We all know the old story.
Sleeping Beauty eats from the apple and falls soundly, deeply asleep.
Okay okay...it was Snow White but Sleeping Beauty is so much more relevant to our discussion of CBD.
Where can we get one of those apples sans the requisite witchcraft and never waking up part?
Maybe...we'll keep Prince Charming but first priority...sleep!
If you're like many ladies, you've filled in the gaps with Tylenol PM, Benadryl, and Ambien but that's not a long term option.
Let's see...we can pick from:
- Alzheimer's (main ingredient in Benadryl and Tylenol PM link in research)
- Addiction (many sleep aids have this "side effect" plus others)
Umm...those are both bad!
But we HAVE to sleep!!
We need to turn off all the planning, revisionist history of the day, and stress.
There's too much we have to do tomorrow to have a crappy night's sleep.
Sleep is one of the three main reasons women find and use CBD.
Let's understand why.
You can jump to a section here:
- Get re-acquainted with sleep
- Why women's sleep is trickier
- The endocannabinoid system and sleep
- Research on CBD and women's sleep
- Best dosage for CBD and women's sleep
- Best way to take CBD for women's sleep
Here's we go!
101 sheep. 102 sheep. 100….buh bye sheep!
Get reacquainted with sleep
There are some new discoveries on the sleep front.
They just discovered a part of the brain that's in charge of switching sleep on and off.
Specific neurons deep in the thalamus to be exact.
This is pretty revolutionary since we didn't expect one area to be a master switch.
The neurons coordinate different types of oscillations to trigger different states of wakefulness and even deep, restful sleep.
You can read all about it here.
So sleep is partially about the brain being able to oscillate (think of a wave) at certain frequencies.
Lots of things can disrupt this!
- Alcohol and Stimulants (uhh...caffeine maybe?? Just saying)
- Low hormone levels (sound familiar to our ladies in perimenopause??)
- Light levels (screens, etc)
- Medications (big culprit)
Lots of things.
Especially for women!
Why women's sleep is trickier
There are known differences between the genders in terms of sleep quality and sleep issues.
The sleep differences really peak during key points such as puberty, pregnancy, and perimenopause.
That's your first clue!
Those are all periods of great hormonal fluctuations.
We'll get into that later but keep that in the back of your mind.
Sex differences exist in sleep quality, duration, latency, and architecture in the general population
Duh!! We know this.
We did a major review of CBD and perimenopause sleep here to show the powerful effects that estrogen and progesterone have on our sleep.
So what can we do about it?
Let's dig a little deeper. Stay with us.
The endocannabinoid system and sleep
We're getting closer to CBD.
First, a quick intro to the canvas that CBD paints on!
The endocannabinoid system.
All ladies...all multicellular living things except for insects...have one.
It runs through your entire body and research is showing that its role (when functioning at full speed) is to balance other key systems:
- Nervous system (you know...where that thalamus lives)
- Endocrine system (yes, hormones like estrogen and progesterone)
- Immune system (where stress response and inflammation response reside)
So...those sound like they might be important to a woman's sleep.
We have endocannabinoids which we make in our bodies out of fats.
The two biggest are anandamide (the bliss molecule) and 2-AG.
CBD or cannabidiol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant.
It can interact with our own endocannabinoid system.
Research is showing that it appears to give or take when needed.
Let's look at one key way it "works" when it comes to women's sleep.
CBD and Women's Sleep Support
It's a mouthful but be patient….you may just fall in love with the word.
Or at least in "bliss".
Ananda is the Sanskrit word for "bliss, joy, or happiness".
Now accounting for the runner's high and even the relaxed feeling after orgasm, Anandamide is being shown to have an additional role.
New research is showing that Anandamide may be intimately tied to the sleep/wake cycle initiation.
Our results have indicated that ANA strikingly increases slow-wave sleep SWS 2 and rapid-eye-movement REM sleep
CBD has been shown to increase levels of Anandamide in the body and this may be a major reason that women are flocking to it for sleep.
We expect much more research on the CBD and sleep connection.
You can read all about CBD and sleep here.
Let's touch base on CBD and some of the usual "blocks" against good sleep for women.
We'll start with anxiety.
Anxiety and Women's Sleep
There's a documented relationship between stress/anxiety and sleep quality.
Reducing anxiety and even OCD (repetitive thoughts) is crucial for good sleep.
CBD has shown pretty impressive research on that front.
It appears to use the HTP (serotonin) and GABA pathways in the brain which is directly tied to reducing anxiety.
Speaking of which, CBD has even shown strong abilities to address anxiety caused by specific sources of stress.
We all know the feeling.
- The next morning, you have a big meeting where you're presenting the information.
- Or an important volleyball or tennis game.
It's hard to sleep the night before.
We've all been there.
CBD was used for a group before public speaking:
Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech.
Anxiety that becomes chronic is similar to that stressful situation being continued night in and night out?
Check out all the research on CBD and anxiety.
That's a major cause of sleep disruption.
What about those nasty hot flashes?
Body Temperature and Women's Sleep
Body temperature is intimately tied to deep sleep.
The body needs to drop a few degrees to enter REM sleep which is the restorative type of sleep.
Its effect becomes obvious for women during perimenopause when fluctuating hormones cause hot flashes at night.
Check out CBD and hot flashes or night sweats here.
Sleep is largely under the sway of hormones including melatonin and cortisol.
The exact mechanism of controlling body temperature occurs in the TRPV1 pathway.
Body-temperature maintenance as the predominant function of the vanilloid receptor TRPV1.
CBD has a direct effect on this pathway!
While studying CBD and epilepsy, they found that CBD is an antagonist of the TRPV1 receptors and helps to calm body temperature rises.
The goal is balance and cooler body temperatures when sleeping!
Research on CBD and women's sleep
You can check out all the latest research on CBD and women's sleep here.
Some of our favorite highlights:
use of CBD (160 mg/day) was associated with an increase in total sleep time and less frequent awakenings
That's a good start.
What about the nasty hangover effects that many of the sleep aids have the following day?
we found no residual effects of CBD on cognitive or psychomotor functions compared to placebo
In fact, CBD tends to increase alertness during waking hours!
Understand why at our article, Can I take CBD in the middle of the day
And it is showing NO evidence of being habit-forming.
Very important compared to the commonly prescribed sleep aids.
cortical up-states and NREM sleep.
REM sleep...the goal.
That's the deep sleep when you dream and more importantly when your body clears out toxins and does its cellular housekeeping.
Again, check out the article here for more detail.
So how much CBD should we take?
Best dosage for CBD and women's sleep
The studies above referenced 160 mg/day.
A beginning trial dosage generally starts at 15-25mg to test how your body likes it.
You can then go up from there until you find an ideal level.
Studies showed help with sleep at around 160 mg.
CBD has been tested from 300-600 mgs/day for more serious issues so insomnia might require a higher dose.
There have even been studies up to 1500 mg with a strong safety profile.
Let us know what works for you to help other women get good sleep.
Best CBD for women's sleep
The oil tinctures are definitely the most popular way to take CBD for sleep.
Sleep is a systemic issue and the oil tinctures have a longer absorption time which is important.
There's a huge tie in with histamines and sleep disruption so CBD isolate is recommended if you have any allergies.
By the way, women get hit by allergies much harder than men.
Just an FYI...histamine is excitatory in the brain and all that plant material from full spectrum might just go the wrong way!
This is for us...ladies!
That's why we tested and found the cleanest CBD isolate for women.
You can learn all about CBD full spectrum versus Isolate with histamines here.
IndigoNatural is 3rd party tested:
- THC free
- Bacteria free
- Mold free
- Heavy metal-free
- Organically grown in the US (Colorado to be exact)
It's clean, CBD isolate so as not to add anything which would interfere with sleep.
Do no harm first!
Sleep well knowing that CBD has many other positive benefits across a range of Women's wellness needs.
Let us know your results and what doses work below!
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.