Sometimes, getting a good night’s sleep is anything but straightforward.
Many people struggle with sleep. Even after a long day, sleep is elusive, forcing a choice between embracing their inner night owl or tossing and turning for hours. Some might have no trouble dozing off, but suffer from waking up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts.
When sleep evades you and you find yourself asking “why can’t I go to sleep at night?”, the first step is creating a healthy sleep routine.
When it comes to deep sleep, one supplement rises above the rest: CBD oil for sleep. You already know CBD can help you relax, but you may not be sure if it can actually help you turn the lights off and achieve a night of more restful sleep.
Simply put it can. For many people, CBD and sleep go hand in hand. In this short guide, we’ll explain the science behind CBD for sleep and explain how it can contribute to a healthy sleep cycle.
How CBD Helps With Sleep
Do you know the root cause behind your sleepless nights?
Common sleep disturbances can be attributed to:
- Stress – Stress isn't just in your head—it creates a physiological response. As your adrenaline and cortisol levels rise, your body primes itself for “fight-or-flight,” This can mean that your body actively fights sleep. If you don’t know how to manage stress and calm yourself down, then you may find yourself tossing and turning at night.
- Physical discomfort – When you’re distracted by sore muscles, stiff joints or even skin irritation, it can be difficult to relax enough to achieve REM sleep. If you’re frustrated about the discomfort, it can even result in stress, worsening the issue.
- Alcohol, caffeine, and other substance use – Many people look forward to coffee in the morning and a nightcap at the end of a long day. While using these substances can be fine in moderation, overreliance on caffeine and alcohol can interrupt your sleep pattern and rhythms, making it harder to fall and stay asleep over time.
- Inflammation – From viral infections to nervous thoughts, inflammation is your body’s natural response to threats. It signals your body to fight the invader and is necessary for healthy healing. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, negative effects come into play: inducing drowsiness while making it difficult to sleep being first and foremost.
The good news is that CBD can help you address most of these root causes that are interfering with your sleep cycle.
With stress-fighting and muscle-soothing effects, CBD can help you fall asleep more easily and potentially reduce your reliance on other substances that negatively impact sleep quality.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
How does CBD help to achieve more restful sleep? It all comes down to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The ECS is a network of cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.
The ECS is thought to play a role in regulating:
- Circadian rhythm
As noted, the ECS is specifically a network of cannabinoid receptors.
THC and CBD both have their characteristic effects thanks to their interaction with these receptors:
- THC can overwhelm the ECS, resulting in mood changes, euphoria and increased sleepiness. However, it can also have unwanted effects, like short-term memory loss and paranoia.
- In contrast, CBD seems to have a more indirect, soothing effect, supporting our body’s natural regulation in the above areas. Additionally,on its own, CBD is not psychotropic.
This means CBD for insomnia can help address the root causes of poor sleep—stress, aches and inflammation—as well as support a healthy circadian rhythm.
Developing New Sleep Habits
Ready to start using a CBD product to support healthy sleep? The first step is making it part of a healthy, holistic approach to your overall routine.
To develop better sleep habits, you’ll need to stop grabbing ZZZ’s whenever you can. While sleeping in or napping might feel good in the short term, the Mayo Clinic explains that:
“If you experience insomnia or poor sleep quality at night, napping might worsen these problems. Long or frequent naps might interfere with nighttime sleep.”
Instead, focus on working towards a regular sleep schedule. Establishing a sleep pattern requires just two basic steps:
- Go to sleep at the same time every night
- Wake up at the same time every morning
However, when you’re struggling to fall asleep, that’s easier said than done.
Best practice for falling asleep include:
- Making your bedroom a sanctuary – Make sure your bedroom is the place you sleep, not the place you watch TV, check your email and eat your breakfast. Over time, your body and subconscious mind may begin to associate your bed with these activities rather than sleep.
Get comfortable – If your mattress is too hard or soft, your pillow too thin or your sheets too hot, you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night due to physical discomfort. You don’t need to spend big to feel better - try investing in some breathable cotton sheets or one new pillow.
- Tidy the room – If there are laundry piles at the foot of the bed and magazines on the floor, your bedroom likely won’t be a welcoming, soothing space. Invest in storage solutions to declutter your room.
- Make sure it’s dark – Street lights might keep you up late, while morning sun can wake you up early. If you struggle with insufficient sleep, consider blackout curtains or a sleep mask.
- Prepare for noise – If ambient noises tend to wake you up, try earplugs. However, some people are soothed by ambient noise. If this sounds like you, you’ll enjoy a noise machine.
- Set a curfew for screens – Turn off your cell phone, tablet and computer screen an hour before bed. If you absolutely must use a device, make sure you’ve changed the nighttime color settings to avoid blue light.
- Cut caffeine and alcohol before bed – Try not to have caffeine after lunch, and make sure your last alcoholic drink is at least an hour before bedtime.
For more information on how you can improve your sleep routine, check out our top tips for a good night’s sleep.
Creating Your Nighttime Routine
Once you’ve made sure your room is tidy and comfortable, it’s time for a nightly routine that lets your body and mind know it’s time to sleep.
Ayurvedic expert Cate Stillman recommends the following activities and actions:
- Begin to turn off bright lights in your home after dinner. This can have a calming effect on the body.
- Take a walk after dinner to help aid digestion and encourage sleepiness.
- Meditate before bed to get yourself into a relaxed, calm state.
In addition, try out a CBD product that best suits your lifestyle:
CBD Lavender Milk
Create a soothing nighttime beverage with sleep-supportive CBD and lavender.
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup whole milk or coconut milk
- 1 T dried lavender
- 1 t honey
- 1 full dropper Plant People Drops + Sleep CBD oil
To create your lavender milk, bring the lavender, water and honey to a boil in a saucepan. Turn off and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain out lavender as you pour the tea into a mug, then top it with a milk of your choice. Add the proper CBD dosage.
Tip: Be sure to use milk with some fat content. Otherwise, the lipophilic CBD oil won’t have anything to bind to.
If the main thing holding you back from better sleep is physical discomfort, give your sore spots some TLC before heading to bed.
A CBD self-massage can also be deeply grounding even if you don’t suffer from body aches. Consider a long, gentle foot massage. This can create grounding energy that pulls you out of your nervous thoughts and back into your body, preparing you to feel your fatigue and doze off.
If you need a quicker nighttime ritual, use CBD tinctures sublingually. This is the fastest way to absorb pure CBD and its beneficial effects, which is one reason why people try CBD oil for insomnia.
- Place 1 full dropper CBD oil under your tongue
- Keep it in your mouth for 30 seconds or longer
- Swallow the remaining oil
Consistency is Key
To change your habits and get better quality sleep, it’s important to stay consistent. CBD’s regulating effects develop and evolve over time. After a month of consistent use, you should begin to experience deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Likewise, your other new habits will have a cumulative effect in diminishing common sleep disturbances.
If you slip up and take a day (or two) off from your routine, simply try again the next night.
Over time, your body and mind will begin to learn when it’s time for sleep. Eventually, as sleep becomes easier and less stressful, you may even look forward to hitting the hay! After all, deep REM sleep helps you dream and heal.
Relax with Plant People
Plant People is committed to connecting people with CBD’s full range of healing effects. Whether you’re suffering from aches, dull skin or insufficient sleep, we have a plant-based remedy that can help you reach your wellness goals and overcome daytime sleepiness. Formulated with organic, U.S. grown hemp, our products combine CBD with other adaptogenic herbs to provide natural support.
Try out specialty blends like Drops + Sleep to experience a better, more restful sleep.
The Mayo Clinic. Napping. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/napping/art-20048319
Cate Stillman. Body Thrive. https://bodythrive.com/
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