Understanding How CBD Can Affect Your Sleep Habits
Most of us just take it for granted. We go to sleep and wake up ready for a new day. But if you have trouble sleeping you know how important it is. You want to be your best but you know you can’t do it without getting some decent sleep.
Sure, you could try different things like finding the best mattresses or the best pillows. But what if those don’t work either? Many people are turning to more natural sleep aids as opposed to prescription or over-the-counter medications.
So, what about CBD for sleep? You may have heard of CBD but could it really help you sleep better? If you suffer from insomnia, narcolepsy, daytime sleepiness, or other issues then CBD is at least worth your time to investigate whether it could help you.
Does CBD Have An Impact On Sleep?
By this time you have probably heard about CBD and may have a pretty good idea about what CBD is. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound that is found in the cannabis plant. CBD is not as controversial as THC because it does not have any psychoactive properties like THC does.
CBD has exploded in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. People around the globe have been turning to CBD to try to help with a variety of ailments. The perceived health benefits of CBD are being more closely studied for the most part. But there is still not very much clinical evidence to determine what impact CBD has on sleep.
But regardless of clinical studies, there are a whole lot of CBD users who claim that CBD does help them sleep. That’s good enough for some people to at least give it a try. There has been at least some research on how CBD affects sleep.
What Does Research Say So Far
One published research example looked at how CBD impacts anxiety as well as sleep. It included a group of psychiatric patients who were experiencing elevated levels of anxiety and were also having problems sleeping.
CBD was given to the patients and some pretty impressive results were being seen. Within 30 days of starting the daily CBD routine anxiety had decreased in almost 80% of the patients. In the same token, their sleep scores improved by almost 70% over the baseline.
You might be asking what that really means. Well, that’s a good question. In our minds, it means one of two things. It could mean that CBD is showing itself to be an effective sleep aid that is plant-based and completely safe.
The numbers may also mean that CBD is very effective at treating anxiety and the reduced anxiety is what is actually allowing the patients to be able to sleep better. These are obviously two different ways of looking at this but in the end, the results were the same. The patients were getting better sleep.
The question still remains as to whether or not CBD directly contributes to better sleep or indirectly. By indirectly we mean that it is possible that CBD helped to decrease the feeling of anxiety which, in turn, then led to patients being able to sleep better.
There is some debate as to which way this should be interpreted. In our honest opinion, we tend to side with CBD being very effective in helping with feelings of anxiety which then helps people sleep better.
What About THC?
THC and the effects of THC on sleep have been studied more in-depth than CBD. THC does have a certain effect like a sedative and has shown that it definitely can help people get to sleep more quickly. That is still different than THC putting people to sleep because it doesn’t do that.
THC is more controversial than CBD because it does have psychoactive effects on your brain where CBD does not. This makes some people shy away from THC. But when it comes to sleeping THC helps people to feel more calm and comfortable and allows them to sleep.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, or CBD Isolate?
If you decide to test the waters of taking CBD to help you sleep then you have more decisions to make. First, you have to decide whether you will choose a product that contains full-spectrum hemp, broad-spectrum, or just plain CBD.
We know, it sounds like a lot. But we will briefly try to explain the difference between these options.
There are hundreds of compounds that can be found in the cannabis plant and the industrial hemp plants where we get our CBD from. Each individual strain of hemp actually carries its own unique profile of cannabinoids and terpenes.
When CBD is extracted from the entire plant you get a full-spectrum of all of these compounds in your CBD product. This also means that your CBD will contain some trace amounts of THC as well. It will be less than 0.3% because that is the legal limit of THC allowed.
This is not an issue for some people but others would prefer not to have any THC at all. The benefit of a full-spectrum product is that you reap the benefits of everything working together, called the entourage effect.
Broad-spectrum CBD products are a good mix. You get the benefit of most of the cannabinoids and terpenes of the hemp plant. But the refinement process removes all THC and some other unwanted plant materials such as chlorophyll or wax.
So with broad-spectrum products, you still get the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes but none of the ‘bad’ stuff. It allows you to use CBD products without worrying about tripping a drug test at your place of employment.
This is just CBD in its purest form. This requires a lot of refining from the hemp extract to get rid of all of the other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes associated with the hemp plant. There can still be trace amounts of these things but it will be 99%+ pure to be considered a CBD isolate product.
Best Types of CBD For Sleep
There are different forms that you can take once you decide if CBD is something you want to try to help you sleep. When we say forms we are talking about things like CBD oil, CBD edibles, or even CBD topicals.
Each of these has its own advantages and in the end, it will mostly come down to personal preference. They can all be effective.
If you are taking CBD for sleep then we would suggest gravitating towards either CBD oil or CBD capsules. These will be the easiest forms to get started with and are both very effective.
CBD capsules are the easiest as all you do is swallow gel capsules. It’s basically the same thing as taking multivitamins. There is no taste, you just take them with water. Our recommendation would be to take them 30-60 minutes before going to bed.
What Other Ingredients?
While CBD in itself does seem to help promote sleep there are also specially formulated products that are further designed to help with sleeping.
One such example is this CBD tincture from Pachamama CBD. They have incorporated Kava Kava Root extract and Valerian Root extract into this CBD tincture.
The Kava has shown to help promote a blissful state of mind and Valerian root is a natural sleep aid. These work together, with the CBD, to help you feel very relaxed and tranquil.
CBD Dosage: How Much To Take
Deciding exactly how much CBD to take is another important step in the process. The best recommendation that we can give you is to start out with the recommendations that the CBD brand gives you.
Start low and go slow. Meaning start with a low dose and gradually increase as you go.
CBD is very well tolerated by people and is generally considered to be safe with very few side effects. If you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on dosing guidelines then you won’t have any issues.
We will note that higher doses of CBD do seem to have more sedative effects than a low dose. This would be doses of the 600mg range. Now, this could change when other ingredients are added to the CBD tincture so you will need to keep that in mind. It is still best to stick with the recommendation of the CBD brand to start with.
Does CBD Affect REM Sleep
There are two main types of sleep: REM(rapid eye movement) and NREM(non-rapid-eye movement). We have gone into more detail about some of the main differences between REM and NREM sleep in other articles.
During REM sleep your body actually becomes temporarily paralyzed from your chin down. This is to prevent you from flailing or acting out during dreams that you are experiencing during REM sleep. It’s an amazing phenomenon but some people with Parkinson’s Disease or REM behavior disorder do actually continue to move during REM sleep.
CBD has shown initial indications that it may be able to help people who are experiencing these types of issues during REM sleep. Higher doses, ranging upwards to 300mg of CBD, did seem to ease these types of symptoms while lower doses did not.
Is CBD Safe To Take For Sleep
The bottom line is that CBD is absolutely safe to take for most people. Possibly the biggest issue that many will have is how it could interact with other medications that you are already taking. This may or may not be an issue depending on what the medication is.
We would definitely recommend that you speak with a healthcare professional before you start taking CBD. There are still some unknowns about CBD and how it interacts with other drugs but up to this point, CBD has been very well tolerated, even with high doses.
If you are wondering if CBD overdose is possible then you are not alone in that either. Studies have shown that CBD overdose is not something that you would need to be concerned with as very high levels of CBD have shown to be safe.
Final Thoughts From Sleep Reports
If taking CBD to help you sleep is a new concept to you then we understand it can be a big decision. Taking extra supplements to help you sleep is not something we believe you should take lightly. As we mentioned, we do recommend seeking medical advice prior to starting any supplement, including CBD.
One great thing about CBD is that it is all-natural. It is not a medication or a prescription from a doctor. There are very few side effects and most likely you won’t experience any negative side effects from using CBD.
The other thing is that it can possibly help you sleep better. There are some mixed opinions as to exactly how CBD can help but it has helped many people sleep. It is very possible that CBD helps people sleep simply because it helps to ease some of their anxiety which allows their bodies to naturally go into a sleep cycle as it should.
Either way, we believe that CBD could be worth a shot if you need help getting to sleep.