a woman peacefully sleeping in white sheets

CBD vs. Melatonin For Sleep: Which One Is Better?

A growing number of people are turning to CBD and melatonin to fight sleep disorders without the often uncomfortable side effects of prescription drugs. Although they both have the potential to help you get better rest, these substances affect the body in very different ways. How can you decide whether you’ll be better off using melatonin or CBD for sleep?

This detailed guide should make the choice a little easier. At FOCL, we strive to give every customer the information and options they need to make sound wellness decisions. And there are few things as fundamental to health and well-being as a good night’s sleep.

That’s why we spent countless hours researching natural sleep aids while formulating our slumber-enhancing supplements. In this post, we’ll share the key insights we gained about CBD, melatonin, and the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Read on to learn what these two sleep solutions can do for you.

The Bottom Line: Is CBD or Melatonin Better For Sleep?

There’s no clear winner between melatonin and CBD. Current evidence suggests they both help with different kinds of sleep disorders.

CBD may be most useful if issues like pain, stress, or anxiety are affecting your sleep quality. Melatonin supplements are most helpful for regulating your sleep cycle, making them good for people dealing with challenges like jet lag.

Despite these differences, many users report that both of these molecules help them fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more rested.

Can you take CBD and melatonin together?

Good news: you don’t necessarily have to choose! Many users report that taking CBD and melatonin together provides the best of both worlds. That’s why some of the best CBD gummies for sleep contain both.

While the science isn’t totally settled, there appears to be little risk of serious negative interactions when you take CBD and melatonin together. You might slightly increase your risk of complications like drowsiness and dizziness. If you notice these side effects, you might want to reduce your dosage or switch to using CBD on its own.

Most users probably won’t notice any negative effects, and many will find that these molecules work like a charm when used side by side. CBD should help you feel relaxed and calm while melatonin eases your body into sleep mode.

You can experience this “dream team” for yourself with our Deep Sleep gummies. They combine melatonin with other sleep-promoting cannabinoids to help you get regular, restful sleep.

How CBD Affects Sleep

close-up photo of hemp plants

Like all of the active ingredients of the cannabis plant, CBD (short for cannabidiol) affects the human endocannabinoid system. This network stretches throughout your body, with receptors in locations like:

  • Nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord
  • Immune cells
  • Digestive tissues
  • Endocrine glands
  • Sensory nerves
  • Reproductive organs

Current theories suggest that CBD has three major effects on the body:

  1. CBD slows the breakdown of anandamide. Anandamide is a cannabinoid your body releases as a natural signal for relaxation, mood uplift, and pleasure. It may also play an important role in enabling deep sleep. CBD helps it build up to higher levels in your system.
  2. CBD desensitizes pain receptors. By raising your pain tolerance and decreasing inflammation, taking CBD could help you forget about nagging aches that were previously keeping you up at night.
  3. CBD activates serotonin receptors (and possibly some dopamine receptors). We know from research on antidepressants that the serotonin system seems to be important in regulating mood and anxiety. CBD might help you feel happier, calmer, and less worried, all of which can be nice when you’re trying to get some shuteye.

All three of these activities may work together to improve sleep quality and help you stop tossing and turning in bed.

The Science of CBD and Sleep

There isn’t yet a firm medical consensus on the use of CBD as a sleep aid. Though it’s easy to see how the effects described above could help with insomnia, research on this topic is in the early stages.

Still, numerous studies have shown positive results:

  • A randomized trial with over 1,700 participants found that CBD helped relieve sleep disorder symptoms in most people.
  • An experimental test using a blend of cannabinoids including CBD and CBN showed that it significantly decreased chronic insomnia symptoms.
  • A review of the use of CBD by people with chronic pain reported that it led to both improved sleep quality and pain relief.
  • A meta-analysis from 2022 concluded that low to medium doses of CBD helped users reach restful REM sleep faster.

In addition to this scientific evidence, we’ve heard countless reports from happy users who have found that taking CBD for sleep makes it easier for them to get the rest their bodies crave.

How To Use CBD For Sleep

We encourage all of our customers to experiment and find the approach to using CBD that works best for them. But in our experience, the following guidelines can help in most cases.

Use CBD nightly

You may get some benefit from taking CBD every once in a while when you’re having trouble sleeping. However, it’s often much more effective to take a regular dose. This can help lower your day-to-day levels of inflammation, anxiety, and pain, making it even easier to get healthy sleep.

Watch for changes in your health

Current evidence suggests that long-term, regular use of CBD is likely safe, even at doses of up to 1,500 mg. Still, the effects of repeated use aren’t fully understood, so it’s a good idea to pay attention to how you feel and check in regularly with your physician.

Start with a low dose

The question of how much CBD to take for sleep support isn’t yet settled — studies have shown positive effects at doses ranging from 25 mg to 300 mg. This suggests that different people may have very different “ideal” dosages. As such, it’s best to start with a relatively low dose, such as 5-10 mg of CBD oil or 15-25 mg of edible CBD. Try taking that amount for a week, then double it if you’re still not getting a good night’s rest.

Leave time for the effects to set in

Cannabidiol doesn’t kick in immediately, so don’t take it right before trying to fall asleep. Instead, give it at least 30 minutes for CBD oil to take effect. You might need a little more lead time if you’re using edibles like CBD gummies — allow 45-60 minutes.

How Melatonin Affects Sleep

phases of the moon against the night sky

The key difference between melatonin and CBD for sleep: while CBD promotes comfort and relaxation at any hour of the day or night, melatonin is all about timing. It’s one of the main hormones controlling the body’s internal clock, both the circadian rhythm of day and night and the longer cycles of the seasons.

Melatonin is naturally produced in the pineal gland, a small organ within the brain that responds to light and darkness. When everything is functioning smoothly, this gland secretes larger doses of melatonin as light levels dwindle, prompting the body to prepare for rest. Among many other shifts, this causes you to get sleepy as your levels of melatonin rise.

Unfortunately, life today is filled with things that can throw this internal clock off its rhythm, suppressing your natural melatonin production. These include:

  • Homes and cities filled with artificial light
  • Blue light from electronic devices and screens
  • Irregular work hours or shifts that don’t follow the day-night cycle
  • Travel-related jet lag

Taking a melatonin supplement at the right time can help you make up the shortfall. That way, your body gets the go-ahead to sleep on schedule.

The Science of Melatonin For Sleep

The medical community is still researching the effectiveness of melatonin for sleep. However, its ability to reduce jet lag and other sleep disorders related to circadian rhythms is fairly well-established.

There’s still some debate about whether it’s helpful for healthy users who simply want to get better sleep. Signs point to “Yes,” though. A 2017 review of the existing evidence stated that melatonin could increase sleep duration while reducing the time needed to fall asleep. And a 2021 paper concluded that taking melatonin can significantly improve sleep quality.

Exactly how much it helps may vary a lot from person to person. A 2013 study found that, on average, taking melatonin helped decrease sleep latency (time needed to fall asleep) by about seven minutes. It also increased total sleep time by roughly eight minutes. That may not sound impressive, but it’s just an average — many people will likely experience more substantial effects.

How To Use Melatonin For Sleep

In many ways, there’s little difference in method when you’re using melatonin vs. CBD for sleep. It may work best to take it every night at the same time, about 30-60 minutes before sleep. You should also start small, increasing the amount you’re using little by little as needed.

Typical doses are even smaller than they are for CBD. We’d advise beginning with 0.5-1 mg of melatonin per day, increasing after a week or two if your sleep problems don’t decrease.

The protocol is a little different if you’re specifically aiming to protect yourself against jet lag. In that case, you’ll want to use a calculator like this one to figure out the best time to take melatonin.

Much like CBD, prolonged use of melatonin appears to be safe at low doses (5 mg per day or less). Still, it’s best to monitor your health and keep your doctor informed about your usage.

Should You Use CBD or Melatonin For Sleep?

desk lamp with soft light next to bed

Let’s review the main factors to consider when deciding between CBD for sleep vs. melatonin:

  • CBD will likely work better if your sleep quality is being impacted by things like anxiety or pain
  • Melatonin will likely work better if you’re trying to recover from a disrupted sleep schedule or sleep disorders related to your circadian clock
  • CBD may require somewhat higher doses to be effective
  • Melatonin may be more likely to cause strange dreams during the night or grogginess and headaches the next day
  • CBD may be more likely to have side effects like dry mouth, reduced appetite, or stomach distress
  • Many CBD products contain at least a small amount of THC, which some users may want to avoid
  • Melatonin is a chemical your body makes naturally, but it has to be synthesized artificially — sometimes from cow pineal glands, meaning it’s not always vegan
  • CBD is a plant-based, naturally occurring molecule, but not one the body makes on its own

Both melatonin and CBD may have negative interactions with certain prescriptions. No matter which one you choose, it’s best to talk with a doctor before you start.

Remember that “CBD vs. melatonin” doesn’t have to be an either-or question! You can use them in combination for longer, higher-quality sleep.

dark blue gummies dusted with sugar on blue surface

So how exactly can you find and take melatonin and/or CBD for sleep? There are lots of options, but the most common are:

  • Tinctures. Both melatonin and CBD can be taken in the form of oil-based drops, usually placed under the tongue. This allows the ingredients to be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, often taking effect within 15-30 minutes.
  • Gummies. This is one of the most common options, especially for those who want to take both types of sleep aid simultaneously — many different brands offer CBD sleep gummies with melatonin. They take longer to kick in, but the effects also tend to last longer, and they’re often very tasty.
  • Tablets and capsules. Chewable tablets or dissolving gel capsules work very similarly to gummies. There’s no added flavor, which can be nice if you don’t want added sugar, but they tend to contain just a single active ingredient. You’ll usually need to take multiple pills if you want to combine CBD and melatonin, for example.

Try the Best CBD and Melatonin Products on the Market

Where can you buy CBD gummies and melatonin for sleep? You have lots of options to choose from, but we think most customers will be happiest with our Deep Sleep gummies.

They’re carefully formulated with the perfect combination of CBD and melatonin to help the average user sleep, along with CBN to reduce nighttime waking and just enough THC to make you sleepy. To ensure you’ll receive only the purest and cleanest ingredients, we use natural and organic sourcing wherever possible and adhere to manufacturing standards backed by third-party testing.

Users in an independent sleep study overwhelmingly said our gummies were the best thing they’d ever tried for promoting quality sleep. If you don’t agree, our 60-day satisfaction guarantee means you’ll get your money back. Visit our product page to learn more.

Alternatives to CBD and Melatonin

close-up of orange gel capsules

What if you don’t like the sound of either melatonin or CBD? Fortunately, there’s no shortage of other over-the-counter sleep supports, including…

  • Vitamins. Sometimes poor sleep can be tied to nutritional issues, in which case supplementing your diet with nutrients like iron, magnesium, and vitamin D may help.
  • Botanicals. Plants such as Valerian, Chamomile, and Ashwagandha, have extensive histories as herbal medicines for sleep disorders.
  • L-theanine. This amino acid is important for building certain key neurotransmitters. Adding it to your diet might help you relax and reduce sleep disturbances.
  • GABA. Short for gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA is a signaling molecule that the human body uses to slow down brain activity. Some studies suggest it can help you fall asleep faster, though this is still debated by researchers.

Many of the best sleep gummies, oils, and capsules currently available use potent combinations of the above ingredients to enable better rest. You may want to give them a try if you find that you don’t like the effects of melatonin and CBD.

CBD Gummies vs. Melatonin: Summing Up

a jar of CBD gummies with blue label

Is CBD better than melatonin for healthy sleep? Not necessarily. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Readers who just need to restore their disturbed sleep patterns might prefer melatonin, while those whose main issues are pain or stress may want to look into CBD gummies without melatonin.

But if you want the best of both worlds, it’s hard to top our bestselling Deep Sleep gummies. Fortified with both melatonin and cannabinoids, crafted with the purest ingredients, and backed by our user-friendly satisfaction guarantee, they’re the perfect way to ensure a good night’s sleep. Give them a try and make your dreams of better sleep a reality.