CBD for Sleep
‘How are you?’ and ‘how did you sleep?’ are two questions that are hard to separate from each other. Because when we sleep well at night, we feel more alert and present during the day. As part of each of our own personal evening routines, CBD might be able to help us fall asleep or help stay asleep better through the night.
Can CBD help with sleep?
It’s possible that CBD might work with a system in our body that helps regulate our sleep. The exact mechanisms by which CBD engages with that system have not yet been confirmed, however there are people with sleep disorders who have reported positive effects when using CBD.
But first, let’s back up a bit: The system we’re talking about is the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a number of important processes in our body — including sleep regulation. And since the body itself also produces cannabinoids called endocannabinoids, the plant-based CBD found in oil products like ours might not be as foreign to the body as one might think. By binding to specific cannabinoid receptors within the endocannabinoid system, CBD might have a positive effect on sleep.
Research on CBD and Sleep
A study published in 2019 looked at 72 adults who presented issues with sleep and anxiety as they received CBD at an outpatient psychiatric treatment in Colorado. Within the first month of the study, anxiety levels decreased in nearly 80 percent of the patients and remained low over the course of the study.
The results were less clear when it came to sleep: While two-thirds of the patients showed an improvement in the first month, the results fluctuated as the study progressed. Based on this research, therefore, no clear conclusions could be drawn about the effects of CBD on sleep.
Nevertheless, an article by the Harvard Medical School says ‘studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep’. The author also agrees that more research is needed to shed light on the effects of CBD on sleep.
All about topical CBD
Applying CBD on to the skin is considered to be the second fastest way to feel possible effects — it can start to work in as quickly as 15 minutes. This might be because of how CBD engages directly with the part of the endocannabinoid system located in the layers of our skin.
Naturally, CBD’s effects also depend on the type of product and its formulation. That said, the effects generally take hold faster when applied topically as opposed to orally. Additionally, the effects can last up to four hours, making CBD natural cosmetics an ideal companion to incorporate into your evening skincare routine as you relax and set yourself up for a good night’s sleep.
Apart from a potentially sleep-enhancing effect, topical CBD products might have other advantages: They can be used in targeted locations — for example, on the abdomen for period pain.
CBD for sleep issues: first-hand experiences
Although the current body of research on ‘CBD and sleep’ doesn’t yet provide us with any clear results, it does indicate that CBD might offer hope for people with issues sleeping. In practice, there are increasing reports from people who have used CBD to address sleep problems and found it to be effective.
For those of us interested in trying CBD for a better night’s sleep, try spreading a few dabs of CBD night cream between your fingertips, close your eyes and rest your head in your palms. Notice how your breathing slows down and you start to calm down. Then, massage the CBD cream onto your wrists, shoulders and neck.
By the same token, you’re treating yourself to a relaxing massage to help let go of the daily grind and concentrate on your sensory perceptions. Feel how your train of thought becomes slower and slower — and maybe even come to a standstill.
Rituals for better sleep: CBD and company
What’s the secret to a good night's sleep? That’s a question that can’t be answered in one sentence. After all, we are multidimensional beings — and searching for the one thing that makes us sleep better often leads to us turning up empty. Yet there are a number of different things that, when used in combination, can help contribute to sleeping better.
Perhaps for you that means doing a couple of yoga poses before going to bed or reading a few pages in your favorite book. Perhaps you find that a relaxing massage with CBD helps you drift off into a pleasant sleep. The most important thing is that the activity feels right to you and that the time you dedicate to it is time that’s reserved just for you.
Good sleep hygiene
In addition to what helps each of us personally unwind, there are also some moves that, objectively speaking, can contribute to a better night's sleep. For example, skipping that occasional glass of wine before bed. While alcohol might help us fall asleep easier, it might also make us restless as the night wears on.
Part of good sleep hygiene can also be putting our cell phones away at a fixed time in the evening. By turning them off or leaving them in another room overnight, we’re less tempted to look at them. It’s also helpful, in general, to shift to using softer, dimmer lights.
Recent studies suggest that blue light from electronic devices is not the only culprit when it comes to having trouble sleeping. The light spectrum as well as length and intensity of the radiation play an important role. The light from cell phones, tablets and the like could have a negative effect on sleep — but the same might apply to all bright light sources.
A warm bath with CBD before bed
Studies show, a warm bath or shower could contribute to better sleep. That’s because in addition to darkness, temperature is also a factor to keep in mind with sleep: As our core body temperature drops, we automatically become more tired. By taking a warm bath, for example, we can tap into this phenomenon. Sounds rather ironic, right?
By warming our body from the outside, our body then cools down from the inside. The process might not only help us fall asleep better, but might also increase the quality of our sleep. To top off the end of a long day, a CBD bath ball could also add to the bath’s relaxing effects. Now isn’t that something to sleep on...