Sleep is such a crucial part of your schedule, yet according to the CDC, between 30 and 40% of adults don’t get the required amount of sleep each night. It’s no wonder, then, that so many people are looking for solutions to their sleep problems.
Sleep disorders range from mild to severe. There are people who suffer from the odd sleepless night during stress, such as before a job interview or in the middle of an important project. Then there are those who struggle to shut their eyes night after night.
Could CBD be the answer for those seeking a good night’s sleep?
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is just one of the many chemicals found in the hemp or cannabis plant. CBD doesn’t contain any THC or other psychoactive ingredients, so it won’t get you high or make you feel uncoordinated or out of control. In fact, the widely reported effects of CBD are positive. CBD may even be useful in managing any negative effects of THC use.
CBD is available in a range of products, the most popular being supplements in the form of CBD oils which you take under the tongue,, and edibles like CBD gummies.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD has a direct effect on the human endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is a widespread network of receptors in the body that responds to cannabinoids like CBD. CBD is a phytocannabinoid, which means it comes from a plant. Did you know you make your own cannabinoids, right in your body? Endocannabinoids are produced by many animals, including us humans, and they are the chemicals that interact with our ECS.
Receptors in the ECS deal with a ton of different functions in your body. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Your appetite
- How you feel emotionally
- Your memory
- Pain levels and inflammation
- How well you sleep
It’s that last point we’re interested in today. Does managing your ECS with additional cannabinoids like CBD promote healthy sleep?
CBD for Sleep
The key to understanding how CBD could help with sleep is to think about the reasons we don’t sleep. Often, sleeplessness comes because we simply can’t relax. This could be due to both positive and negative emotions or states of mind. For example, you could be anxious about an upcoming meeting, or you could be excited about going on a long-awaited vacation.
CBD and Relaxation for Sleep
Getting to the root of the problem might be what’s important in terms of using CBD as a sleep aid. When someone has insomnia, it could be because their cortisol levels are high in the evening or during the night. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone so it’s no wonder high levels of it stop you sleeping.
With that in mind, researchers in 2019 put their heads together and created a study exploring how CBD affects hormones in the body. The study showed that participants who took a CBD dosage of between 300 and 600mg had lower cortisol levels on a night, promoting better sleep. It’s possible the CBD partially prevents the release of cortisol, leaving you calmer and more in control.
CBD has a soothing effect that helps alleviate the stresses of the day. By acting on the ECS in a positive way, CBD could be lowering the levels of cortisol and allowing you to naturally relax into a good night’s sleep.
CBD Terpenes for Sleep
Some CBD products also contain other components of the hemp plant. These types of products are often called broad-spectrum CBD or full-spectrum CBD. The main difference between broad and full-spectrum CBD is that full-spectrum contains a small amount of every chemical found in the hemp plant, including a trace amount of THC.
Some of these components are phytochemicals called terpenes. Terpenes are the chemicals associated with aromas and flavors. For example, the terpene limonene has a pleasant, citrusy smell. Terpenes do more than smell great though. They each have their own physiological effect on the human body, and some of those effects could work with CBD to promote a great night’s sleep.
Terpinolene is found in some strains of hemp, and may have a slight sedative effect to aid with sleep.
Caryophyllene is a terpene which has a peppery aroma, and may boost any stress-busting effects of CBD promoting better sleep.
Myrcene is a commonly found terpene which has relaxing qualities. It’s also found in hops, a plant long associated with relaxation and sleep.
It’s clear to see that science supports the idea that the whole of the hemp plant could help with sleepless nights, making CBD a simple choice for most people.
Bottom Line: Does CBD Help You Sleep?
If your lack of sleep is due to elevated stress hormones or a lack of relaxation, then there’s every chance that CBD products could guide you on your way to a good night’s sleep. Current research backs that up, and as scientists perform new studies each year, expect to see even more concrete evidence to support what many people have known for years.
CBD Sleep FAQs
Does CBD help you sleep?
Research indicates that CBD could be a useful aid for those suffering from poor sleep, particularly where sleeplessness is caused by a lack of relaxation or daily stress.
How much CBD should I take to get a good night’s sleep?
CBD dosage is very much a personal choice and every person will need different amounts of CBD depending on weight, lifestyle, metabolism, and a range of other factors. The recommendation is to start with a low dose and gradually build up until you find the dosage that works best for you. Studies show that a daily dose of between 300 and 600mg could support good sleep.