleep naturally on your own.
Additional Evidence for CBD and Sleep
In addition to the study we mentioned, there are several others that have been undertaken over the past decade.
- A review of CBD in 2018 in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal concluded that there is a relatively large amount of evidence supporting the claim that CBD relieves pain. The authors also pointed out that pain relief help improves sleep.
- A study in 2014 looked at four patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and found that CBD may help improve problems associated with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). RBD is what is behind conditions like sleep paralysis, sleep walking, and extreme nightmares or night terrors.
- A 2017 review suggested that CBD may have a short term benefit for sleep apnea and might be a promising remedy for both REM sleep disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Research conducted in 2014 concluded that CBD has the potential to promote wakefulness, reduce grogginess, and relieve insomnia. The medical researchers who conducted this study also noted that, although CBD showed promise in both humans and animals, they were not sure exactly how or why.
How to Use CBD to Help Sleep
There are a variety of ways to consume CBD if you are trying to help yourself sleep. Some of the most common types of CBD products are tinctures, capsules, and vape. Tinctures and vape are two of the fastest way to get CBD into your system, while capsules are easier to be exact when it comes to dosage. However, all three are effective at bringing CBD to bear and it really comes down to personal preference.
At Urban Roots Hemp Co., our Sleep CBD capsules are designed specifically to promote a restful night’s sleep. This product combines a low dose of melatonin with 25mg of CBD in each capsule. Many of our customers have found that taking one or two of our sleep capsules allows them to fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and feel more rested in the morning.
Whether you are trying CBD to sleep or to help you with a different health issue, we suggest starting with a lower dosage and working your way up as needed. As you learn how CBD affects you individually, you can adjust dosage and the type of product you are consuming. With that said, it’s important remember that CBD is completely non-toxic and has no known harmful side effects.
So if you’re having trouble sleeping and have been unable to find a remedy, you may want to try CBD today to see if it helps!
A nightly dose of CBD plus a low dose of melatonin allows the body to experience a restful night’s sleep.