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Can CBD Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep?

  • 3 min read

young man sleeping

By John Wood

164 million ...

That’s the number of Americans that struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 Consumer Reports survey.

The American Sleep Association says at least 40 million Americans every year suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders. In fact, poor sleep is the number one reported medical complaint in the United States. It’s why Americans are predicted to spend almost $102 billion billion on sleep remedies by 2023 (up from $69.5 billion in 2015). Lack of sleep can affect your ability to think clearly and react quickly. It not only increases your stress level, but it can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and — if that’s not enough ̦— it can make you ineffective and grumpy.

It’s thought that cannabidiol boosts the levels of tryptophan in the bloodstream, which stimulates the production of melatonin. More melatonin generally means better sleep.

So, could CBD be the sleep solution you’re looking for? If the answer is “yes,” it would be ideal because CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the hemp plant. Plus, research has shown that ingesting CBD is safe, and it’s not habit-forming (even at high doses).

As someone who often suffers from not being able to sleep at night, I decided to do some research and find out for myself.

The CBD ‘Dilemma’

One of the first things I was confronted with was the following “dilemma”: Because CBD is known to have what many describe as “an energizing awakening effect,” how can it possibly help you sleep?

It’s a good question. Because I find it difficult to sleep at night, there have been times I’ve resorted to taking a sleep aid. I’ve done so with the sinking feeling that I might be doing myself more harm than good when it comes to the long-term effects. Sleeping pills are a popular solution. But how effective are they?

Sleeping Pills Have “Modest Benefits”

In a 2018 Consumer Reports survey, only about a third of those surveyed said that after they took sleep medication, they experienced “very good or excellent sleep.”

Michael Sateia, M.D., emeritus professor of psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, told Consumer Reports that in terms of improvement of total sleep time, “the benefits of sleep medications are pretty modest.” He also stresses that sleeping pills “should never be used long-term.”

Daniel Buysse, MD, another sleep researcher commenting on the survey, stated that “Most [sleep medications] only increase total sleep time by about 20 to 30 minutes.”

Furthermore, there are risks involved: The side effects of sleeping pills include grogginess, confusion, constipation, dizziness, gas, heartburn, headache, stomach pain, weakness… the list goes on. 

Attacking the Root Cause

Ok, on to CBD.

CBD has the potential to be the ideal sleep solution because it attacks the root cause rather thanmasking the symptoms. 

There are a variety of reasons someone may have problems sleeping at night. Near the top of the list are stress (concerns about work, health and family), and joint and muscle discomfort. 

In her book CBD Oil, Everyday Secrets,Gretchen Lidicker writes that for those who suffer from stress-induced sleep disruption, “CBD is more likely to help calm the person’s mind before bed and get the person to sleep.”

If CBD can improve your mood and reduce your stress level, it just stands to reason that it may help you sleep, right?

She adds that if lack of sleep is caused by something other than stress, CBD is less likely to provide  relief (although she says it’s still “definitely worth experimenting” with CBD).

That said, studies have shown that CBD may be useful for mitigating stress — plus it helps control our endocannabinoid system, which regulates mood, pain and other biological processes.

If CBD can improve your mood and reduce your stress level, it just stands to reason that it may help you sleep, right?

The Role of Melatonin in Sleep

The human internal clock (also known as the sleep/wake cycle) is regulated by melatonin (which is a product of the pineal gland). During the day, because the pineal gland in your brain senses it’s light outside, it refrains from making melatonin. At night, this gland produces melatonin.

An amino acid in our bodies called tryptophan produces serotonin that in turn can be converted into melatonin. It’s thought that cannabidiol boosts the levels of tryptophan in the bloodstream, which stimulates the production of melatonin. More melatonin generally means better sleep.

That’s why Zebra CBD Sleep Support contains melatonin, along with additional natural ingredients that support sleep, including chamomile extract, valerian root and L-theanine.

With a single tablet taken 30 minutes prior to bedtime, you can expect a deep, peaceful sleep. You can also enjoy peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to trade unpleasant or even risky side effects for slumber.