Recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that 1/3 of American adults fall short of the seven-hour minimum requirement for sleep. (1) Experts also say that insomnia leads to suboptimal feelings all through the day. They also believe that it is linked to the top causes of death in the country. Sleep deprivation may be caused by several factors including stress, anxiety, and pain. Many believe that supplements like CBD and melatonin can help promote good sleep. Which of them is better for sleep, melatonin, or CBD?
How Does CBD Work?
Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-toxic, natural, and non-psychoactive compound. It is derived from the cannabis Sativa plant and interacts with the endocannabinoid system of the body. CBD keeps the body as well as the mind, happy. It is devoid of THC which is responsible for the psychoactive effect. Instead, it produces a calming effect that has been proven helpful for several health issues including insomnia.
In 2013, a study was conducted on rats and it found that giving the rats small doses increase the total sleeping time of the rat. (2) In the same vein, CBD increased the time spent asleep when it is administered at night.
In the brain, serotonin plays the role of a neurotransmitter. It regulates anxiety and mood. The main inhibitory neurotransmitter is called GABA and it helps reduce the excess load on the nervous system. Some evidence suggests that CBD could be useful in helping insomniacs to sleep if their sleep deprivation is due to underlying anxiety. Still, some experts believe that the results are tailored to the individual and may differ in children and seniors.
How Does Melatonin Work?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is created in the brain’s pineal gland. This hormone regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle which is often disrupted by different factors ranging from insomnia, stress, ambient light before bed, and even alcohol. If the body fails to create melatonin, then a supplement may help promote the biological function.
Experts say that melatonin does not make you fall asleep like CBD as it only regulates the sleep-wake cycle of the body. It tells the body when it is bedtime and the process is entirely different from what CBD does. However, both are essential and must be in sync to promote good quality sleep.
What melatonin does is setting the body’s gears in motion to fall asleep. This is exactly why they can come in handy for people experiencing jet-lag, stress, or any situation that affects the natural sleep-wake cycle of the body. However, people who are experiencing random sleepless nights can benefit from taking melatonin. Also, melatonin takes around 90 minutes to start the process of sending a signal to the brain to get to sleep. This is because it only has a half-life of six hours and has side effects, such as a hangover feeling if you take it by 2:00 a.m. and wake up by 8.00 am.
Which Is Better for Sleep?
Some experts believe that both compounds work better when they are fused for better results. Several products on the market contain both CBD and Melatonin in different forms ranging from tinctures to gummies and vapes among others.
However, from the comparison, it is clear that CBD is better for sleep than melatonin. The reason is that CBD soothes the root problem that causes insomnia which may include pain or anxiety. It has been proven to reduce pain which can affect good sleep. Melatonin, on the other hand, only plays the role of regulating the sleep-wake cycle of the body. It may not be as effective as using CBD supplements as it takes a longer time to send a message to the brain. Also, it may produce a hangover effect if taken late at night.
If you choose to use CBD for sleep, it is ideal to discuss the decision with your doctor. Many people are advised to start with a small dosage and can increase it as time passes to determine the effective dosage. Also, as CBD usage continues, its effects weaken, hence the need to increase the dosage. For quick action, take the solution 20 minutes before bedtime. Observe your body during this time to be able to adjust the dosage and timing accordingly.