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Did you know that people who sleep well not only get sick less often but also have a lower risk of serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease?
It is estimated that somewhere between 50 and 70 million Americans are affected by sleep-related problems, with around 10% suffering from chronic insomnia, so it’s no wonder that so many people are on the lookout for a safe and effective sleep aid.
In this article, we’re going to take a quick look at the science that supports using melatonin as a natural sleep aid, as well as the reason why many people believe them to be a dream combination 💤
To learn more about healthy sleep habits click here.
CBD and Melatonin: How Do They Work?
While you are asleep, your body completes a variety of processes that are essential for optimal health. It produces hormones and neurotransmitters that have been depleted over the course of the day and also busies itself with cellular repair and memory building, so getting adequate sleep each night is more important than you might think.
Unfortunately, prescription and over-the-counter remedies often come with negative side effects and sometimes they can even make the problem worse.
Both CBD and melatonin are touted as safer, natural solutions that can help you get a better night’s sleep, but how does CBD help you sleep, and can you take CBD oil and melatonin together?
CBD and Sleep
The endocannabinoid system plays an essential role in the regulation of our sleep-wake cycle, which is why it’s popularly thought that cannabinoids could offer a natural solution to a better night’s sleep.
There is a small amount of research that suggests CBD can help people with sleep problems by interacting with a specific type of receptor in the brain that is thought to govern this sleep-wake cycle. A review of sleep and cannabis that was published in the Current Psychiatric Reports Journal, in 2017, reported that preliminary research indicates that CBD could indeed possess therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia because of this interaction.
However, according to Dr. Joseph Maroon, a clinical professor and neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh, CBD shows great potential as a sleep aid largely due to its possible ability to alleviate pain and anxiety.
He’s studied the benefits of CBD and sleep extensively and while he doesn’t believe it to be a cure for insomnia, he does think it can benefit people that have trouble sleeping occasionally.
Both pain and anxiety can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, and Dr. Maroon believes that CBD can offer a non-addictive, safe, and natural method to more harmful prescription and over-the-counter sleep medications.
A three-month study, conducted in 2019, involved 72 adults presenting anxiety and sleep concerns. A massive 67% of participants that were given CBD had improved sleep scores in the first month, but in the following two months the numbers declined, suggesting that CBD may be more beneficial as a sleep aid for short-term sleep problems and that its effects may reduce following continuous usage.
While the research looks fairly promising, it’s clear that more research on CBD and sleep is needed in the future. In the meantime, anecdotal evidence is still clearly in favor of using CBD for sleep. According to a survey by Consumer Reports, around 10% of CBD users take CBD to help them sleep better at night, with the majority of these people claiming that it works for them.
Melatonin and sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that is released primarily by the pineal gland in your brain to help your body know when it’s time to sleep. Your melatonin levels will usually start to increase when the sun sets at night and then levels drop again in the morning.
Melatonin is popularly known as the sleep hormone, although it doesn’t work by simply knocking you out. Instead, it helps prepare your body for sleep by binding to receptors in your brain that can help you relax by reducing nerve activity. For example, it is known to reduce levels of dopamine, a hormone that helps you stay awake.
If your body isn’t producing enough melatonin then you may struggle to fall asleep and sleep well and, unfortunately, there are many external factors that can affect your levels of melatonin
Not getting enough light in the daytime and being exposed to too much light at night (especially blue light from computer screens) can result in decreased levels of melatonin, as well as stress, smoking, and age.
Some people take melatonin supplements to help counter low levels of melatonin, as a more natural sleep aid that comes with fewer side effects than many prescription-based sleep aids.
CBD + Melatonin gummies
Gummies are super practical for getting the right dose of CBD and/or melatonin in a quick and delicious way. They are excellent for giving you a full night of deep restorative sleep and won’t give you a blurry “hangover” the day after.
Try making your own CBD and melatonin gummies with our gummy recipe here. All you have to do is switch the regular CBD oil for a CBD + Melatonin mixture and you’ll have delicious and practical melatonin gummies ready in no time.
The Dream Combination
If you want to try taking CBD and melatonin to help you achieve more restful sleep then the good news is that you can take them together.
Both cannabinoid and melatonin receptors are parts of the same group of G-protein coupled receptors, which is one of the reasons that it’s thought their benefits on sleep complement each other so well.
Supplementing your body with melatonin may help get you to sleep by reversing hormonal disruption and taking CBD may improve the quality of your sleep by alleviating any anxiety and pain you’re experiencing.
It’s important to note, however, that when taken in small doses CBD can act as a stimulant and it’s only in larger doses that it seems to have a sedating effect, so working out your correct dosing is extremely important.
Luckily, CBD has a good safety profile, but as an active compound, it could potentially interact with other medications you’re on, so we recommend that you speak with a physician about possible contraindications before you start.