The Perfect Pair: How CBD And Melatonin Can Help You Sleep And Manage Stress
Are you struggling to get a good night's sleep due to stress and anxiety? Do you find yourself constantly tossing and turning, unable to relax and drift off? If so, you're not alone. Approximately 14.5 percent of adults have difficulty sleeping1, and the consequences of poor sleep can be far-reaching, impacting everything from mood to physical health.
Thankfully, there are natural remedies that can help improve sleep quality and reduce stress levels. Two of the most promising natural remedies are cannabidiol (CBD) and melatonin. When used together, these two powerful substances may help you sleep better, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
In this article, we’ll discuss CBD and melatonin’s health benefits, how they work, and how to use them for maximum effect. We’ll also talk about dosage, when to take them, and potential interactions with other medications. Finally, we’ll provide tips for better sleep and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about these natural remedies.
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What Is CBD?
CBD is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant and is the second most abundant cannabinoid after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is believed to have numerous potential health benefits, including pain relief, inflammation reduction, anxiety and depression relief, and insomnia management, for which some studies point to CBD as a potential treatment for sleeplessness2.
How Does It Work?
CBD works by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has two main receptors, called CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are mainly found in the immune system and peripheral tissues.
When CBD is consumed, it binds to these receptors and helps modulate their activity. It and helps promote balance and homeostasis in the body.
CBD can also affect other receptors in the body, such as serotonin and vanilloid receptors. These receptors are involved in regulating pain, mood, and inflammation as well.
CBD is popular due to the following reasons:
- Potential Health Benefits: CBD may help with pain and inflammation, anxiety and depression, and seizures. Its wide range of potential applications is what has made it a household name.
- Non-Psychoactive: Unlike THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, CBD is non-psychoactive. This means it does not produce the "high" associated with marijuana use. This makes CBD a popular choice for those who want to experience the potential health benefits of cannabis without the mind-altering effects.
- Various Forms and Methods of Consumption: CBD is available in various forms, including oils, capsules, edibles, topicals, and vape liquids. This means that there are multiple methods of consumption to suit individual preferences and needs. Additionally, the different forms and methods of consumption may have different onset times and durations of effects, allowing for greater customization of CBD usage.
While CBD has many potential benefits, there are some drawbacks as well.
- Side effects: Although CBD is generally considered safe, it can cause some side effects in some people. Common side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, and changes in appetite or weight.
- Drug interactions: CBD can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and antidepressant drugs. It is important to talk to a doctor before taking CBD if you are taking any prescription medications.
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone created by the pineal gland in the brain that aids in the regulation of the body's sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. Melatonin is activated by darkness and inhibited by light, which is why it is highest at night and lowest during the day.
How Does It Work?
Melatonin operates by interacting with certain receptors in the brain that manage the sleep-wake cycle. In response to darkness, the pineal gland in the brain begins to release melatonin.
This increase in melatonin levels tells the body that it's time to sleep and promotes relaxation and sleepiness. Melatonin also helps in the regulation of other sleep-related physiological processes such as body temperature, blood pressure, and hormone levels.
It’s believed that the introduction of melatonin supplements can improve sleep, as evidenced by some existing studies into these products.3
- Sleep Regulation: Melatonin has been shown to improve sleep quality and increase sleep duration, leading to better overall health and well-being.
- Health Benefits: Melatonin has antioxidant properties that may offer protection against cellular damage. Melatonin may have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects as well.
- Considered Safe: Melatonin supplements are generally considered safe and well-tolerated, with few reported side effects.
Melatonin also has its drawbacks, including:
- Side Effects: Although melatonin is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects and drawbacks. Some people may experience drowsiness or dizziness the morning after taking melatonin.
- Counteractions: Melatonin may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and antidepressants. It’s important to speak with your doctor before taking melatonin if you are on any medications.
What Causes Us To Sleep?
Sleep is a complex biological process influenced by various factors, including environmental and internal cues, such as light, temperature, the body's circadian rhythm, and levels of hormones like melatonin.
The process of falling asleep is regulated by several neural pathways and neurotransmitters in the brain, including the release of adenosine, a chemical that builds up in the brain throughout the day and promotes sleepiness.
- Circadian Rhythm: There is a circadian rhythm which is the internal biological clock that tells us when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. It helps us stay in sync with the external world and is regulated by light and dark.
- Hormones: Hormones like cortisol and adrenaline also contribute to regulating the sleep-wake cycle, with cortisol levels peaking in the morning to help us wake up and decreasing at night to promote sleep.
- Sleep-wake Homeostasis: Sleep-wake homeostasis is another important process that regulates the amount of sleep we need. It tracks our sleep cycles and releases hormones that make us feel sleepy or alert.
The longer we’ve been awake, the more sleep-wake homeostasis tells our bodies that we need to sleep. Overall, regulating sleep is a complex and fascinating process essential for our physical and mental health.
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Can I Take CBD And Melatonin Together?
Yes, you can take CBD and melatonin together. CBD and melatonin are both natural compounds that can be used to potentially improve sleep and manage stress. Taking CBD and melatonin together is generally safe, as they have different mechanisms of action and are unlikely to interact negatively.
In fact, combining CBD and melatonin may have synergistic effects, meaning they work together to enhance each other's benefits. CBD may help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, while melatonin may help regulate the sleep-wake cycle and improve sleep quality. However, it’s best to first discuss any sleep issues with your doctor before deciding to take melatonin and CBD on your own.
Knowing the proper dosage of CBD is crucial for optimizing its health and wellness benefits and minimizing potential side effects. CBD dosage is not one-size-fits-all and depends on factors such as age, weight, metabolism, and the type and concentration of CBD product used.
Therefore, starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it until desired effects are achieved is advised.
To avoid unwanted side effects, starting with a dose of 5 to 10 mg of CBD per day and increasing it by 5 to 10 mg at a time is recommended. As CBD can take up to two hours to take effect, it is essential to wait before increasing the dose. Additionally, excessive CBD intake can lead to drowsiness, fatigue, and irritability.
If you experience any adverse effects, consult a doctor before taking more CBD.
The recommended dosage for melatonin varies depending on the individual and the condition being treated.
- For adults, a typical starting dose of melatonin is 1 to 3 mg, taken one hour before bedtime. Higher doses of 5 to 10 mg may be used for those with more severe sleep problems.
- For children, the appropriate dosage will depend on their age and weight. Moreover, speak with a pediatrician before giving melatonin to a child.
Use melatonin only as directed and avoid taking it for extended periods without consulting a healthcare provider. Melatonin may interact with certain medications, so it is important to inform your doctor of any medications you are taking before starting melatonin supplements.
Melatonin should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women without first consulting a healthcare provider.
When To Take CBD And Melatonin
CBD can take up to an hour to take effect, so it may be helpful to take it about an hour before bedtime. However, some people may find it helpful to take CBD earlier in the evening to help them unwind and relax before bed.
On the other hand, melatonin should be taken closer to bedtime, about 30 to 60 minutes before sleep, to align with its role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. It is crucial not to take melatonin too early in the evening, as it may cause drowsiness and difficulty to stay awake.
How Does Melatonin Interact With Other Medications?
Melatonin may interact with other medications, particularly those that affect the central nervous system.
Some medications that may interact with melatonin include benzodiazepines, blood thinners, immunosuppressants, and birth control pills. Melatonin may also interact with supplements such as St. John's wort, 5-HTP, ginseng, and valerian root.
Discussing potential interactions with a healthcare provider is crucial to determine if melatonin is safe to take with other medications or supplements.
Tips For Better Sleep
In addition to using CBD and melatonin, there are many other helpful tips for better sleep, including:
- Establishing a consistent sleep routine: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps regulate your body's sleep-wake cycle.
- Creating a relaxing sleep environment: This includes keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and removing any distractions such as electronic devices.
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol: These substances can disrupt sleep and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Exercising regularly: Regular exercise can help improve sleep quality, but avoiding exercising too close to bedtime is vital as it can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Managing stress: Stress and anxiety can hinder sleep, so finding ways to manage stress, such as meditation, deep breathing, or journaling can be helpful.
- Avoiding large meals close to bedtime: Eating a large meal close to bedtime can disrupt sleep, so it's best to eat a light meal at least two to three hours before bedtime.
- Limiting daytime naps: Napping during the day can hamper sleep at night, so it's best to limit daytime naps to 20 to 30 minutes.
Incorporating these tips into your daily routine, can improve your sleep quality and overall well-being.
CBD and melatonin can be a powerful combination for improving sleep and managing stress. CBD may help alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation, while melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle and promotes restful sleep.
When taken together, CBD and melatonin can be a powerful combination to help improve sleep. However, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider before adding new supplements to your routine, especially if you take other medications or have underlying health conditions.
Having good sleep hygiene practices, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding stimulants before bed, may enhance the effectiveness of CBD and melatonin.
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Learn more about the calming effects of CBD by reading these related articles:
- Get a good night’s rest with the best CBD oil products for sleep
- Understanding the benefits of CBD oil for anxiety
- Best CBD for sleep: Will you sleep better with CBD?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 22). Products - data briefs - number 436 - June 2022. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db436.htm
- Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: A large case series. The Permanente journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
- Fatemeh G;Sajjad M;Niloufar R;Neda S;Leila S;Khadijeh M; (n.d.). Effect of melatonin supplementation on sleep quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of neurology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33417003/
What is the best CBD for stress and sleep?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best CBD for stress and sleep depends on the individual. In general, CBD oil, tinctures, and capsules are all good options for those looking to reduce stress and improve sleep.
CBD edibles and topical creams may also be beneficial for those seeking relief from stress and sleep issues. Remember that everyone’s body is different, so it is best to consult with a doctor before taking any form of CBD.
How long does it take for CBD and melatonin to work?
CBD and melatonin can take different amounts of time to work in the body. CBD can take an hour or more to take effect, while melatonin typically takes effect within 30 minutes.
The effects of these substances can also vary depending on the individual, the dosage, and other factors. It's recommended to start with a low dose and give it time to take effect before adjusting the dosage.
Does CBD relieve sleep stress?
Yes, CBD may be beneficial for those seeking relief from stress and sleep issues. CBD may have calming and relaxing effects, which can help reduce stress and improve sleep. Additionally, CBD has anti-anxiety effects, which can help reduce stress levels.
What time of day should I take CBD for sleep?
It’s recommended to take CBD for sleep about an hour before bedtime. This allows enough time for the CBD to take effect and for you to feel relaxed and ready for sleep.
However, some people may find it helpful to take CBD earlier in the evening to help them unwind and relax before bed. Finding the timing that works best for you and your sleep needs is essential.
Is melatonin or CBD better for sleep?
Both melatonin and CBD may be effective in improving sleep, but the choice between the two may depend on individual preferences and needs.
Some people may prefer to use melatonin for short-term sleep issues, such as jet lag or occasional insomnia, while others may prefer to use CBD for long-term sleep management or to address underlying anxiety or stress.
Do I need a doctor's prescription when taking melatonin and CBD?
In most countries, melatonin and CBD are readily available over the counter. However, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional before taking any new supplement or medication, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.