It’s frustrating to struggle with sleep, but if you feel like you’ve tried everything to get a good night’s sleep, there might be one option you haven’t tried yet: CBD. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is a compound found in weed and hemp. It doesn’t have the psychoactive effects of THC, but could help alleviate sleep difficulties.
Sleep medications may not be effective, and could be habit forming. They’re usually considered a last resort after improving sleep hygiene or working on sleep therapy. However, CBD could be used to improve short term sleep problems.
How CBD Helps Sleep
Research published in the Permanente Journal indicates CBD can be helpful in treating a range of conditions, including anxiety. The research suggests a calming effect in the central nervous system. And generally, calming is helpful for sleep. The study found that adults with anxiety or poor sleep were able to improve anxiety and sleep scores within the first month.
How to Use CBD For Sleep
Follow these tips to make CBD part of your sleep health.
Practice good sleep hygiene. While CBD can be helpful for sleep, it can’t undo poor sleep hygiene. That means if you’re drinking alcohol or coffee late at night, using your phone or other screens in bed, and keeping erratic sleep hours, you’re likely to continue to struggle with sleep even with the help of CBD. Avoid caffeine in the evening, and cut off screen time at least one hour before bed. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, and follow a consistent bedtime routine. Then, it’s a good idea to supplement with CBD if you’re still struggling.
Don’t make it a habit. Though CBD can help with sleep, research indicate its effectiveness could wear off after a month or so of regular use. It’s a good idea to limit your usage only to when you feel like you need help getting to sleep.
Use CBD to manage anxiety. Anxiety and stress can be a real problem for sleep, keeping you up at night as you recover from the stress of the day, or stay up with anxious thoughts running through your head. CBD shows promise for reducing anxiety, so if you’re feeling especially anxious or stressed before bed, it might be a good time to use CBD.
Use CBD to manage pain. Another common culprit for difficult sleep is pain. Chronic or acute pain could be keeping you up at night. But CBD may help by easing painful inflammation.
Consider your dose. A small dose of CBD might not be enough to be effective, but you should be careful not to overdo it. A dose of 25 to 30 mg may be enough, but if it’s not, slowly increase until you find the dose that works for you. Also, keep in mind that the way you take CBD makes a difference. Edibles or oils might take some time to kick in, while vaping can offer a nearly immediate effect. However, ingesting CBD might be a better choice if you need help staying asleep, as they can release CBD more slowly and can last later into the night than vaping.
Whether you suffer from chronic insomnia or the occasional lack of sleep, you can’t feel your best when you’re not well rested. CBD could help you get the sleep you need, especially if anxiety, stress, or pain are keeping you up at night.
Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.