Like most things in the realm of health and science, the amount of CBD recommended to take for sleep is not a clear cut answer. The first question that must be asked is – what is causing you problems with sleep? CBD is thought to help with sleep particularly when pain, anxiety, sleep apnea or other mental health disorders such as depression or ADHD are part of the equation.
Chronic pain, whether it be from cancer pain to fibromyalgia to arthritis can be very disruptive to restful sleep. Pain causes a state of hyperarousal due to the constant discomfort – which can interfere with the hormones that make us sleepy. Anxiety is another culprit of poor sleep, causing increased muscle tension, aches, racing thoughts and an elevated heartbeat. CBD acts on receptors in the body that drive it’s neuroprotective, antidepressive, and anxiolytic benefits.
CBD is thought to improve the quality of sleep by decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep and increasing the amount of deep, restful sleep.
How Much & When to Take CBD for Sleep?
In general it is found that lower doses of CBD have a stimulating effect while higher doses of CBD have a sedating effect. One study has shown that taking a higher dose of 160 mg per day of CBD increased the total sleep time and decreased frequency of awakenings during the night in individuals with insomnia (2). If you decide to try CBD for sleep, it is best taken 30-60 minutes before bed so it has time to take effect.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD?
CBD appears to work better for short term use (such as a month) and in higher doses. Short term use of CBD can improve insomnia by decreasing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and increase NREM (slow wave sleep). But some research shows that chronic use may lead to habituation and dependency, with sleep disruption being a primary withdrawal symptom. However, compared to other sleep aids such as prescription sleep medications or over-the-counter agents, CBD may be safer with less side effects.
Keep in mind that if your sleep troubles are due to the yapping dog next door or your partner’s heavy snoring, CBD may not be your magic potion. CBD does have sedating properties, especially in higher doses, but the source of your sleeping problems is important to think about too.
Sleep Hygiene is Important Too
Good sleep hygiene is also not to be neglected. Habits such as going to bed at the same time every night can help regulate the circadian rhythm and performing a relaxing bedtime routine can help your body and mind prepare for a good night’s rest. Keeping the room dark and charging your phone away from the bed may also be helpful.
Talk to Your Provider For Concerns/Questions
Please note that the information provided here is for informational and education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for professional medical advice. CBD may interact with other medications including blood thinners, antidepressants, and cholesterol-lowering statins. If you have questions about interactions between CBD and medications you are on or have other concerns, it is important that you directly contact your healthcare provider.