Sleep is essential to our wellbeing. Whether you prefer 6 or 10 hours, we all need it! But with more people around the world struggling to get to sleep and stay asleep, it has become more important than ever to find strategies for getting a good night’s sleep.
And while there are plenty of great sleep aids, our favorite is CBD.
If you’re a newbie and not sure how to crack into the CBD realm, using CBD to supplement healthy sleep cycles is a great way to start. Because who doesn’t want a little extra relaxation before dozing off?
But before we get to implementing it into your nightly routine, it’s key to understand why exactly CBD is so great for sleep.
Why does Cannabidiol help you sleep?
When taken in higher doses, CBD is believed to have a sedating effect. In lower doses, it can have a stimulating effect. But for the sake of the sleepless, we’ll focus on higher doses.
To understand why CBD may help you get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer, we need to understand GABA levels. GABA stands for Gamma-aminobutyric acid and is a chemical made in the brain that functions in the central nervous system.
So what’s so important about GABA?
CBD naturally boosts GABA levels. With increased GABA activity, the brain’s GABA receptors organically reduce the amount of signals the brain receives. These increased GABA levels can relieve the brain of constant mental activity (like everyday stressors that tend to take over when your head hits the pillow) and support a sense of calm.
Think of it like a game of dodgeball.
Every time a ball is hurled in your direction, naturally you duck to get away. Now imagine that each ball from the opposite team is a stressor and CBD is a window pane between you and the bombardment of dodgeballs. Instead of ducking from the constant barrage of stressors, the balls bounce off the window and away from you.
Perhaps an overly simplified example, but with super legitimate real life application.
CBD also interacts with serotonin receptors. Speaking of dodgeball, let’s throw it back to your middle school science class: serotonin helps regulate mood, feelings of well being, and happiness. And it impacts your entire body, so it’s pretty important.
And while CBD doesn’t necessarily increase serotonin levels, it may affect how your brain’s receptors respond to serotonin that’s already in your body. These interactions could support an overall calming effect on the mind.
Another way to think of this is simply reducing feelings of everyday stress. CBD can support feelings of calm which can lead to relaxation and overall well being. In this way, Cannabidiol allows you to calm down and ultimately get into a relaxed state quicker. And if you feel more relaxed and mellow, of course you are going to be ready to fall asleep.
So the next question is: how can you implement this calming sensation into your nightly routine?
CBD is lipophilic (or fat soluble), which means it compounds in your body over time. Because of this, it is good to take it every day. Just like Pavlov’s dogs: If you take it every night, about an hour before going to bed, your mind may simply start to associate CBD with relaxation and sleep. Just this simple association could help you get into a dreamstate quicker!
Lucky for you, there are plenty of options for implementing CBD into your sleep routine for optimal health benefits.
Imagine the feeling after taking a nice long bubble bath. The heat allows your muscles to relax and relieves a bit of stress on the mind and body. This same feeling applies to CBD. Cannabidiol is believed to support muscle relaxation and decrease everyday stressors so you feel at ease and relaxed before you climb into bed.
Specifically, topicals are a great way to get localized pain relief from everyday aches and pains of the joints and muscles. CBD topicals will provide less of that mind calming effect and more targeted relief to muscle and joint soreness. Topicals are great after a long workout or if you’ve been sitting in a chair for too long.
By lathering on some topical CBD before bed you may feel more comfortable and able to fall asleep easier. Plus, your muscles will be able to recover long after you've fall asleep. Pro tip: opt for a CBD topical cream with cooling agents like Menthol, Wintergreen Oil, and Camphor Bark Oil for even more relief.
Another great option is CBD drops. Drops are arguably the best option in terms of versatility and convenience. Not only can you just take CBD oil drops straight (by putting some oil under your tongue), but you can also get creative.
If you are using CBD drops for sleep, you can put a few droppers into chamomile, passionflower, or any other bedtime tea. These other natural ingredients can amplify the effects of CBD and get you to sleep even faster.
If you have a sweet tooth, CBD gummies will be your new best friend. Pop a few gummies when you feel that sweet hankering coming on—you’ll satisfy a little dessert craving and get ready to snooze.
Another option is to opt for a supplement with CBD and other natural ingredients. These little capsules contain what could be your best night’s sleep, because they combine CBD with several well-known sleep-inducing ingredients. We suggest a supplement with CBD, Valerian Root, Passionflower, 5-HTP, and Ashwagandha for best results.
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