CBD and Melatonin - How They Help With Sleep
Wed, Jan 12, 2022 | Reading Time: 4 minutes
There was probably a time in your life when sleep was a simple experience. You’d get in bed, your mind would start to wander off…then all of a sudden you’d wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated — ready to start the day!
Fast forward to 2022, however, and sleep might not be so simple anymore. It’s certainly not for most people. The statistics show that at least 70 million Americans have diagnosable sleep problems, and it’s likely that millions more struggle with sleep in less obvious ways. 
Thankfully, the CBD + melatonin duo might help. Keep reading to learn why.
- What poor sleep does to your body
- CBD for sleep: how it works
- Melatonin for sleep: how it works
- What happens when you use CBD and melatonin together
- CBD + melatonin: how much to take
- CBD + melatonin: when to take it
What poor sleep does to your body
Before we get into the restorative power of CBD and melatonin, let’s zoom out a little and talk about the destructive power of poor sleep.
Even one night — yes, just a single night! — of bad sleep can cause all sorts of negative effects: 
- Mood swings
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Higher stress hormone levels (cortisol)
- Higher hunger hormone levels (ghrelin)
If one night of bad sleep can do that, can you imagine what chronic sleep deprivation could do? We’ll tell you: it leads to chronically high stress, mood problems, weight gain, muscle wasting, and premature aging. 
All in all, sleep is pretty dang important. It might just be the single most important aspect of your health.
CBD for sleep: how it works
Many of CBD’s most obvious health benefits might actually be due to its effects on sleep. CBD users have been saying that the compound helps them sleep better for years now — and new FDA data is finally confirming the same thing. According to this data, nearly 40% of CBD users take CBD specifically to help them sleep better. 
Clinical research points to the same type of improvement. A 2019 study was one of the first to show that CBD might stabilize one’s mood enough to set the stage for better sleep; an incredible two-thirds of study participants walked away sleeping better.  This same study found that CBD may:
- Increase the duration of sleep
- Lower cortisol levels and increase calmness
- Be more sedating at high doses, implying that these doses should be taken for sleep
How does CBD do this? Through several different pathways. On one hand, CBD may boost your body’s production of its own cannabinoids, including one endocannabinoid called anandamide. This feel-good molecule may make it easier for cells to relax prior to bedtime. CBD might also help your body regulate its circadian rhythm, resulting in more energy during the day and a helpful amount of drowsiness at night.
Melatonin for sleep: how it works
While melatonin is often called the sleep hormone, it does much more than that. Melatonin is one of those hormones whose production goes down with age; at a certain point, supplementation may be needed to get your sleep quality back to youthful levels. The factors that can negatively affect melatonin production include:
- Shift work
- Chronic stress
- Autoimmune disorders
- Bedtime TV/phone usage
Conveniently enough, melatonin is one of the safest, most popular, and best-tested supplements.  Melatonin has proven itself most useful for those who:
- Fall asleep too late, then wake up too late (i.e. ‘night owls’)
- Are experiencing jet lag
- Suffer from insomnia
- Work night shifts
Melatonin is like CBD in the sense that it’s both effective and mostly side-effect-free. Speaking of these two substances, let’s take a look at what happens when you use them together!
What happens when you use CBD and melatonin together
As of January 2022, there haven’t been any clinical studies that conclusively show that CBD + melatonin works better for sleep than either substance in isolation.
But that shouldn’t stop us from theorizing. Many experts are already recommending the CBD + melatonin combo for those who want to sleep better. Being the experts that they are, they’re probably onto something. It turns out that CBD and melatonin share several similar sleep-friendly traits:
- Melatonin is created in the pineal gland in response to direct sunlight.
- The endocannabinoids CBD helps your body produce are created within areas of high information exchange (think organs) in response to movement, stress, or sunlight.
- Melatonin is created throughout the day, then released at night.
- The endocannabinoids CBD helps your body produce are created throughout the day, but only stimulate drowsiness at night.
- Melatonin’s anti-stress effects carry over into areas above and beyond your sleep patterns. Some experts believe melatonin is anti-aging.
- CBD’s anti-stress effects carry over into areas above and beyond your sleep patterns, too. Experts like Dr. Bob Melamede believe CBD could be anti-aging.
So…what happens if you take CBD throughout the day and melatonin at nighttime, while simultaneously living a healthy lifestyle that enables your body to produce enough of both types of substances. We can only theorize, but probably really good sleep.
CBD + melatonin: how much to take
Dosing your CBD for sleep is pretty simple. Just take a slightly higher dose of CBD than normal, slightly closer to your target bedtime. Do you normally take 20 milligrams of CBD per day? If you want to take CBD specifically to sleep better, then take 20-30 milligrams a couple hours before you want to get to bed.
Just don’t forget that CBD dosing is biphasic, meaning that small doses of the compound can have radically different qualities than large doses. A small dose of CBD can actually be too stimulating to help with sleep! Large doses of CBD, on the other hand, can temporarily ‘oversaturate’ endocannabinoid receptors — resulting in just the right amount of drowsiness. 
The strategy for melatonin dosing works a little differently than CBD dosing does. Melatonin dosing isn’t as biphasic, and most people only need a little bit of it to sleep better. (That’s part of why our CBD + melatonin products always contain more CBD.)
CBD + melatonin: when to take it
Both CBD and melatonin kick in pretty fast. Sublingual CBD typically takes 15-30 minutes; sublingual melatonin may be even faster. Even so, it’s okay to take a CBD + melatonin product an hour or two before bedtime. Giving your body this extra time may allow the substances to reach their peak levels just as you’re getting to sleep.
One more thing to keep in mind: as great as the CBD + melatonin duo might be for sleep, it’s not everything. We’d encourage you to view CBD + melatonin products as a supplement — a supplement to a healthy, active lifestyle designed to foster good sleep naturally.
- CDC - About Our Program - Sleep and Sleep Disorders. (2022). CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_us.html#:%7E:text=About%2070%20million%20Americans%20suffer,costs%2C%20and%20lost%20work%20productivity.
- Cortisol in Blood Test | Michigan Medicine. (2020). UMHS. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hw6227
- Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. (2013). American Academy of Sleep Medicine Journals. https://jcsm.aasm.org/
- McAuley, M. T. (2009, March 25). A mathematical model of aging-related and cortisol induced hippocampal dysfunction - BMC Neuroscience. BioMed Central. https://bmcneurosci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2202-10-26
- Avins, J. (2019, June 1). The FDA hearing on CBD features testimony from 110 people. Quartz. https://qz.com/1632010/the-fda-hearing-on-cbd-features-testimony-from-110-people/
- Shannon, S. M. (2019b). [PDF] Cannabidiol and Sleep: A Large Case Series. | Semantic Scholar. Semantic Scholar.
- Using Dietary Supplements Wisely. (2019). NCCIH. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/using-dietary-supplements-wisely
- Cannabis, a Plant and Its Secret: Cannabidiol. (2015, March 28). ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924933815312517#:%7E:text=Like%20other%20cannabinoid%20compounds%2C%20CBD,mechanism%20is%20not%20completely%20understood
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