CBD For Sleep: Can It Help Catch Those Z’s?

Woman sleeping in bed

Nothing is worse than the empty feeling of being awake in the middle of the night, watching the slow ticking of time pass by as you wait to fall asleep. Resisting the urge to flip through infomercials (hmm maybe I need this vegetable chopper? I’ve been cutting onions by hand all this time!) or expectantly scrolling through Instagram to see new posts. (Is anyone awake? New stories? No?)

Sleep is something we all need, but doesn’t come easily for some. When it seems like you’ve exhausted all your options—and quite literally exhausted yourself in the process—CBD may be able to help. Depending on the root cause of your sleeping issues, CBD may be the solution to help you wind down and stay asleep (what a dream!). Let’s look at some sleep issues and see what the research says about CBD and sleep. 

Why do some people have trouble falling asleep? 

Aside from external factors like a noisy neighbor playing piano duets with his cat until 3am, sleep may be eluding you for a variety of reasons, including stress, anxiety, depression or lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. Medications you are taking and chronic physical conditions or diseases can also interfere with sleep and restfulness. 

What is the science behind CBD & sleep? 

Researchers discovered that the endocannabinoid system (located throughout the body) plays a role in maintaining certain body functions, such as mood, appetite, sleep and regulating circadian rhythms. Within the endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system.1 Cannabinoids like CBD attach to these cells and have various effects. Research is still on-going, but recent studies have shown that CBD can help improve the length and quality of sleep, prompting additional studies based on the promising results. 

What’s the latest research?

Here are recent studies on CBD & sleep: 

  • In 2021, 1,521 people reported taking CBD for sleep problems. Participants reported that CBD helped them get to sleep more quickly, reducing the average time from about an hour to 20 minutes. Perhaps more importantly, participants reported waking up less often when using CBD for sleep (about a third as many times).2  
  • In 2019, one study involved 72 subjects, with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep. The subjects were each given 25mg of CBD in capsule form each day. In the first month, 79.2 percent of the patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 percent reported better sleep.3
  • As of 2020, it was determined that there is enough cause to continue pursuing future trials of cannabinoid therapies in individuals with sleep apnea, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder-related nightmares, restless legs syndrome, rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder and narcolepsy.4   
  • In a 2019 nationally representative Consumer Reports survey, about 10 percent of Americans who reported trying CBD said they used it to help them sleep, and a majority of those people said it worked.
  • In 2017, researchers found that CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.6 
  • In 2016, a case study involving a 10-year-old girl with post-traumatic stress disorder and poor sleep was treated with CBD. A trial of 25mg of a CBD supplement was administered at bedtime. Sleep quantity and quality gradually improved over five months.7  
  • In 2014, one study looked at four patients with Parkinson’s disease. It found that CBD improved the symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a disorder in which a person acts out their dreams.8 

What is the relationship between CBD, sleep & anxiety? 

CBD can help with sleep because of its anti-anxiety properties and ability to promote relaxation.9 As a result of reduced anxiety, sleep difficulties are oftentimes diminished and sleep quality is improved. The mind-racing feelings of nervousness, restlessness or worry can be put to ease and calm a heightened state. 

When is the right time of day to take CBD to help you sleep? 

It really depends on how your body personally processes CBD, and how cannabinoid receptors are distributed throughout your body.10 It may take some trial and error to determine the best time for you to take CBD and get a restful night’s sleep. Because Voyce CBD capsules are so fast acting, they can be taken immediately before you go to bed (they don’t need extra time to break down in the body—effects are usually felt within 10 minutes). Even the act of taking a CBD capsule could be the signal your body needs to start winding down and carry your mind off to a restful place for sleep. 

Why might CBD be a good alternative to sleep medications? 

Those with sleeping issues may turn to CBD because it is a natural alternative to prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Common sleep aids can have undesired side effects, ranging from dizziness, headache, gastrointestinal issues, prolonged drowsiness, allergic reactions, daytime performance problems and more. Quality CBD products like Voyce CBD capsules are made with 100% pure hemp CBD oil, and no added fillers or harsh ingredients that may be found in prescription sleep aids.

What’s the bottom line? 

If you’re having trouble sleeping, the best first step is to request that your noisy neighbor and his cat learn some Brahms Lullaby so that you can at least listen to something peaceful. The second step is to talk with your doctor about your specific sleep issues. For those searching for a way to quiet the mind and improve relaxation before bedtime, CBD could be the key to getting some much needed shut-eye. 

  1. American Sleep Association. (n.d). CBD: For Sleep and Insomnia. https://rb.gy/uwscu2   
  2. Project CBD. (n.d.). CBD Survey Results: Cultivating Wellness. https://www.projectcbd.org/reports/cultivating-wellness/sleep
  3. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal, 23, 18–041. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041 
  4. The National Library of Medicine. (2020, May 16). Cannabinoid therapies in the management of sleep disorders: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical studies. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32603954/
  5. Gill, L. L. (2019, February 5). Can CBD Help You Sleep? Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/can-cbd-help-you-sleep/ 
  6. Babson, K.A., Sottile, J. & Morabito, D. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Curr Psychiatry Rep 19, 23 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9 
  7. Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente journal, 20(4), 16-005. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/16-005 
  8. Healthline. (n.d.). CBD for Insomnia: Benefits, Side Effects, and Treatment. https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-for-insomnia#research
  9. Breus. M. J. (2017 September 6). The Ultimate Guide to CBD and Sleep. Huffpost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-ultimate-guide-to-cbd-and-sleep_b_59b013e9e4b0c50640cd63a0
  10. Weingus. L. (2018 September 12). Can CBD Really Help You Sleep Better? Huffpost.  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cbd-sleep-insomnia_n_5b980bd7e4b0511db3e6c4f4