Updated: Dec 2, 2019
If you’re struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep, CBD could offer some relief. CBD has become popular as a remedy for pain, anxiety, insomnia, and more. But does CBD exactly help? And does it live up to the hype?
Let’s start with Insomnia as a serious problem. A lack of sleep is something many adults just brush off and attribute to how “life” is, but in today’s fast paced world, insomnia is becoming an epidemic and can have serious implications for your physical and mental health.
Insomnia is a Serious Problem
According to the Centers for Disease Control, you are not getting enough sleep if you are not getting 7 hours or more of sleep a day and 1 in 3 adults aren’t getting enough sleep. Myself included in this research; I average about 5-6 hours of sleep per night. Now, much of that lack of sleep is self-induced because I do not go to bed soon enough, but I also force myself out of bed at 5:30 AM every morning to start my day and to go exercise. I feel that getting up at 5:30 AM is my first major accomplishment of the day. So you are far from alone if you’re struggling to sleep. But insomnia can lead to chronic conditions including mental distress, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, so you can’t just ignore it.
CBD Sleep Research
Promising new research from Kaiser Permanente shows CBD as a treatment for sleep. With a calming effect to the central nervous system, adults in the study who used CBD were able to reduce their levels of anxiety and sleep during the first month of the study.
How CBD is Helpful
CBD is helpful for sleep because it can improve conditions that complicate sleep. Specifically, anxiety, stress, and pain are the most common conditions that lead to insomnia. Often the idea of getting enough sleep in of itself causes stress and anxiety, thus creating the dreaded vortex of stressing about the stress. Slowing down and calming your central nervous system can have a relaxing effect. This helps you let go of stress and anxiety, and it has been proven that restful sleep helps the healing process and calms painful inflammation from conditions such as arthritis or low back pain.
Even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, stress, or chronic pain, using CBD may still be helpful for improving your overall sleep. As CBD interacts with receptors in the body, including receptors that govern your body’s sleep and wake cycle, you begin to find yourself getting better and longer sleep cycles.
CBD as an all-natural alternative to sleep medication
Sleep medication can have interactions, may not be effective, and frequently comes with side effects. Additionally, you may be limited in how much you can use sleep medications, as they can be habit forming. But research suggests CBD comes with very few side effects, is not habit forming, and is an all-natural plant-based product. If you’re struggling to sleep and considering sleep medication, CBD could be a low risk alternative to try out first.
Tips for Using CBD as a Sleep Aid
With these tips, you can use CBD more effectively to support healthy sleep.
1) Use CBD as a supplement to healthy sleep habits. CBD can be a tool for good sleep, but it shouldn’t be a miracle solution. Just like diet and exercise, if you don’t eat right, no amount of exercise will keep you healthy. Make sure you’re practicing good sleep habits, such as turning off the TV at least an hour before bed, avoiding caffeine in the evening, and maintaining a regular bedtime routine and sleep schedule. I cannot stress enough how much routine aids in your restfulness. An overall healthy lifestyle with physical activity and good diet can also be helpful.
2) Use CBD with other all-natural supplements. The SOTA CBD Sunset is a great example of how additional supplements of GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) an amino acid produced naturally in the brain that facilitates sleep, reduces mental and physical stress, lowers anxiety, and creates a calmness of mood. In addition, SOTA CBD Sunset also has Melatonin that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle and tells your body it's bedtime.
3) Find the right amount. While a too small dose might not be effective, using CBD could prove to be too much of a commitment if you regularly take a large dose for sleep. Try a dose of about 25 to 30 mg and increase as needed.
4) Plan your delivery method. Water soluble CBD products offer higher bioavailability (absorption) into the body. Tintures, when placed under the tongue for 60-120 seconds, offer some of the quickest absorption rates. Consider your needs and whether you need help falling asleep, or staying asleep, when choosing which way to consume CBD as a sleep aid.
5) Do NOT only use CBD when you need it. CBD isn’t a recreational drug and doesn’t offer the psychoactive effects of THC. While you should be concerned about lowering CBD effectiveness over time, it is most effective when it is taken regularly. However, as the Kaiser Permanente study suggests that CBD’s effectiveness as a sleep aid could drop off after about a month of regular use, if that is the case, stop taking the CBD for a week or two and then come back to it so using it ensure that it delivers consistently.
CBD can be a good choice for sleep, particularly if you struggle with anxiety, stress, or pain at night. Use it carefully to improve your sleep and feel more rested each day.