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CBD and Melatonin for Sleep: How Do They Compare?

 CBD and Melatonin for Sleep: How Do They Compare?

After hours of tossing and turning, you wake up at 3 a.m. with your mind racing as you watch your bedside clock tick deeper and deeper into the morning. As the sun rises and your alarm blares, you may find yourself feeling sluggish, unrested and unprepared for the day to come. 

Sound familiar?

A bad night’s sleep can lead to impaired memory, stress and reduced concentration — and it’s often not easy to overcome.

Together as a sleep aid, [melatonin and CBD] can work in tandem to enhance your body’s ability to fall asleep and sleep more soundly. 

If you’ve been searching for solutions to sleep problems, you may be wondering about using CBD and melatonin for sleep. Fortunately, both CBD and melatonin can work synergistically to support a night of restful sleep. 

What Causes Poor Sleep?

Sound, unbroken sleep is the foundation for functioning at your best. Sadly, poor quality sleep and lack of sleep are all-too-common occurrences. Up to 70 million adults in the United States alone suffer from sleep issues..

Why do we have so much trouble sleeping? There are many potential contributing factors:

  • Stress – Demanding workplaces, long commutes, busy personal lives — in today’s world, it’s hard to avoid everyday stressors, which may contribute to a restless mind at night.
  • Artificial lighting and electronics – Most of us spend the evenings on our phones or in front of our TVs (or both). While scrolling your feed or watching a favorite show can feel like a good way to unwind after a long day, the blue light from electronic devices can disrupt your brain’s sleep-wake cycle.
  • Sedentary lifestyle – For most people, physical activity naturally leads to better sleep. But with so much time spent sitting in our cars and at our desks, it can be a struggle to find time to get up and move each day. Consequently, this can contribute to feelings of restlessness and excess energy at night.

How CBD and Melatonin Can Improve Your Sleep

Consistent sleep issues can be a challenge to overcome. Remedies for sleep are highly individual, and what works for some people doesn’t work for everyone. In addition, many people are concerned with the possibility of habit-forming side effects when using prescription medications for sleep.

Fortunately, CBD and melatonin are natural alternatives that may help promote better sleep. That said, both CBD and melatonin affect your body differently—while CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), melatonin interacts with the central nervous system (CNS).

Together as a sleep aid, they can work in tandem to enhance your body’s ability to fall asleep and sleep more soundly. To understand why they work so well together, let’s take a closer look at how each one affects your body.

How Does Melatonin Work?

Melatonin is a hormone that’s naturally produced by your brain. It plays a key role in the sleep-wake cycle (also known as your circadian rhythm).

That said, melatonin plays numerous roles within your body:

  • May help you fall asleep – Melatonin is released in your brain to help you fall asleep. It works most effectively when you maintain a regular bedtime, which allows your brain to know when to produce it.
  • Works in tandem with your circadian rhythm – Our brains are wired to release melatonin as evening approaches and light decreases. Overexposure to light at nighttime, especially blue light waves from electronic devices, can throw off the brain’s sense of when to release melatonin, therefore affecting your ability to fall asleep.   
  • Declines in production over time – As you age, your body’s melatonin production decreases. This may be one reason older people often struggle to fall asleep at night. 

Luckily, melatonin supplements seem to work similarly to your body’s own melatonin. A review of 19 studies involving over 1,600 participants found that using melatonin supplements showed a significant link to improved sleep quality and a healthy sleep cycle.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD is a type of molecule known as a cannabinoid. More specifically, CBD is what’s known as a phytocannabinoid (a cannabinoid derived from plant sources, like hemp).

That said, cannabinoids aren’t confined to plant materials. Our bodies also naturally produce cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, and endocannabinoid receptors that are found throughout the body. Because it’s so similar to our own endocannabinoids, CBD can interact with the receptors to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Scientists are still studying the ECS to learn exactly what it’s responsible for and how CBD affects it. However, we do know that the ECS plays a part in regulating:

  • Mood
  • Brain functions, including learning and memory
  • Cardiovascular function 
  • Digestion
  • Appetite (you can take CBD for appetite stimulation)
  • Sleep 

CBD does not directly cause sleepiness the way that melatonin does. However, because the ECS plays a role in our moods and relaxation, it’s believed that CBD may help promote feelings of calmness. That said, consuming CBD at night may help you sleep more peacefully.

Does CBD Cause a High?

Although CBD is derived from the cannabis plant family, which also includes marijuana, it won’t get you high.

The substance in cannabis that causes psychoactive effects is THC. Like CBD, THC is a cannabinoid. However, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in a different way than CBD does, binding with ECS receptors to produce the feeling of being high.

A CBD product can include trace amounts of THC while still being safe, legal and non-intoxicating. Just make sure the label specifies that the product contains 0.3% or less THC.

How CBD and Melatonin Work Together 

Both CBD and melatonin can support healthy sleep in different ways and pairing the two may be an effective nighttime strategy for two reasons:

  • Melatonin helps you fall asleep – Adding melatonin to your routine can support your body’s natural supply of sleep-inducing hormones. If your sleep cycle has been disrupted due to irregular bedtimes or stress and you find falling asleep difficult, additional melatonin may be helpful. It may also help you stay asleep longer.
  • CBD supports relaxation – CBD may help with stress reduction, which can be beneficial if your sleep issues are related to lying awake worrying, replaying conversations or thinking about that endless to-do list. It can also help ease physical discomfort after a tough workout or a long day.

Together, the effects of CBD and melatonin may help you address two of the major causes of poor sleep quality — trouble falling asleep and trouble staying asleep.

How to Take CBD and Melatonin

If you’re thinking about incorporating CBD and melatonin into your nightly routine, you’ll want to take dosage, time and safety into consideration.

How Much CBD and Melatonin Do You Need?

The amount of CBD and melatonin needed for sleep varies based on individual factors like your height, weight and tolerance. You’ll need to find out how much works for you by starting with a small amount and gradually working up until you find an effective quantity. 

To determine how much CBD and melatonin you need for your desired results, follow these steps:

  1. Always follow the product label – The amount of CBD and melatonin in a tablet or CBD gummy can vary widely, so check the label and follow the recommended dosing guidelines carefully.
  2. Start small – Begin with the lowest dose recommended on the label and increase your dosage if needed.
  3. Go slow – When increasing the amount of CBD you take, go slowly. You’ll also want to observe the effects over the course of several days.

When Should You Take CBD and Melatonin?

CBD and melatonin both take some time to reach peak concentration in your bloodstream: CBD can take anywhere from 60 minutes to six hours, while melatonin is most effective about 60 minutes after taking it.

You may find it’s best to take your CBD and melatonin supplement about one hour before bed. The melatonin will take effect as you fall asleep, while the CBD will continue to work for up to six hours.

The combined effect may help you stay asleep longer, ease restlessness as you sleep and maintain a relaxed state if you wake up in the middle of the night.

Are CBD and Melatonin Safe?

Research on the safety of CBD and melatonin has found that they are usually well tolerated. Although both appear to be safe for most people, there are always risks of side effects with any supplement.

When side effects of CBD do occur, they are generally mild, such as stomach upset or headache. Generally, side effects should clear up shortly after you stop using the product. The most common side effects of CBD and melatonin include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach upset or cramps
  • Fatigue

That said, to ensure your safety, always consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or are taking other medications.

What to Look For in CBD Supplements

When choosing a CBD product, it’s important to buy from a reputable company that can certify the CBD content and source of its product. A study conducted in 2022 found that 60% of CBD products sold as sleep support had significantly more or less of the active ingredient than their labels claimed.

To guard against this and other unwanted ingredients in your CBD, look for:

  • Independent or third-party lab testing – Does the company stand behind the accuracy of the label? Check for information about how the product is tested and what kind of guarantee the company offers to back its claims.
  • Organic, pesticide- and herbicide-free – CBD products can contain contaminants like heavy metals and pesticide residues. To avoid this, opt for companies that provide specifics about the growing conditions of their hemp and guarantee that their end product is free from chemical contamination.
  • THC content under 0.3% – To be legal under current federal law, CBD products must contain no more than 0.3% THC. Ensure that your CBD product is clearly labeled with the amount of THC to comply with federal laws and avoid intoxicating effects.

Should You Choose Isolate, Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum?

Any CBD product you choose should specify whether it’s a CBD isolate, full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD product. These terms indicate whether the CBD molecule has been separated from the other naturally-occurring cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids found alongside it in the cannabis plant.

More than 100 terpenes and cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis plants. Although CBD is one of the most potent substances found in cannabis, studies have found that it may be less effective on its own than when it works alongside these supporting compounds. This is known as the entourage effect.

Here’s what to know if you see these terms on your CBD product label:

  • CBDIsolate – This is CBD that has been separated from the other compounds in the cannabis plant.
  • Full spectrum CBD – This is a CBD product that contains other terpenes, as well as THC. Remember, CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered non-intoxicating under federal regulations.
  • Broad spectrum CBD – This is a type of CBD product that contains other terpenes but no THC.

Six Tips For a Relaxing Sleep Routine

In addition to supplementing your sleep with CBD and melatonin, you can also adopt healthy habits that promote restfulness. If you’re struggling with sleep, try the following:

  • Set your bedtime – Mom and Dad had a good reason for sending you to bed at a specific hour. Keeping a consistent bedtime helps your body release hormones like melatonin and cortisol at the appropriate time and helps your brain shut down properly. 
  • Get 7 or more hours of sleep – Plan to go to bed at least 7 hours before you need to get up. Current research shows that this is the healthy range for most adults. Don’t underestimate the effects of sleep deprivation — unfortunately, you can’t make up long-term sleep debt by sleeping in once or twice a week. 
  • Add your bedtime supplement – Try beginning your nighttime ritual with your CBD and melatonin product to start the process of de-stressing from the day. Make it a part of your calming routine by preparing a cup of tea or warm milk 60 minutes before bedtime (opt for an herbal, caffeine-free tea such as chamomile). 
  • Keep electronics out of the bedroom – Shut off your phone at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Make your bedroom a space that’s only for sleeping and intimacy. This will help your brain build the habit of slowing down when you enter your bedroom.
  • Unwind before bed – Instead of watching TV or scrolling on your phone, try a relaxing activity like reading a book for 20 to 30 minutes before heading into the bedroom.
  • Make your bedroom a sanctuary – Decorate in a way that feels calming and peaceful for you. Keep colors, decor and lighting soothing and harmonious.

Get Your Beauty Sleep With Zebra CBD

Restorative, deep sleep is one of your body’s most essential tools to keep you healthy, happy and energized. Now that you know more about the uses of CBD and melatonin, you’ve taken the first step on the road back to restful [sleep.

If you’re ready for the next step, Zebra CBD is here to provide safe, reliable, guaranteed sleep support products.

Zebra CBD Sleep Support Tablets and CBD and CBN gummies are great CBD sleep products, carefully formulated with the right balance of CBD and melatonin to help you get the good night’s sleep you’ve been dreaming of.

The benefits of CBD are not limited to improving sleep quality; you can also use CBD for hangover cures by helping promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. And regardless of the season, is CBD oil good for colds? CBD may help to improve mood, sleep and calm you while your body recovers from a mild cold.

Sources:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Healthy Sleep Habits. https://sleepeducation.org/healthy-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits/

Brookings Institution. The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer

Cleveland Clinic. Here’s What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep (and How Much You Really Need a Night). https://health.clevelandclinic.org/happens-body-dont-get-enough-sleep/

Current Psychiatry Reports. Cannabis, cannabinoids and sleep: A review of the literature. https://www.med.upenn.edu/cbti/assets/user-content/documents/s11920-017-0775-9.pdf

European Journal of Internal Medicine. The therapeutic effects of Cannabis and cannabinoids: An update from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2018.01.003

Frontiers in Plant Science. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2018.01969/full

Forbes. Study Shows Most CBD Sleep Aids Are Mislabeled. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajherrington/2022/04/27/study-shows-most-cbd-sleep-aids-are-mislabeled/?sh=21e32fd135ef

Harvard Health Publishing. The Endocannabinoid System: Essential and Mysterious. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569

Harvard Health Publishing. CBD products are everywhere. But do they work? https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/cbd-products-are-everywhere-but-do-they-work

Journal of Psychiatric Research. Effects of smartphone use with and without blue light at night in healthy adults: A randomized, double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled comparison. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2016.12.010

Mayo Clinic. Prescription Sleeping Pills: What’s Right For You? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/in-depth/sleeping-pills/art-20043959

Mayo Clinic. Is melatonin a helpful sleep aid — and what should I know about melatonin side effects? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/melatonin-side-effects/faq-20057874

Mayo Clinic. Melatonin. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-melatonin/art-20363071

Medical News Today. A Comparison of CBD and THC. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325871

Sleep. Sleep-Promoting Effects of Melatonin: At What Dose, in Whom, Under What Conditions, and by What Mechanisms? https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/20/10/908/2726014?login=true

Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256190766_Cannabis_a_complex_plant_different_compounds_and_different_effects_on_individuals

Cleveland Clinic. Here’s What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep (and How Much You Really Need a Night). https://health.clevelandclinic.org/happens-body-dont-get-enough-sleep/


Co-founder of Copycat Copywriters, Adam has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies on a wide array of topics, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

About the Author

Adam Biederman Image

Adam Biederman

As co-founder and lead writer of Copycat Copywriters, one of Adam’s primary areas of expertise is within the budding CBD and cannabis space. He has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies, producing a collection of white papers, press releases, blog posts, articles and ebooks about a wide array of industry-related subjects, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

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