Sleep Tips

Can CBD Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep?

By Melena Gurganus

If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep at night, it can have lasting effects that disrupt your productivity the next day. Tossing and turning at night causes you to lose precious time that could be spent resting. With less sleep, waking up the next day can feel like a chore and you’ll notice your motivation has taken a hit.

Several different factors may contribute to sleep loss, such as stress, chronic pain, or anxiety. To promote healthy sleeping habits and decrease restlessness, people have sought the help of natural remedies to use as a sleep aid, including CBD.

CBD and Sleep

Cannabidiol, the formal name of CBD, is extracted from hemp plants and used for its wellness benefits. The compound can be infused into oils, lotions, gummies, and other products for the purpose of alleviating symptoms that affect mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

When it comes to sleep, CBD oil can act as a calming agent for your mind and body. You’ll find it may help you fall asleep more quickly, and reduce the number of times that you wake up during the night. But CBD does not make you drowsy, as it can also be an effective way to enhance alertness and reduce feelings of tiredness throughout the day.

Anxiety and Stress Relief

Relaxing after an eventful day is something we all look forward to, but your thoughts can start to take over when it’s time for bed. In this situation, it seems like there isn’t much you can do except wait. Instead of wasting valuable time lying in bed, consider how CBD might help you find relaxation. CBD works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your body by stabilizing hormones like cortisol (the stress hormone) and uplifting your mood—hopefully leading to sweet dreams and quality sleep.

Much like its ability to reduce feelings of stress, CBD has been proven to help individuals that suffer from anxiety disorders. Going to bed when you feel anxious or emotional is neither pleasant nor very manageable, and can lead to other issues like insomnia. CBD may regulate serotonin levels and aid in symptom relief for both anxiety and depression, which can be of particular benefit when you’re trying to sleep.

Pain

Falling asleep is never easy when you feel pain that distracts you from getting comfortable. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties to support pain relief, as well as soothe joint and muscle soreness throughout your body. Applying topical CBD balms or lotions can target specific areas, while other products work well for eliciting an overall calming effect.  

According to Jacqueline Jacques, a naturopathic doctor from Thorne Research, “The ECS is the major system in the body that helps to maintain balance – or what doctors call homeostasis. It is particularly important for how we regulate uncomfortable sensations and emotions. So if you have trouble sleeping because you have pain that keeps you awake or you can’t relax your body or mind, it’s definitely worth a try.”


What to Look for In a CBD Sleep Aid

Before deciding that CBD is the sleep aid that you’ve been waiting for, it’s important to ask yourself what’s the cause of your sleep troubles. Is it something that blackout curtains or a sound machine might be able to fix, or is it a persistent issue that calls for a new solution? If you do choose to incorporate CBD into your nightly routine, take the time to properly vet any products before administering them.  

Here are a few key tips from experts in the CBD industry:

Look for products that combine CBD with other natural sleep enhancers, like melatonin.

Joy Smith, founder of Joy Organics says, “Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps our body identify it is time to go to sleep…Using a melatonin supplement can help your body restore its natural body circadian rhythm, especially when paired with other good sleep practices such as dimming the lights and turning off electronics.”

Check the method of extraction.

“When evaluating CBD products, look for products that are made from CBD extracts that are extracted by ethanol or CO2. CBD can also be extracted using hydrocarbons, like butane. These may contain harmful impurities and should be avoided,” said Eric Robichaud, CEO of Green Goddess Supply. 

Look for third-party testing results.

Chris Vickers, General Manager at The Source, recommends consumers “check that, once extraction is complete, the company uses a third party laboratory to test the raw compounds. This is an easy way to make sure you are getting an unbiased opinion on the product and ensure that it actually works.”

Start with a small amount and work your way up.

According to the president of Humboldt Apothecary, Gillian Levy, “It is best to start with a small dose…and to increase the dose incrementally until the individual finds the most suitable dose for their needs.” 


Are There Risks for Using CBD?

The health benefits that many people associate with CBD are impressive, but these are subjective claims that lack backing by the broader medical community and the FDA. There are very few adverse side effects associated with the use of this cannabis-derived compound, but this is not to say that a negative reaction is impossible. If you are unsure about using CBD as a sleep aid, confer with your doctor beforehand, especially if you are currently taking medication. Sleep is a critical component of your health, just make sure you aren’t compromising anything else in your quest for a better night’s rest.


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