Is CBD Better Than Melatonin for Sleep?
Don’t you just love snuggling under warm blankets and giving in to the peaceful charm of a good night’s sleep? I know I do! But let’s be real in our busy lives, sometimes our bodies need a little extra help to switch off and catch those elusive Z’s.
You might have heard of natural wellness remedies getting all the buzz lately, and that makes us all wonder: “Is CBD better than melatonin for sleep?”
Let dive into the finer details of melatonin and CBD, and see how they both influence our slumber.
- Everyone is familiar with melatonin as the sleep compound, your body naturally produces to help fall asleep. However, the clinical studies are mixed showing that it has much efficacy for improving sleep quality.
- CBD is also in the same boat at melatonin supplements, some studies show significant benefits for sleep, while others do not.
- Many people suffer from anxiety and stress that affects their sleep quality, and fixing these can improve sleep quality for many people.
- Other cannabinoids like CBDA and CBN may also help improve sleep quality along with stress and anxiety.
- Properly tracking your sleep metrics and caffeine intake can help you make better sleep decisions and find what supplements actually work for your individual biochemistry.
- Improving sleep quality and navigating sleep disorders
- Melatonin vs CBD: Which is better for sleep disorders
- The CBD sleep alternative – CBDA
Improving Sleep Quality and Navigating Sleep Disorders
Pull up a chair; let’s chat about a topic that affects each one of us – Sleep. A good night’s sleep is more than just feeling super-guarded under your dreamy quilt. It’s about waking up rejuvenated, ready to seize the day.
Falling Asleep and the Role of Melatonin
Ever had one of those nights where you’re tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep, checking your clock every other minute? Pretty frustrating, eh? One key player in this drama is melatonin, a natural hormone produced by your pineal gland.
When you cozy up to bed, your central nervous system comes into action and kicks up melatonin production. That’s what nudges you into the arms of sweet sleep.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders and Deep Sleep
Okay, let’s deep-dive into some sleep disorders that mess up your circadian rhythms, like Restless Legs Syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. These might keep you from reaching your well-deserved deep sleep. Cue to feeling like a zombie the next day, right?
Ask your partner if you are snoring, that is a sign of sleep apnea and should be discussed with your doctor.
Everyones circadian rhythms might be different, but we all have one, and its important that its consistent for maximal sleep health.
Caffeine and sleep wake cycle
If your like me, you enjoy one or 4 cups of coffee in the morning to get the day going. And sometimes in the afternoon to fight daytime sleepiness.
However, the average half life for caffeine is around 5 hours, which means after to drink coffee, your body only removes half of it from your blood stream 5 hours later. How should you interpret this for improving your sleep?
- You drink a cup of coffee at noon.
- At 5pm you have half the caffeine in that cup of coffee in your blood
- At 10pm you have a quarter of the caffeine in that cup of coffee
- At 3am you have an eighth of the caffeine from that cup of coffee
So you can see how consuming caffeine in the afternoon can affect your sleep!
Maybe you process caffeine at a higher rate, good for you. But just as likely you could metabolize it slower!
Before trying a supplement, try not consuming caffeine after noon and see how you sleep?
Sleep Disturbances and sleep cycles
What does it mean to get a good night’s rest?
You should feel rested in the morning and not groggy. When was the last time that happened?
Well to get that full rest and energy the next day, your body needs to go through all its sleep cycles:
- Light sleep cycle is the most dominant sleep you get during the night
- Deep sleep cycle is important for your brain to help regenerate. Typically this cycle occurs early in your sleep.
- REM (rapid eye movement) cycles are critical for learning and memory. This cycle occurs later on during sleep, closer to when you wake.
- Removing or cutting short either your deep sleep or REM cycles will cause you to feel tired or groggy the next day.
For the vast majority of people you will need to get 8 full hours of sleep. Sleep duration is critical, but too much sleep can also make you feel groggy the next day as well.
Everyone has a biological sleep time that works best for them. You should fall into 1 of 3 different categories:
- The early to bed early to rise people. These people need to go to bed at 8-9pm and wake up at 5am.
- The “normal” people. This might be most people who go to bed around 10-11pm and wake up around 6-7am.
- The night owls. These people need to go to bed around 12-2am and wake up around 8-10am.
Studies show that your genes determine which of these are optimal for you, and while you can shift the around the times an hour or two at tops, you cannot completely change your sleep timing without significant health complications.
Your Sleep Environment: More Than Just a Comfy Pillow
Who knew that creating the right sleep environment could help tackle sleep problems? Adjusting light levels or noise could be your ticket to a better night’s sleep. Besides, investing in a comfy bed isn’t just for show – it’s for quality sleep, too!
Cut out blue light before bed (TV or computer screens emit blue light), this light prevents melatonin production.
Drop the temperature lower, this appears to improve sleep quality for many people.
Exercise is your friend
Not feeling tired at night? You may not have enough exercise during the day to feel tired at night.
Thats right, you still have plenty of energy to wear off. Plenty of studies show substantial improvements in sleep quality when you exercise during the day.
Just remember, dont try to cram in an intense run right before bed, best to do this in the morning or a couple hours before bedtime.
Melatonin vs CBD: Which is better for sleep disorders
Alright, so let’s meet our contenders before we go head-to-head in this big sleep showdown. First up, we have Melatonin. Think of it as your personal sleep concierge. It’s a hormone your brain naturally makes to let you know, “Hey, it’s time to chill out and get ready for bed.”
Melatonin helps kick-start that essential sleep phase and pretty much sets the mood for a cozy, restful night. But does taking melatonin supplements do the same thing as what your brain produces?
And then there’s cannabidiol (CBD). This hemp derived cannabinoid is known for its calming and relaxing benefits, which is what we are all looking for before bed.
Research on Melatonin supplements
Next up we’ve got Melatonin. I like to call this chap the “Sleep Whisperer”. It helps put your brain into a state ready for sleep.
The research suggests that melatonin supplements may help with falling asleep sooner in some people, but the research is mixed on if it affects the overall sleep quality that people get.
- In a randomized trial in ICU patients (203 patients), 10mg of melatonin was given over 7 days. The research shows that the patients had improved sleep scores over this time period.
- In adult patients with primary insomnia (97 patients), a randomized trial was conducted with 3mg of oral melatonin. Overnight polysomnography and daytime drowsiness index scores were assessed as outcomes. Melatonin improved early wake time by an average of 30 minutes, but had no effect on sleep latency, sleep efficiency, wake during the sleep, insomnia symptoms and REM sleep disturbances.
- In a meta study that looked at 24 randomized control trials, there were mixed results depending on the group that tested. The authors concluded that “melatonin did not appear to be effective in adults but might be effective in children and adolescents with chronic insomnia for both comorbid insomnia and non-comorbid insomnia.”
Overall, it appears it may help some people depending on what is causing the disturbed sleep disorder.
CBD sleep research
Overall, there are less studies on CBD and sleep, but enough to give an idea of its potential use.
- In a retrospective analysis of 72 adults with anxiety or sleep problems, 25mg to 75 mg per day of CBD was administered orally in an open label format. The study found modest improvements in sleep scores, but this varied over time.
- A meta analysis of sleep studies on CBD found modest but consistent improvements in some sleep outcomes from using CBD. However, these were confounding due to small sample sizes.
While CBD results seem to point in a positive direction for help with getting enough sleep, more high powered studies are needed to determine if and when it can be used for treatment.
CBD vs melatonin supplements results
Unfortunately there are no studies doing a direct comparison between CBD and melatonin so we are left guessing a bit based on prior individual research.
However, we can extract some critical highlights from the results of these studies on sleep and CBD vs melatonin:
- Insomnia and disturbed sleep are often secondary to underlying issues. This means that the sleep supplement you take may or may not work depending on if it helps address the underlying cause of the sleep problems.
- There are more studies on melatonin supplements, but this may be more of a reflection of how long melatonin has been on the market than actual efficacy.
- Dosing matters, there is a wide range of doses used for CBD and melatonin, and thus testing different amounts may be critical to getting the results you want.
A note on quality of supplements
There are a number of reports and studies coming out showing that CBD and melatonin supplements do not always contain the amounts their label indicates.
In fact, a recent report in JAMA (journal of american medical association) found significant problems in CBD and melatonin gummies.
- In products containing melatonin, the actual amount compared to what the label says ranged from 75% to 347%. 88% of the 25 products tested were inaccurate for the amounts of melatonin listed! This was determined based on a 10% standard deviation.
- For CBD products, the range was 104% to 118% of what the label indicated.
- The dosing for CBD was much better than for melatonin.
Always check the CBD products for a certificate of analysis by a third party testing lab to make sure the labels are accurate. Unfortunately this level of transparency is not standard for melatonin supplements.
The CBD Sleep Alternative – CBDA
Many people are getting familiar with CBD, but one of its major issues is poor absorption. To get around this, many people are starting to turn to CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), the parent cannabinoid of CBD.
In fact, the hemp flower does not make CBD, it makes CBDA, which is part of the acidic cannabinoid class of compounds. This class is the natural form of all cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
Many people are not familiar with CBDA since the technology to purify it has only recently been developed by companies like Natural Dos.
CBDA’s Secret Powers
CBDA overcomes the poor absorption problems of CBD. CBDA has between 500% to over 1000% better absorption than CBD, giving it the best bioavailability of any cannabinoid on the market.
Like CBD, CBDA has many of the same mechanisms of action, such as endocannabinoid system regulation and activation of some serotonin receptors like 5HT1A.
This makes it a significant improvement for many people who are not getting what they want out of CBD.
While it does not have the research behind it like CBD due to how recent it has come to the market, it is CBDA for sleep is quickly becoming the go to for many in the cannabis research space and consumers alike.
So, we’ve been talking about these amazing sleep alternatives, right? CBD, Melatonin, and even this new kid on the block, CBDA.
While you cant say what may work best for every individual, you now have a few more tools you can work with to find what may be optimal for your sleep routine.
Finding the best help will require a close accounting of what your sleep looks like every day, so make sure to record how you feel in the morning, or get a sleep tracking app and device.
Just remember, take it one step at a time, really pay attention to how your body’s feeling, and of course, chat with your doc about it. The goal is clear: helping you get that oh-so-refreshing sleep you totally deserve.