What are the sleep benefits of CBD? Discover more about the science behind it, how to use it and how to choose the right CBD product. Many people find that CBD oil is a fantastic addition to their bedtime routine. Discover which CBD oils are the best for helping you get a good night’s sleep.
Can CBD really help you sleep better?
I love getting comfy and feeling myself drifting off; I love dreaming; and, most of all, I love waking up, no alarm clocks in earshot, feeling completely rested.
However, as with most love stories, loving sleep doesn’t equate to having a successful relationship with it – in fact, it’s something I really struggle with.
A few months ago I had a week of such bad sleep that I felt like crying everytime I woke up: enough was enough, I thought, and it was time to make a change.
I’d heard a lot about how CBD can help you not just get to sleep, but have a better quality sleep, but I wasn’t sure if it was a gimmick, so I decided to try it out for myself.
CBD is cannabidiol, one of over 110 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids which are found in the cannabis plant – and it’s everywhere right now.
The CBD market has boomed exponentially over the last few years, expected to be worth £1billion by 2025, and is used most commonly for anxiety, sports recovery, neurological disorders like epilepsy, chronic pain and, of course, sleep.
What does the science say about CBD oil and sleep?
Dr Elisabeth Philipps is a clinical neuroscientist and leading expert in the endocannabinoid system and phytocannabinoids including CBD. She runs a CBD clinic and consults and collaborates with CBD brand FourFive.
She tells Metro.co.uk that, although the human studies around sleep and CBD are only small scale (around 70 to 80 people), many show that people’s sleep improved within the first month of taking CBD.
‘Not only that, but they felt better in the morning as well,’ she says. ‘I think it’s quite important with sleep to look at both how much sleep we’re getting and also, the quality of it.’
According to Elisabeth, there are a number of hypotheses for why CBD seems to work.
The first is that it simply makes us feel more relaxed: ‘There are studies that show CBD can reduce anxiety and help us feel more relaxed,’ says Elisabeth, which is what ultimately helps some people deal with that whirring mind I mentioned earlier.
Another theory is that it helps with chronic pain and, since pain is more heightened at night, the pain relief may help with insomnia.
These are both ‘indirect effects’ that, in turn, help us sleep better, Elisabeth says.
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However, a third theory – and one that doesn’t have enough solid research into it yet – is that CBD actually changes our sleep architecture.
This is down to the way CBD reacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a biological network of receptors and proteins that run through the body, such as in the brain, spine, guts, kidneys and lungs.
‘Our body already has cannabinoids,’ explains Elisabeth. ‘CBD helps to activate and raise the level of these cannabinoids and helps activate the endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate most bodily functions.’
According to Elisabeth, the research is expected to show, in just a few years from now, that CBD is actually working in the endocannabinoid system in the brain to improve and support sleep architecture, therefore improving the quality of our sleep.
How to use CBD for sleep
Other than inhaling (or vaping) CBD, the best way to consume it is under the tongue, says Elisabeth.
Drop the oil (you can also find spray bottles) under your tongue and hold it there for one to two minutes before swallowing.
Elisabeth advises doing this around 20 minutes before or after eating and drinking, to ensure you’re not washing it away.
If you’re using CBD predominantly to help you sleep, taking a few drops around 20 minutes before bed is usually the best way to go.
Elisabeth adds that, if your sleeplessness is a symptom of anxiety, taking CBD throughout the day to calm your nerves might also benefit your sleep.
Also, if you wake up throughout the night, you can also take a few drops to either help you get back to sleep or at least make you feel less worried about the fact that you’ve woken up in the middle of the night.
Elisabeth lives by the mantra “start low and go slow,” so it’s a good idea to start with one drop at a time and gradually build it up over the days or week.
I tried taking CBD every night before bed for a month
Studies show that people using CBD notice the sleep benefits in the space of a month, so I thought that would be the perfect time to try out a product.
Starting with one drop per night and gradually building my way up to three or four, I placed the oil under my tongue using the pipette (you can also get spray bottles from other brands), around an hour to twenty minutes before I wanted to sleep.
Anecdotally speaking, from her experience running a CBD clinic, Elisabeth says most people are likely to notice an improvement in their sleep after just a few days – this was absolutely my experience.
Week 1: The first week I started taking CBD was admittedly rocky.
I had already been struggling with my sleep for a while and still found myself waking up a few hours too early and unable to go back to sleep.
That being said, actually falling to sleep in the first place was much easier as I felt calmer and much more relaxed.
Week 2: My second week taking CBD I had really started to notice a difference.
Although I would still occasionally wake up throughout the night, I didn’t struggle with getting back to sleep, and I would wake up feeling rested.
Weeks 3 and 4: The last two weeks of my experiment were definitely where the magic happened.
I was no longer worried that I wouldn’t be getting good quality sleep.
Most nights, I would fall asleep upon my head hitting the pillow and wake up feeling refreshed and energised.
If I did wake up, it was only ever to use the toilet, and I would be back to sleep within minutes – something I had always struggled with.
By this point, I’d become one of those irritating CBD converts, raving about it to anyone who would listen.
When my first bottle of CBD oil ran out around the one month mark, safe to say I cracked open another without a second thought.
How to choose a CBD product for you
Like I mentioned earlier, CBD is everywhere and, as Elisabeth puts it, can be quite a “minefield”.
However, when choosing a CBD brand, it’s important to look out for a reputable brand that will be able to show you a certificate of analysis.
‘This shows exactly what is in the product,’ says Elisabeth – and the CBD market isn’t short of fraudsters, so do your research.
You can get bottles with a higher concentrate (usually up to 2000mg) or a lower concentrate (around 500mg).
The main difference between these products is that you’ll need to take more drops of a lower dose to feel the same effect.
So, while higher doses are more expensive, they usually last longer, so the cost balances out overall.
It’s likely a good idea to choose a lower dose for your first bottle – that way, if you’re not a fan, it’s not too much money lost.
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The verdict: Can CBD help improve sleep?
I was pretty sceptical when I decided to give this a go, given that most wellness products are gimmicks, but my sleep improved pretty much instantly and I haven’t looked back.
While research is still lagging, I truly believe CBD has changed my sleep – and my life — for the better.
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
The Best CBD Oils to Help you Sleep Better
With a significant increase of sleep supplements and remedies in the UK, we wanted to take a closer look at the impact of CBD oil on sleep
What is CBD?
As the legal cannabis market is quickly taking the world by storm, there has been considerable public interest in CBD as a health and wellness supplement. Cannabidiol (CBD ) is one of many active compounds found in the Cannabis and hemp plant. THC is probably the most well-known due to its psychoactive properties (the feeling of being “high”). The main difference between THC and CBD is that CBD does not have these properties. This means that there is more potential for the general public to benefit from its effects.
As CBD is still a fairly new compound in the wellness world, there still needs to be more clinical studies before it can be officially sanctioned as a treatment for various medical conditions. However, the potential benefits of CBD as a wellness supplement are well-documented.
CBD has primarily been recognised for its potential to help people experiencing feelings of anxiety. But there has also been increased interest in CBD as a treatment for insomnia.
How is CBD oil made?
CBD oil is first extracted from hemp plants, before being refined and distilled into the CBD oil that you see on shelves. There are multiple extraction processes that are used across the industry. A common extraction method involves using CO2 (carbon dioxide). The CO2 is placed in a chamber with the hemp, which is then pressured into a liquid. The liquid is then placed into another chamber where the CO2 is turned into gas, so all that remains is pure CBD. This is then blended with a carrier oil such as MCT (coconut) oil, olive oil or hemp oil.
What are the different types of CBD oil?
Trying to understand the label of a CBD product? We’re here to help. When you’re buying a CBD product, there are two things you should look for: the strength of the product and the type of CBD used.
Full-spectrum contains both CBD and trace elements of THC. To create full-spectrum CBD oil, you need to extract all of the active compounds from the hemp plant, not just the CBD and THC but other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN . This makes for a simple extraction process since the CBD oil does not need to undergo further refinement to remove the other active compounds.
Broad-spectrum is similar to full-spectrum in that it will usually contain other cannabinoids alongside CBD. However, what distinguishes broad-spectrum full from full-spectrum CBD oil is that broad-spectrum products do not contain THC, the ‘psychoactive’ compound of the hemp plant.
Isolate is pure CBD, no other compound comes along. Isolate is often used to make tasteless CBD oils and CBD capsules. With this type of CBD, there can always be add-on ingredients to support the effectiveness of hemp but it will often say 99.9% pure CBD.
How to take CBD oil
CBD oil often comes in the form of a tincture, which makes it really easy to take. Simply place a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue and leave it there for about a minute. This method is also known as the fastest way to absorb CBD, so you should feel the effects quicker in comparison to other methods of taking CBD. CBD oil is available in a range of strengths, and people may experience different feelings when taking CBD. Therefore, it can take time to find a dosage that works best for your mind and body.
Are there benefits to CBD oil compared to other CBD products?
If you’re looking for something fast-acting and easy to take, CBD oil is likely to be the best option for you, especially if you’re looking for a quick solution to help you get a good night’s sleep. The closest equivalent are CBD capsules , which usually contain the same ingredients but take a little bit longer to have an effect due to the time it takes for the body to digest them.
Is there a maximum strength for CBD oil?
The strongest CBD oils range between 2500mg and 3000mg in strength. In the UK, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends a maximum daily amount of 70mg of CBD for healthy adults. Your CBD oil should provide clear instructions to help you get a dosage that adheres to recommended guidelines.
How long does it take to experience the effects of CBD oil?
On average, it takes about 30 minutes before you start feeling the effects of CBD. For some, it can take 10 minutes and for others, it can be longer. Unless you are taking CBD for a purpose (stress, anxiety, sleep, inflammation), it can be difficult to spot whether or not that dose of CBD had an effect on you. Most people usually describe the effects of CBD as a shift in their mood and the way they feel.
Can CBD help you sleep?
In recent years CBD has become one of the most popular supplements for sleep, but does it really work? Let’s review the studies.
In a study from 2019 where subjects were given a dose of 25mg every day for a month to see if it could improve their sleep and lower anxiety. The study showed some quite impressive results where 79% of the subjects saw a reduction in overall anxiety levels and 66% reported improvements in their sleep.
Another study, also found that CBD in higher dosages actually increased sleep duration and helped the participants fall asleep faster. The study used a control group getting a placebo drug.
Best CBD Products for Sleep
1. TheDrug.Store CBD Oil
Strength: Standard (500mg of CBD per bottle)
Recommended Dose: 1ml (16mg of CBD)
Price: £29.99 (or 4 interest-free payments of £7.50)
Key Features: Made with pure CBD-isolate, precise dropper for easy dosage
TheDrug.Store has become a major name in the CBD industry due to their in-depth industry knowledge and extensive range of products. Therefore, it’s no surprise that their own range of CBD oils has quickly become a customer favourite. As well as being the perfect addition to a nighttime routine, this CBD can also be useful for people experiencing high levels of stress, or simply want to improve their general wellbeing.
Their oils come in 3 strengths 500mg, 1000mg, and 3000mg, depending on what YOU need!
2. OTO CBD Sleep Drops
Strength: 1500mg per bottle
Recommended Dose: 1 dropper/0.5ml (50mg of CBD)
Key Features: Formulated with high-strength CBD and calming botanicals
OTO CBD Sleep Drops have been a longstanding bestseller. These drops are formulated with a healthy dose of CBD (1500mg) for quick and effective results. Furthermore, a complementary blend of lavender, liquorice and spearmint will work wonders in delivering a sense of calm and ease, perfect for getting a good night’s sleep.
This product marks itself out from its competitors with its innovative ‘smart’ pipette. Simply click a button, and you’ll get the perfect dose every single time. Finally, we’re pleased to let you know that this product is made from 100% natural ingredients, making it perfect for eco-conscious customers.
3. CBDistillery Relief + Relax CBD Oil
Strength: 500mg to 2000mg
Recommended Dose: 1ml (full dropper), between 17mg and 67mg
Price: from £29.99
Key Features: Made with pure 99.99% CBD, completely tasteless
CBDistillery was one of the first brands to emerge from the burgeoning CBD industry, with a strong reputation for quality and consistency. Since then, their high-quality products have been sold to over a million customers.
One of the best things about the Relief + Relax CBD oil is that it is competitively priced, whilst also being made of great quality ingredients. It’s also available in 3 different strengths, helping you find the right dosage for restful and restorative sleep.
4. Grass & Co. CALM CBD OIL
Strength: 1000mg per bottle
Recommended Dose: 35mg
Key Features: With added Vitamins B6 and B12 to enhance relaxation
Grass & Co Calm CBD oil is formulated with an interesting blend of natural ingredients, including chamomile, mint and ashwagandha. This accentuates the calming effects of the CBD oil, whilst also offering an enjoyable fresh fragrance and flavour. It is a relatively concentrated oil in a small bottle so it can be a little difficult to dose, but just start with a few drops and see how it goes.
5. Love Hemp X Strong
Strength: 10,000mg per bottle
Recommended Dose: 50mg (half a dropper)
Key Features: The strongest CBD oil you can buy in the UK
Not too long ago, Love Hemp released their CBD oil in a 10,000mg version. This makes it one of the strongest CBD oils on the market and is therefore ideal for people with experience in taking CBD oil. This, plus the XL-sized bottle, means you’ll get fantastic value for money. Made using premium hemp extract and organic coconut oil, you can also be assured of this product’s quality. Ultimately, this product can be a great investment in a long-term wellness routine.
6. Apothem Lights Out Drops
Strength: 3000mg per bottle
Recommended Dose: 50mg
Key Features: With 5-HTP and L-Theanine to help with deeper sleep
Apothem Lights Out Drops combines high-quality CBD oil (100mg of CBD per ml) with an array of botanicals that have been used for years as natural sleep supplements. As well as soothing chamomile and lemon balm, these drops contain hints of caramel and cardamom. The combination of sweet, calming flavours and pure CBD oil are sure to help calm the mind before bed. The perfect combination for those who like their nighttime supplements.
What are the main causes for people having trouble sleeping?
From chronic insomnia to a few sleepless nights, everyone has their struggle with sleep at some point in their lives. With the fast-paced Western lifestyles we have, it’s easy to get caught up and stressed, which can have a serious impact on the way we sleep. Some of the most common causes of disrupted sleep are:
Racing thoughts at night
High caffeine consumption
A disrupted sleep cycle
Looking at screens before bed
How does CBD work to help with sleep?
CBD can be considered a natural sleep aid, although it doesn’t make you fall asleep, it still works with the body to improve sleep quality and duration. CBD helps to ease the mind into a state of relaxation to soothe daily stress and anxiety, which are a common cause of sleep disruption.
Taking CBD before bed can help you get a better night’s sleep as it usually puts you in a deeper sleep and keeps you from waking up during the night. The next morning, you shouldn’t feel any drowsiness, you will wake up feeling refreshed and restored.
What is the link between stress and sleep? How can this be helped with CBD?
Stress can be the source of an unhealthy, vicious cycle as it can affect our sleep. A bad night’s sleep can also be the source of daily stress and anxiety, leading to another bad night and so on. When we feel stressed, it can be difficult to switch off at night. Racing thoughts can lead to either a bad night’s sleep or not sleeping at all, depending on how we try to manage the lack of sleep.
CBD has made a name for itself for its ability to help ease daily stress and anxiety. If stress is the main reason you’re having a hard time sleeping, this might be the sleep remedy you’ve been looking for. Taking a few drops of CBD 30 minutes before going to bed will help relax your body and mind, making it much easier to drift off to sleep.
How much CBD oil should I take before bed?
Again, the amount of CBD you should take depends on you and how your body reacts to CBD, everyone has a different sweet spot when it comes to CBD. But if you take CBD during the day, we’d recommend doubling up on the dose before you go to bed. So if your daytime dose is 20mg, we’d recommend taking 40mg before bed.
What is the best time to take CBD oil before sleep?
On average, it takes about 30 minutes before we start feeling the effects of CBD oil, so this is what we would recommend if you’re taking CBD for sleep. Something to keep in mind is that CBD is not a miracle ingredient, which means that just taking this product is not going to change the way you sleep.
The first thing you’d need when it comes to taking CBD for sleep is having a healthy sleep schedule, which means going to bed and waking up around the same time every day. Why? Taking CBD half an hour before bed is not enough for you to drift off, your inner clock also needs to know that it’s time to head to bed and that can only be done through consistency.
If you’re still trying to get onto a healthy sleep schedule, we recommend implementing some calming practices that will help your mind switch off and make it easier for you to fall asleep. Start with not looking at your phone or any screens once you’re in bed, this will only make you feel more awake. You can also do some breathing exercises, meditation, or some gentle yoga. Find the practices that work for you and that help you fall asleep faster. Once again, everybody is different, so whatever works for you may not work for everyone.
Will a doctor recommend CBD for sleep?
As things stand, CBD is not currently recommended by doctors as a sleep aid. If you’ve been struggling with your sleep for a while and are taking treatment to help you sleep, we’d recommend talking to your doctor to check whether you can take CBD with your treatment.
Will I wake up feeling tired after taking CBD oil?
A common concern surrounding sleep supplements is that they’ll leave us feeling groggy or drowsy the next day. Fortunately, if you take CBD oil before bed you should wake up feeling rested, rejuvenated and ready for the day ahead.
What should you look for when buying CBD?
With CBD being relatively new in the UK, there are a lot of products out there and it can be difficult to find the right brand or product for you. Below are some guidelines to help you find the best quality CBD products:
Strength: You always want to make sure it is clear how much CBD you’re getting in the product. Ideally, the amount would be shown in milligrams, as it would say exactly how much CBD you get in the product. Or sometimes, it can appear in percentage. If neither of these indications are on the packaging, then you may find yourself with a product without CBD in it.
Quality and purity: CBD oils are tested for purity and quality of both the CBD and the end product. If it’s not available on their website, you should be able to ask for a Certificate of Analysis (CoA). This will be able to show that a 3rd party lab tested the product and approves of the quality and the amount of CBD in the product.
CBD vs Hemp Seed Oil: Always make sure it actually says CBD on the bottle, which is the active ingredient. While CBD is extracted from hemp, if it only says ‘Hemp oil’ or ‘Hemp seed oil’ on the bottle, then it means that there is no actual CBD in the product. This is also why you want to buy from a reliable source where you are able to ask questions as they will be able to provide the answers and the right documents.
When buying CBD oil for sleep in the UK, you have to make sure it follows the legal guidelines. This means it cannot contain any THC and cannot be a so-called full-spectrum CBD oil. Any trace of THC would make it a controlled substance. Secondly, a new regulation has been put in place, which means that no new brands can enter the market, for the time being, so make sure you are buying from an established supplier with a few years track record.
Does CBD have side effects?
CBD has already been used by millions of people around the world and generally, people will not have any side effects from CBD use. That being said, there have been very few instances where people have reported mild diarrhoea and feeling of fatigue . However, since CBD has no psychoactive properties, there should be no issues providing that you follow guidelines for recommended dosage.
It’s also worth mentioning that CBD should not be considered a substitute for any medications prescribed by a doctor. If you are on other medications or are interested in how CBD can help with a specific medical condition, we advise you to consult a healthcare professional before trying CBD.
At Get the Dose, we want to help people find products to promote a sense of wellness in both mind and body. We hope that you find this guide useful when picking a high quality CBD oil, and that CBD oil helps you get a peaceful and restorative night’s sleep.