In this modern-day welter of gig work, overtime, and high-stress living, more and more people crave better sleep. More sleep. Any sleep at all. The benefits of proper sleep are numerous, and poor sleep patterns can negatively impact health and wellness.
Sleep hygiene and stress management are closely related. Tired people are stressed people and conversely, stressed people find sleep hard to come by. Tossing and turning creates frustration and perpetuate a cycle of uninspired days and restless nights.
What Makes Sleep So Important?
Until recently, scientists didn’t fully understand the link between sleep and good health. It was recognized that sleep was a good thing, but we had no idea of how many bodily processes require the sleep cycle to function correctly.
A proper sleep includes 7-9 hours of sleep that include 4-5 full sleep cycles. During that time, your organs are hard at work, repairing and rebuilding in ways that are not possible during the waking cycle. Benefits of getting good, restorative sleep include the following:
- Improved mood
- Improved focus for daily tasks
- Better reflexes and reaction times
- Increased immune response
- Better performance on cognitive tasks
Then there are the ways the body can be negatively impacted by lack of sleep. These include:
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Hormonal imbalances
- Weight gain
- Depression or anxiety
- Some studies show connections between poor sleep and developing Alzheimer’s in later life
The bottom line is that we could all use better sleep. When polled, 63% of Americans reported that they don’t feel their sleep needs are being met. But what can we do to help support better sleep?
As much as we value better sleep, more and more people are awake to the unpleasant (and often dangerous) side effects of most sleep drugs. Fortunately, natural medicine has stepped in with some excellent sleep-supportive supplements that offer improved sleep without the side effects. Enter CBD and melatonin.
The Role of CBD in Sleep Support
CBD has become a popular sleep supplement in recent years. While initially there wasn’t much more than anecdotal evidence to support its use, some preliminary studies show interesting results. They suggest that CBD may be beneficial for sleep disorders such as insomnia and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder.
In addition to these promising preliminary studies for sleep, it has already been shown in a large case series that CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system. Therefore, it’s a clear choice for a sleep supplement. With CBD, there is no “high” effect as with THC and studies have no signs of withdrawal with short-term use.
Some people use CBD on their own to relax or even to wind down before bed. But for some of the true insomnia sufferers, something more may be needed. Let’s take a look at the benefits of melatonin.
Melatonin for Sleep Support
Melatonin is an entirely different yet equally popular sleep aid. It is a hormone made in the body that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Its production peaks at night, which causes your body to recognize that it’s sleep time.
During the day, other hormones like cortisol take over, and melatonin levels are practically non-existent. Taking a dose of melatonin before bed is a safe short-term solution for sleep disorders.
Unlike many sleep aids, melatonin does not generally cause dependency, diminished response, or hangover effects. Some people may experience side effects like drowsiness, headache, or nausea. While generally safe to use, melatonin can interact with certain drugs. Talk to your doctor before starting a melatonin supplement if you take any of the following:
- Antiplatelet drugs, or any anticoagulant drugs or supplements
- Diabetes or blood pressure medications
- Certain medications are taken for depression or anxiety (speak to your prescribing Psychiatrist)
CBD and Melatonin: A Match Made in Heaven
While either CBD or melatonin alone can be an excellent way to promote healthy sleep, many trusted companies have begun promoting sleep blends that include both.
The best thing about using CBD and melatonin together is that they can work in concert to help promote a good night’s sleep. Both substances are accepted into the body as endogenous. This means that the body recognizes them as substances made within the body and processes them as such.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone, and cannabinoids are also produced within the body (which is why we have cannabinoid receptors that recognize it when we consume it). They both work in a natural way to promote a healthy sleep process.
And what’s more, they don’t work against each other in any way. The addition of melatonin to a CBD product doesn’t take away from any of the beneficial benefits of either substance. What’s more, neither CBD nor melatonin has any kind of serious side effect on the body. The combination of these two sleep aids is far safer than most sleep drugs on the market.
CBD and Melatonin Softgels for Sleep
Softgels are an increasingly popular way to take CBD. While oils and tinctures are fine, some find the taste unpleasant. Others may find swallowing oil itself to be difficult (texture issues). Still, others like the convenience of swallowing soft capsules.
Softgels are handy to take on the go and travel easily. While on the road for work (and even for pleasure), many people find it difficult to get regular sleep. Frequent travelers will be pleased to know that there’s no chance of softgels leaking all over the clothes in your suitcase.
Another benefit of softgels is that it can be easy to get a strong dose of CBD and melatonin all in one capsule with higher potencies available.
Give Sleep a Chance
Let’s be real. Every person is different, and everybody reacts differently to supplements. It’s hard to give a universal recommendation. However, research tells us that CBD softgels with melatonin are certainly worth a try when it comes to winning the sleep game.
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