Sometimes, getting to sleep can be more complicated than it should be. Since sleep is such an essential aspect of human survival, this can be intensely frustrating. So when sleep eludes us in the small hours of the evening, it is reasonable to turn to use supplements to help bring about the sweet embrace that sleep has to offer.
You might have even heard of one or two supplements that have been cited as helpful in falling asleep. These include the more traditional melatonin and the increasingly popular CBD. However, these two titans of sleep aid have resulted in the inevitable question of whether or not you can mix them to maximize their effects and make falling asleep that much easier.
With traditional sleep aids, mixing is generally not advised. However, since melatonin and CBD are both relatively safe when used safely and appropriately, individuals with sleep problems are getting adventurous and experimenting by taking them together.
With this article, we hope to help guide you on how these two substances can effectively be combined to help you fall asleep and stay asleep until the morning.
Let’s get started!
What is CBD?
The odds are good that you have already heard of and used CBD to some extent, but you might not have been aware of its effects on your sleep schedule. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most common substance derived from cannabis plants and was legalized as a medicinal supplement in 2018.
There is a lot of confusion among most people about CBD getting patients high since it comes from a plant used as a recreational drug for years. However, the CBD found in medicinal supplements is free of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis resulting in intoxication. However, variants of THC have been synthetically created to provide the benefits without the associated high.
Since its legalization in the United States of America, CBD has seen use in treating a wide array of conditions and diseases, including simple inflammation to managing symptoms caused by cancer and its treatment. In addition, research has found CBD to be an effective tool in helping with flawed sleep cycles.
One of the most significant advantages CBD offers is its proven track record of helping manage anxiety. For example, in 2015, before CBD’s legalization three years later, a study was conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that found that CBD reduced anxiety in rats. In addition, participants had significantly reduced physical effects like increased heart rate following the introduction of CBD into the rats’ system.
Now, you might be wondering how CBD’s effects on something like anxiety impact your ability (or inability) to fall asleep. You might be surprised to learn that the two issues have more in common than you think. The studies into CBD’s effects against generic anxiety disorders led to further research of more severe anxiety disorders, including anxiety-induced insomnia.
In 2019, a study was conducted to evaluate CBD’s effects on anxiety-induced insomnia by taking a group of 103 adults, 82 of whom had been diagnosed with anxiety or a sleep disorder. After some initial evaluation, 31 of the candidates were excluded, leaving a sample of 72 patients. All of the candidates were given CBD for their symptoms and issues. After the first month following the initial dose, 79.2% of the patients began exhibiting reduced anxiety and increased hours of sleep. The remaining 15.3% showed worsened anxiety and reduced hours of sleep.
Of course, as with all substances, the CBD tests showed that not everyone will have the same reaction to CBD and will not always enjoy its benefits. The experiment showed that positive effects were seen in the sample group.
Additionally, CBD reduces the cortisol levels in our body, which is a big part of sleeping. Typically, our cortisol levels naturally lower overnight, but being overly taxed mentally or emotionally can keep those levels spiked and keep us awake at night. Since CBD can block the release of cortisol, our bodies can work through what has built up so we can relax and fall asleep.
Due to the close relationship anxiety and insomnia have, with the latter being a direct symptom of the former, taking CBD may be what you need to overcome your sleep disorder. However, regardless of the effects of CBD on insomnia, we still need to address the other substance of note.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is actually in an interesting position when compared to CBD. While CBD needs to be harvested from cannabis plants, melatonin naturally occurs in animals, including humans. Melatonin is a hormone released into our system by the pineal gland at night and is directly responsible for controlling the sleep-wake cycle. While melatonin does occur naturally, those with insomnia or other sleep disorders might have a more challenging time producing and releasing the hormone. To this end, there have been supplements released that allow us to ingest concentrated tablets of melatonin to begin the process of falling asleep artificially.
Melatonin supplements are available over the counter at virtually any pharmacy or grocery store in the country. To date, they have proven to be an effective tool for overcoming sleep disorders that make it difficult to fall asleep at a conventional hour to ensure you get the recommended amount of sleep before the next day arrives. These conditions can include non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder to full-fledged insomnia.
Melatonin is a proven tool for aiding your sleep cycle with the sole caveat that it loses efficacy over time. This loss does mean that, in the long-term, you should not rely too heavily on melatonin to overcome your insomnia, but you can use it as a short-term solution when you find yourself struggling to get to sleep some nights. Since melatonin controls our circadian system – your internal clock – making it a few hours before you intend to go to bed allows it to begin easing you into a sleep state just as if your body produced it.
Our bodies begin releasing melatonin around six hours before we are meant to be going to bed so that there is no system shock. If anything is keeping our internal clocks off balance, then using melatonin supplements allows our bodies to remember when to release melatonin and get back on track. Oversaturation causes the pineal gland to stop producing it since we are getting our fix externally.
With all of the benefits of melatonin, there is still our overarching question about how effectively it cooperates with CBD.
Can You Mix Melatonin with CBD?
CBD and melatonin are two very different products, but both can make getting to sleep much more manageable. With such prevalent effects independently, the prospect of using the two of them simultaneously becomes much more attractive for those with consistent sleep issues. This viewpoint is quite justified since CBD and melatonin do not interact with one another and promote sleep differently. This difference means that taking them together will not overtax any part of your metabolism since they affect different parts of the metabolic process. Taking them together can make getting to sleep that much simpler.
Since CBD reduces cortisol levels and anxiety to help you fall asleep and melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating your internal clock, the former will keep you calm while the latter triggers the process of drowsiness. After a point, the problem becomes determining the best method to take them. The biggest issue lies in dosage. Since CBD and melatonin are two very different compounds, each has equally different recommended dosages.
Melatonin is not the only one of these substances in tablet form. Ordinarily, melatonin is distributed in tablet form, with the dosage pre-emptively calculated, so you do not take too much in a single sitting. However, CBD is a less precise substance and will change depending on the tolerance you have built up. Therefore, if you are taking CBD oil independently of melatonin, you will want to start with a low dose of CBD and monitor your level of drowsiness, increasing the dosage as needed. This method is undoubtedly viable but is far from an exact science and cannot be recommended and rely on one or the other. Fortunately, there is an alternative.
There are CBD tablets available for purchase from certified dispensers of the product. However, for those looking to take CBD as a sleep aid, some capsules have the recommended dosage of CBD for the day. Taking one of these capsules or gummies alongside your nightly melatonin capsule should ensure that the two substances take effect at the appropriate times with minimal issues.
Since you should take your melatonin tablet between 2 to 6 hours before going to bed, taking your CBD supplement around roughly the same time should help put you at ease and allow the melatonin to take hold. However, these instructions may vary depending on the brand of melatonin capsule you have.
However, the basic principle is that you can safely take CBD and melatonin in tandem to ensure you are relaxed and calm, and melatonin can guide you to sleep. However, there are yet some issues to consider.
Potential Side Effects
Virtually every substance on the planet comes with a risk of some sort, as any substance ingested in excess can have repercussions on the delicate physiology of the human body. Despite the many benefits of melatonin and CBD, they are not exceptions to this rule, and care must be taken when used for any reason. In addition, each substance has its traits and will come with its list of potential side effects.
The substance is considered safe for ingestion in most adults when it comes to melatonin, and adverse effects would be nearly impossible since it is a substance we produce naturally. However, when taking supplements to introduce additional melatonin to your system, there is the potential for consequences down the line. Melatonin has seen safe, long-term use for up to two years thus far but can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea when used for too long. It is also inadvisable for individuals with bleeding disorders as the supplement can exacerbate the issue.
With CBD, the side effects are equally minimal but worth noting to ensure they do not take you by surprise. The most apparent issue is withdrawal from the substance when you use it to fall asleep. When using CBD to fall asleep, then discontinue its use, you might find that you are having a more challenging time getting to sleep as your body has come to rely on CBD. Additionally, while not as addictive as other drugs, using CBD every day can lead to a disorder.
Ultimately, the side effects and risks associated with CBD and melatonin are few and far between, and they should be safe in the long term when trying to repair your sleep cycle.
It can be frustrating when you cannot sleep at night, primarily since we cannot function in society without sleep. Fortunately, the effects of CBD and melatonin can be just the saving grace you need to enjoy a restful night’s sleep again. While they have their merits, they also work wonderfully together to ensure you are well and truly at peace before you finally drift off again. Of course, making sure you take your CBD and melatonin at the appropriate time is the primary key, but once you have hammered out a proper schedule, the rest should be simple.
Melatonin supplements are straightforward to come by; finding reliable CBD products, on the other hand, requires serious research. To that end, we at Neuro XPF specialize in producing high-quality CBD capsules, gummies, and tinctures that you can use to enjoy the rest you deserve. So, check out our website today and find the CBD you need.
Do you have any questions for us about CBD, melatonin, or both? Have you used them effectively to fall asleep at night? Please share with us in the comments section! We’d love to hear from you, and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction and towards a good night’s sleep.