The quest for a restful, restorative night’s sleep is a top priority for most of us. However, achieving the optimal 7 to 9 hours can be thwarted by diverse lifestyle and environmental factors like stress, anxiety, or even overeating. Having a natural sleep aid like CBD on hand when such circumstances strike is invaluable. CBD is rapidly developing a reputation for its ability to support sound slumber. About 42.5% of CBD users turn to the cannabinoid for sleep issues. What’s more, clinical data also suggests CBD may help address sleepless nights.
If you experience occasional or frequent sleeplessness, here’s our guide to when to take CBD oil for sleep, and how you can harness the sleep-supporting properties of this powerful cannabinoid.
Causes of Sleeplessness
If you’re thinking about taking CBD oil for sleep, it’s first helpful to determine the cause of your sleeplessness. Many factors can impact the time we spend resting, so understanding why you’re experiencing trouble sleeping can also inform how you approach the issue.
Eating late at night, for example, can lead to an inability to fall asleep as the body is busy digesting food. In this case, the fix can be as simple as refraining from eating large portions after 7 pm. Similarly, spending too much time on our screens before bed can disrupt the surge of melatonin our bodies need to fall asleep. Turning screens off or using a blue light blocker several hours before we get ready to slip under the covers can help the brain to wind down and get ready to rest.
In other cases, however, mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety disorders can play on our minds and cause insomnia, which prevents us from drifting off into sleep. Insomnia, which is characterized by difficulty with falling and remaining asleep and overall sleep quality, is most commonly caused by stressors such as problems at work, relationship difficulties, death of a loved one, illness, or major life changes. Between 10-30% of adults live with insomnia on a regular basis. Insomnia can cause anxiety, exacerbating daily stress and making it even harder to fall asleep at night.
In other cases, sleep disorders such as REM sleep behavior disorder can also regularly impact our sleep patterns. REM sleep behavior disorder is associated with poor sleep and nightmares, often leading to sleep disturbances such as acting out dreams–which can be disruptive and dangerous.
Finally, chronic pain can represent another common cause of sleeplessness. The experience of physical discomfort can render it difficult to fall asleep easily and stay asleep. Growing evidence suggests that some cannabis products, such as CBD, may help to improve symptoms associated with insomnia, pain that causes sleeplessness, and certain sleep disorders.
How Can CBD Support Sleep?
Scientists are still learning about the mechanisms by which CBD works on the body. Clinical studies exploring the different effects of CBD on sleep patterns are still in their early stages, so it’s difficult to draw any decisive conclusions at this stage.
However, experts believe CBD affects sleep via its anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) properties. The cannabinoid helps to reduce anxiety by exerting a calming effect on the nervous system and lowering stress hormones such as cortisol levels. This, in turn, can modulate mood, soothe stress and ease tension, so the mind and body can rest easier. In other words, it’s easier to fall asleep and improve sleep quality when you’re not obsessing about a deadline at work or an ongoing problem with a loved one. When it comes to restless sleep caused by pain, CBD is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities. By easing the source of the discomfort, you can create conditions whereby sleep can come easier.
Other research has found that CBD may also improve symptoms associated with REM sleep behavior disorder. In a study of four patients with Parkinson's disease, CBD helped to reduce symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder. Before taking CBD, the patients experienced symptoms between 2–7 times per week. After taking CBD, their symptoms occurred 0–1 time per week. A 2017 review also noted that CBD shows potential for treating excessive daytime sleepiness–a disorder characterized by difficulty staying awake or alert during the day. There’re also some anecdotal reports that CBD may help with obstructive sleep apnea, but no definitive evidence at present.
Will CBD Help Me Sleep?
One of the most beneficial aspects of CBD oil is that it is an entirely natural, non-intoxicating, well-tolerated supplement derived from the cannabis plant that is considered a very low risk for fostering dependence or addiction. Another major advantage of CBD is that it’s very hard to build a tolerance to the cannabinoid because it interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. This list of health benefits renders CBD a sleep aid that can be used semi-regularly or regularly.
If you’re wondering whether CBD oil might help ease your sleep issues, take a look at this checklist. If you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed below, CBD oil may represent a helpful natural sleep aid:
- Difficulty falling asleep (sleep onset)
- Difficulty staying asleep (sleep maintenance)
- Nightmares (associated with REM sleep behavior disorder)
- Acting out nightmares or dreams
If you’re interested in trying CBD, remember that it’s always vital to consult with a doctor, particularly if you’re already taking prescription medications, as CBD can interact with the effects of certain drugs, potentially causing side effects. Doctors well-versed in cannabis medicine are better equipped to provide helpful advice and address safety concerns.
When to Take CBD Oil for Sleep
According to a recent survey, CBD users find the cannabinoid supports sleep most effectively when taken in the evening before bed. Anecdotal reports often indicate that taking CBD 30 to 60 minutes before bed enables the cannabinoid to enter the bloodstream by the time your head hits the pillow.
It’s also helpful to know that the CBD delivery method you choose will impact how long the product takes effect. Gummies containing CBD take up to an hour to take effect as the cannabinoid must pass through the digestive system before it reaches the liver and begins systemic circulation.
Other delivery formats such as sublingual CBD tinctures, however, bypass the metabolic process and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, resulting in effects that kick in after 15-30 minutes. However, the time it takes CBD to act on your body can vary on many factors, such as your personal metabolism and weight.
How Much CBD to Take for Sleep
Emerging research offers some rudimentary guidelines on how much CBD is appropriate to target sleep-related issues. CBD has biphasic effects, which means that the cannabinoid delivers distinctive effects at different doses. According to one 2017 review, lower doses (15 milligrams or less) may have a stimulating effect so you feel more alert. On the other hand, higher doses have a more sedating, sleep-promoting effect.
Numerous studies have explored which doses of CBD boast optimal sleep-inducing effects. In one study, middle-range to high doses of CBD were found to increase the total percentage of time spent sleeping. In addition, the middle-range doses of the compound decreased the onset of REM sleep (the time it took to begin the phase of dreaming sleep) whereas the higher doses induced the opposite effect. REM sleep represents a vital phase of the sleep cycle.
Here at High Falls Hemp, we’ve designed our CBD dosage guide to make dosing CBD straightforward. Our tables provide moderate and high dosing recommendations based on body weight. It’s also important to remember that CBD can affect people differently. What works for a friend may not work for you.
Follow your dosing journey by adhering to the old adage, “start low and go slow.” Observe how your body responds to very low doses and then adjust accordingly. As mentioned earlier, people tend not to build a tolerance to CBD, so once you find your sweet spot, you can continue with that specific dose as long as it remains helpful.
CBD for Sleep from High Falls Hemp
One of the most common reviews we anecdotally hear from High Falls Hemp customers is that they turn to our CBD products in search of restful sleep. According to their experiences, High Falls Hemp can help with both the time it takes to fall asleep and overall sleep quality.
Our Full-Spectrum Sleep Tincture contains a unique blend of CBD, CBN (cannabinol), terpenes, chamomile and lemon balm, designed for fast absorption. The Advance Sleep Gummy contains all natural plant-based ingredients including CBN, terpenes, and red ginseng, which is known for its sleep enhancing properties. These products are both formulated with full-spectrum THC to harness the entourage effect. However, if you’re looking for a THC-free formulation, our Broad Spectrum THC Tincture can also offer sleep support.
If you’re contemplating trying CBD for sleep problems, opting for the highest quality products is important. Our CBD tincture and CBD gummies are made using organically grown hemp sourced from farms in High Falls, New York. All High Falls products are subjected to rigorous third-party lab potency, and purity testing carried out by an independent laboratory, so you can rest easy knowing you’re consuming safe products that contain what’s promised on the label.
Here’s to better sleep!