It may be time to quit taking Ambien when you start receiving those random Amazon packages.
A chainsaw, a ski mask, and latex gloves? Who ordered these packages? You did, apparently.
Sedatives can have unwanted side effects like Ambien’s alarming Amazon-binging blackouts. Prescription sleep aids can also be addictive or unsafe to their users and others (see chainsaw..).
We want to propose a more natural route when it comes to sleep aids. In this article, we will introduce both melatonin and CBD oil as supplements that can help reset your sleep/wake cycle safely.
Melatonin for Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the pineal gland of the brain and is released in response to darkness. Conversely, it is suppressed by light. By this mechanism, it helps control the sleep-wake cycle we know as the circadian rhythm.
How Melatonin Works
The amount of melatonin you produce influences wakefulness during the day and sleepiness when the sun goes down. Typically you will get a bigger hit of melatonin in the evening, the biggest quantities peaking between 11 PM and 3 AM.
The darkness triggers the activation of melatonin and its receptors, called the MT1 and MT2 receptors. This keeps you sleeping like a baby.
But when the sun is out, there isn’t much melatonin in the bloodstream. Instead, we experience more of an opposite effect from other hormones like cortisol. This stress hormone is secreted when the morning light comes. That I’m-going-to-have-a-complete-mental-breakdown-today feeling is our body’s way of waking us up, getting us ready for the day. Thanks hormones.
But when you aren’t getting enough melatonin, you may have issues sleeping. Some things that interfere with our natural melatonin production are:
Aging: Like a lot of things that decline as we age the production of melatonin tends to decrease very quickly. Especially after we turn 60, our pineal glands become more calcified and there is less sensitivity in the melatonin receptors.
Artificial light: Since the body decreases melatonin when we are exposed to light, even artificial light is not exempt. And since we are commonly around screens and LED bulbs that give off a lot of blue light, this can confuse our body into wanting to stay awake.
Uses of Melatonin
Using melatonin as a supplement can help reset an unbalanced sleep/wake cycle. Synthetic melatonin can also activate melatonin receptors in the brain. In what is called melatonin replacement therapy, synthetic melatonin has the following uses:
- Treating insomnia
- Alleviating jet lag
- Improving sleep quality
- Wake up less
- Reduces sleep latency
- Balancing sleep/wake cycle of blind people
- Shift work
Before adopting melatonin into your sleep routine, there are a few things to be aware of.
Caveat #1: Avoid bright or blue light before bedtime
If you take melatonin before your targeted bedtime, and you expose yourself to bright or blue light, you are negating the effects of the supplement. Sorry Instagram scrollers. The light from your phone is confusing your body and sending mixed messages.
Try to avoid watching Vanderpump Rules or blasting through your Instagram right before lights out. We like to turn our screens off 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
The light in your room can also affect sleep. The more warm and yellow your lamplight, the more likely your brain will think it’s sleep time. Avoid LED lighting, which has more of a bluish hue that keeps you awake.
Caveat #2: Don’t take it during the day
If you take melatonin in the daytime, or closer to daylight hours (like 3 to 4 AM), you may feel drowsy and groggy the next morning. Your circadian rhythm may be thrown off as a result.
The only caveat to this caveat is shift workers and the jet-lagged. Taking melatonin during the day can be helpful for those night shift workers who have to sleep during the day. It can also minimize jet-lag-related downtime on your family vacation to Europe, allowing you more time to climb the Eiffel Tower and relax with the fam in French cafes.
Caveat #3: It is not a sleeping pill
Melatonin is meant for short-term use only. At this time, there are no long-term studies for melatonin use. This supplement is simply meant to reset the sleep/wake cycle, not to be used as a nightly sleeping pill. Once you have enough melatonin in your body, you should just use it incrementally as needed.
Melatonin Side Effects and Interactions
When it comes to taking melatonin, less is more. Believe it or not, you can overdose on melatonin. Since it is a natural hormone that can become out of balance, it is possible to tip that balance to where you have taken too much. An overdose can daytime sleepiness, nightmares, vivid dreams, or any of the following effects:
Less common side effects include:
- Short-lasting depression
- Mild tremor
- Mild anxiety
- Joint pain
- Reduced alertness
- Confusion or disorientation
- Abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension)
Taking melatonin may have some negative interactions and other substances. Some of these interactions include:
- Diabetes medications
- Birth control pills
- Other sleep medications like Klonipin, Ativan, Ambien, and Valium
Although melatonin can help you fall asleep easier when used correctly, it may not be the final solution for you. Sure, it could reset the problem temporarily, but the underlying issue may come back, causing you more sleepless nights.
Temporary relief from melatonin may indicate that you have an underlying sleep disorder, caused by things like chronic pain or sleep apnea.
But what are the most common issues that cause insomnia? The answer: stress, anxiety, or depression.
If you are a cortisol junkie like the rest of us, you may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting restful sleep. Hours are spent flipping in the bed like a pancake, worrying about your to-do list or every embarrassing thing you did in high school.
Alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression may be a better method of addressing your underlying sleep issues.
Here are a few suggestions to help alleviate these issues:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Limit alcohol and caffeine
- Breathing exercises
- Diet change
- CBD oil
CBD Oil for Sleep
Cannabidiol (CBD) comes from the cannabis plant and is usually served in the form of hemp extracts mixed with a carrier oil. CBD has been shown to have positive benefits on stress, anxiety, and depression. The relief can also translate to better sleep. These benefits of CBD not only help you catch more ZZz’s, but it can also benefit other health conditions and overall wellness.
How CBD Works
Like melatonin, CBD influences G-protein coupled receptors in our body. CBD interacts with what is known as cannabinoid receptors of our endocannabinoid system (ECS). CB1 and CB2 receptors regulate things like mood, sleep, appetite, memory, and more.
Sleep patterns can be affected by our high cortisol levels. Our stress response is tended to by endocannabinoids 2-AG and anandamide (AEA). Though these two are working on the same stress-inhibition team, they have different functions.
When stress is elevated, 2-AG tries to terminate the threat by blocking the CB1 receptor. This just makes you more stressed and anxious by trying to get rid of the problem! On the other hand, anandamide’s job is to nullify the stress or pain. With the help of CBD, anandamide levels (2-AGs enemy) are increased, which promotes fear extinction and can reduce cortisol. And when you are less stressed, you get better sleep!
Best CBD Oil for Sleep
Our customers love our Nightcap CBD: CBN Sleep Drops. This full-spectrum CBD tincture (includes THC unlike broad-spectrum oil) has the whole gang of cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as soothing botanicals to get you more restful sleep. Here is just a summary of the ZZzz-beneficial compounds in Nightcap:
Cannabidiol (CBD): One of the most abundant compounds found in cannabis, this cannabinoid has an effect on stress and anxiety, which can then give you deeper, more restful sleep. It does not produce a psychoactive high.
Cannabinol (CBN): This cannabinoid affects sedation, especially in the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Cannabigerol (CBG): Known as the mother of all cannabinoids, CBG has muscle-relaxing properties, which can help alleviate anxiety.
Chamomile: Can decrease cortisol, the stress hormone. Chamomile is well known for its tranquilizing properties, as well as its digestive and immune systems.
Passionflower: This herb has been shown to prolong deep sleep. And the longer you are in deep sleep, the more your body cleanses and restores itself. You may wake up looking and feeling younger!
Terpenes: With the help of terpenes like myrcene and D-limonene, you may even sleep in a bit longer.
CBD Side Effects and Interactions
CBD is generally well-tolerated. Though not common, side effects of CBD may include:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Drowsiness and fatigue
Talk to your doctor before taking cannabidiol. You may experience increased side effects if CBD interacts with:
- Antidepressants like Prozac
- Certain heart medications
- Antipsychotics and benzodiazepines
- Antibiotics like erythromycin and clarithromycin
As another word of warning, be aware of unreliable CBD products that are flooding the market. Since ours is a relatively new industry, there are very few CBD products that are regulated by the FDA.
As a result, you will find many CBD gummies, tinctures, vapes, and topicals out there making false claims and purity and doses. Stick with high-quality, third-party tested CBD products from Juna World.
Can You Take CBD Oil & Melatonin Together Safely?
Yes, you can take CBD oil and melatonin together safely. We have mentioned how both CBD and melatonin work. They both influence G-protein coupled receptors, which have similar structures and processes in our bodies. This suggests that taking CBD oil with melatonin may help you get a good night’s sleep.
When taking CBD and melatonin together, this can be a powerful duo for getting you back into your body’s natural sleep rhythm. As you can see, they are both considered safe. Both have been proven to affect sleep. But when taken together, they may be even more effective.
Since they work in similar ways, their processes may actually complement each other. While melatonin works to reverse the effects of disrupted hormones, CBD can help your overall sleep quality by minimizing anxiety and stress.
And best of all, CBD and melatonin:
- Don’t cause hangovers
- Have no withdrawal symptoms
- Have no serious side effects
How to Take CBD & Melatonin Together
Although these two are both considered safe to take, you need to make sure you don’t overdo it. Finding the right balance is essential when it comes to sleep aids.
As always, we recommend starting with low doses to get your body acclimated and to recognize the incremental changes that are caused by these supplements. As you get comfortable, then you can slowly up your doses.
- Melatonin dosage: How much is an overdose of melatonin? Well, that is hard to define since there is no official standard dose. In studies, the doses range between 1 and 10 mg. Anything over 30 mg may have negative effects. Depending on your weight, age, and sensitivity, we recommend anywhere between 0.2 and 2 mg to start. Take the lowest dose you can at first to see how you react.
- CBD dosage: The way CBD affects you will also depend on things like weight, age, and sensitivity. Go low and slow. If you are new to the world of CBD, we recommend starting at 5 mg. CBD tinctures come with a dropper for easy and accurate dosing. Your tolerance level will change as you continue your dosing, so be patient as your body’s levels reset. When you find the right dose for you, you can gradually up your dosage. If you do seem to hit a plateau, take a few nights off and then resume your nightly dosing.
We recommend taking your melatonin supplement 2-3 hours before bedtime and CBD 30 minutes to 1 hour before. You may wonder why melatonin requires so much time to take effect, but it is important to remember that melatonin is not a sleeping pill. As we’ve said, melatonin is triggered by darkness. You don’t immediately fall asleep after the sun goes down; it is simply a reminder that “we should start winding down,” which typically takes us a few more hours.
Sleeping Safe and Sound
Both CBD oil and melatonin are safe to take and well-tolerated. Though we don’t advocate for taking them at the same time, they can still complement each other as you drift off to sleep.
And you can rest assured you won’t have any more surprise Amazon packages with melatonin and CBD oil. A good night’s rest, and no more chainsaws. (But the mystery remains: what was that chainsaw for anyway…..?)
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not provided to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. It should not be interpreted as instruction or medical advice to displace the advice of your doctor or other medical professionals. We recommend talking to your doctor to prepare a treatment plan for any disease or ailments.