If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, you’re not alone. In fact, over 30% of Canadians have reported having insomnia, with those aged 35-64 is less likely to get a good night’s rest. Lack of sleep not only increases the risks of chronic illnesses but also leads to worsened stress and mood changes affecting your ability to function at your best. Thankfully, we no longer have to rely on synthetic and harmful sleeping pills that only leave us feeling worse the next day. Recent studies have shown that CBD is a safe and natural sleep aid alternative to help you get some solid shut-eye. Here we’ll outline the effects of CBD on your sleep cycle, as well as how to leverage it to get the best Zzz’s.
CBD and Your Sleep Cycle
When it comes to CBD, it’s best known for helping soothe anxiety and altering pain signals in the body – both of which can cause trouble when you’re trying to get a full night’s rest. Study after study suggests that CBD has a positive effect on anxiety levels, possibly by changing the way the body processes serotonin: the “happy hormone.” Moreover, CBD appears to decrease pain signals and perception responsible often responsible for keeping you up at night.
By regulating these soothing modulators in the body, CBD may be a huge help in bringing your sleep cycle back into balance – especially for those suffering from excess stress or neuropathic/inflammatory pain.
Choosing the Right CBD
When considering CBD for sleep troubles, it’s best to look at a high-concentration, full-spectrum product. Full-spectrum CBD products are created from the entire hemp plant, including a natural range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc. each with their own unique properties and benefits. Known as the entourage effect, these compounds all work together and allow you to experience an elevated, synergistic effect of CBD.
Alternatively: If you are sensitive or unable to have any THC in your system, consider a high-concentration, THC-free CBD oil instead – consisting of only 100% pure CBD while carrying similar benefits.
The ideal type of CBD product for nighttime is highly personalized to your own sleeping needs. CBD oil (taken under the tongue) is most commonly taken for sleep as its effects are usually felt within an hour and last for 4-6 hours. If extended effects are needed, CBD edibles take longer to take action but last anywhere from 6-12 hours to help keep you asleep the whole night. Conversely, if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out in bed, vaporizing CBD exerts benefits within seconds to help gently nudge you into a deep sleep.
Note that if taking CBD oil, remember to take your nightly dose around ~30 minutes before sleeping (for edibles: 1-2 hours before) to ensure that it’s given enough time to circulate and take effect in the body.
Finding the Best Dosage for Sleep
Like many other supplements, the dosage is a key factor to experience your ideal relief. CBD is no exception with low and high doses having two very opposite effects and benefits for each.
For a more restful night, you’ll want to try a higher CBD dose than you would normally take during the day. Microdosing CBD (taking low dosages throughout the day) is ideal for the daytime as it’s said to help you feel more alert and clear-minded to focus on everyday tasks. Higher dosages of CBD on the other hand are perfect for the PM as it often exerts a sedative effect to ease you right into a relaxed state for sleep.
At high dosages, studies have shown that CBD may increase Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) levels – known to soothe an overly stimulated central nervous system and bring your stress and ‘fight or flight’ responses to a halt. By decreasing stress levels, CBD not only helps you fall asleep by supporting relaxation and calmness, but it also promotes deep, slow-wave sleep to help you stay asleep throughout the night.
Extra Tips for Restful Sleep
Besides natural supplements, there are countless other methods to help you ease into sleep. Hot baths, keeping a relaxing environment, or anything that helps you get into a calm state. Although CBD and good sleep practices are great tools for a good night’s sleep, the most important habit is to stay committed and consistent with your routine and sleep-wake schedule.
Once you find your ideal CBD dosage and establish a solid nighttime routine, try sticking with it and you may finally be able to put your sleep problems to bed. To learn more helpful tips on how to get restorative sleep, check out our other blog post here.