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Illustration by Thomas Lateur
Illustration by Thomas Lateur
#sleep

10 tips for better sleep with CBD

12/02/2020 9 MIN. READ Tim Dresemann
12/02/2020 9 MIN. READ Tim Dresemann

Many people seek restful sleep. It’s understandable! We live in extremely stressful times. That’s no news either! And since CBD - the miracle worker of the cannabis plant - has started to be included in various products and there’s much talk of its sleep-promoting qualities, we think it’s time to clear some things up for you. If you’re wondering whether CBD could help you get better sleep in 2020, you’ve come to the right place. And please, forget any dubious advice you may have seen on the internet about “ideal CBD sleep dosages” or “CBD sleep studies” that promise unbelievable results.

Instead of luring you in with false promises, we want to break down the topic of sleep for you, so that you can understand how to optimise your sleep behaviors. Here it’s not about the classic dosage tips, what amount of CBD promotes sleep, or what sleep experiences our customers have had with our CBD products.

At a glance! Our themes for you:

  1. Recognizing sleep problems - the first step to sleep optimisation
  2. Let yourself be supported
  3. Classic sleeping pills are a no-go!
  4. Know your tools!
  5. CBD for falling asleep?
  6. Coffee junkies, prepare to be disappointed
  7. Sleeping and falling asleep - you can train yourself!
  8. Who’s the boss here?
  9. Document how you “end” your day
  10. Usually, sleep optimisation just means tweaking your “rituals” a bit

1. Recognizing sleep problems - the first step to sleep optimisation

    Before we dive in and give you the tips for adjusting your routine and incorporating CBD for better sleep, we need to mention one important aspect: we’re distinguishing between classic sleep problems and so-called sleep disturbances. Sleep problems generally emerge through stress, worries, overworking or simply an unhealthy lifestyle. If you regularly wake up at night and can’t fall back asleep, or generally struggle to fall asleep and feel rested, that’s medically defined as a sleep disturbance. Insomnia is a classic example of such a sleep disturbance.

    In the latter case, our guide is not going to be the right thing for you. Your best bet is to seek advice from your doctor. And with that, we’ll clear up the first false assumption: yes, CBD could help you combat sleep problems, but if the lack of sleep is caused by medical problems like mental illness or processing trauma, the root of the problem needs to be addressed first. Only then can effective sleep optimisation take place.

    2. Let yourself be supported

      For your ideal bedtime routine, you want to find something that really relaxes you. Luckily, you’ve got options. And we don’t mean alcohol and other stuff that makes you tired but, at the same time, inhibits proper sleep - you know, stuff that leaves you feeling dreadful in the morning. In the winter months, a warm bath can be really helpful. Just make sure you’re in the appropriate setting.

      Our female readers don’t need to be told this; men, listen up. If you want to rest and recover in a warm bath, you’ve got to set up the environment accordingly. It’s all about feeling at ease. For an extra enjoyable bath, you can toss our VAAY Bath Bomb in the tub. The included CBD and terpenes can also help you switch off.

      3. Classic sleeping pills are a no-go!

        Many people reach for conventional sleeping pills or sleeping drops as soon as any sleep problems arise, for example due to stress. We’re not into that. We think the drawbacks simply aren’t worth it. Your body quickly gets used to such substances, which can lead to physical and mental dependence among a bunch of other side effects that should deter you from using them. They’re essentially aids a doctor may prescribe if there are medical reasons for your lack of sleep or inability to fall asleep. But since we’re talking about classic sleep problems here, you may want to consider adopting alternative methods for dealing with them. If you’ve done so, you’ve probably already stumbled upon the question, “Does CBD actually support good sleep?”

        4. Know your tools!

          What exactly happens during sleep disturbance? Simply put, your endogenous cannabinoid system is responsible for your “functioning” properly. If this system is somehow weakened, it has trouble ensuring that your body’s systems keep running smoothly. This is exactly where CBD could help. When talking about classic CBD, we basically mean an external cannabinoid with which you supply your body’s endocannabinoid system.

          It takes on the role of neurotransmitter, in which it interacts with your personal endocannabinoid system and assists it with its tasks, so to speak. Simply put: this is how you can keep your system in balance and also ensure healthy sleeping behavior. Learn more about the endocannabinoid system in our Hemp Wiki article, “Endocannabinoid system: exciting functions and cannabidiol.”

          5. CBD for falling asleep?

            We’re basically talking about the exact opposite of classic sleeping aids. Let’s be real - sleeping pills knock you out. This can help by chronic sleeplessness, but doesn’t address the root of the problem. And we’re not advocating lulling yourself to sleep with THC either. By contrast, cannabinoids, when combined with melatonin, promote sleep and at the same time reduce your anxieties about not being able to fall asleep. With CBD, a combination of various elements comes into play.

            Like we mentioned, cannabinoids can help your body’s own cannabinoid system reharmonize. This can help you long-term to get better and more restful sleep. CBD extracted from hemp, for example, contains terpenes. In short, they can help to calm you down, relax your muscles, and alleviate minor anxieties. At the same time, they speed up the function of your actual cannabinoids. For example, CBD contains terpinolene, which is also a component in sage and rosemary. Want to know more about CBD and terpenes? In our Hemp Wiki, we answer the most important questions regarding terpenes: “What are terpenes? And what do they have to do with CBD?

            What does a CBD dose look like?

            In this guide, we’ve explained how you can optimise your sleep and sleep behavior. Of course, you can go further and try out more of our products. Especially if you’re not in the mood for a bath every night. But what’s the right CBD oil dosage? That depends on the person. There are various CBD sleep studies which present the CBD sleep experiences of test candidates.

            With CBD drops containing melatonin, as with all supplements, you should stick to the dosage instructions. These vary by product and contents. The assumption that more means better doesn’t work here. Ideally, you’d keep the CBD oil under your tongue for 2 minutes before swallowing the drops. The recommended dosage for our VAAY Night Melatonin Drops with Hemp Extract is 10 drops, and should be taken around 30 minutes before bedtime.

            6. Coffee junkies, prepare to be disappointed

              Everything sounds good so far, right? We’re gonna be totally honest with you. If you’re one of those people who drinks liters of coffee a day and pounds back the energy drinks, we’re about to disappoint you. Because if that sounds like you, then even the highest dosage of CBD won’t have an effect on you. CBD is no miracle substance that can bring you back to earth within seconds. CBD can support your sleep, however, if you don’t overstimulate yourself further. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that we’re only talking about a small part of your complete sleep optimisation.

              The right CBD dosage will only take its true effect when combined with other factors. If you’re interested in additional topics like preventing sleep disturbance, better sleep and tools like cannabidiol or melatonin, you’re already on the right path. Now it’s all about using the available resources correctly.

              7. Sleeping and falling asleep - you can train yourself!

                Let’s be honest: jobs and the general pressures of life really challenge your mind and body. When it comes to jump-starting yourself as fast as possible - like using coffee and such to override small energy slumps - we’re masters of making the mind and body function as desired. Luckily, “helpers” exist in masses to support you. Sleep is an aspect that many forget when looking to scale up their performance. Indeed, sleep optimisation is one of the easiest ways to increase your efficiency and bounce back when your stress level rises.

                Clearly, sleep optimisation is nothing obscure or frivolous; it’s a tool that a variety of professional athletes have relied on for years. But how exactly do you become your own personal sleep trainer and reap the maximum benefits of your resting hours?

                8. Who’s the boss here? In 2020, you decide when it’s time to sleep

                  We’ll begin with the basics. Sleep gives your body the opportunity to recuperate. Sounds trivial, but it’s true. Your body relaxes, your motor system is able to switch off for a few hours, and your brain rests in standby mode. These are all essential to living a healthy life. Two nights of low-quality sleep and you’ll already be functioning at a lower efficiency and compromising your health.

                  A simple example: you’re sitting on the couch watching television at night, and you slowly get tired. Your body’s telling you it wants to go to sleep. And that’s exactly where we come in. We want to optimise your sleep in the future. In other words, your body won’t be telling you when to go to sleep anymore; you’ll decide on a fixed time that works for you, and your body will conform to it.

                  9. Study how you “end” your day

                    Like with other physical needs, it’s possible to control your sleep. First, you need to create a mental plan. How do your evenings look? If, on work days you leave the office late, grab a quick snack on the way home, then sink into the couch and eventually knock out there, please keep reading. What exactly is happening here?

                    Your body recognizes your night routine, the way it does your last meal of the day or your switch into standby mode, as a signal that your day is ending. These rituals can be optimised and sensibly combined for an easier time falling asleep and better recuperation while you sleep.

                    10. Usually, sleep optimisation just means tweaking your “rituals” a bit

                      Let’s practice optimisation with the example we just mentioned. Your commute home can’t be avoided, but think about whether you could cover the distance of your commute a bit more comfortably. Why? We’re trying to use this time better, that is more meaningfully, in order to set ourselves up for sleep optimisation, which will in turn ensure good health. Let’s move on to dinner. We’re not trying to moralize here or try to hold you off from delicious snacks. We’re trying to optimise your sleep, not your eating behaviors.

                      Now ask yourself: which evening activities really help you chill out and let your body and mind switch into your personal flight mode? Binge-watching television shows might not be the best choice. You don’t need to completely give up the pleasure of watching TV. Simply set aside a specific window of time for it. As part of your evening routine and to send your body the signal that the day’s over, you can take a short walk around the block.

                      For those who don’t like sports, this is definitely sufficient and not too great a challenge, especially since we got the commute home out of the way. It’s not about incorporating some extensive fitness routine that’ll physically tire you out. Rather, it’s about developing rituals that you can get used to and that can signal to your body, “We’re going to bed soon.” Meditation can also be helpful in calming down your body and mind, soothing any anxiety and working through pain. You can hold a comfortable seating position or simply lay down on your yoga mat. In our blog posts about meditation and relaxation, we show you which paths can lead you to connect with your inner self: Can you feel it! Relax with VAAY.

                      And that’s not all! We’re sure you’ve been able to follow along this far. We’ve switched out our former night routines for elements that have a positive effect on our sleep behaviors and ability to fall asleep. But there’s more. If you want to optimise your sleep, you’ve also got to make some changes in your bedroom. Here are a couple absolute No-Go’s.

                      Don’t try to fall asleep to the sound of the television. If you’re already in this habit, your biggest challenge is going to be weaning yourself off. If falling asleep to complete silence is uncomfortable for you, you can try out some relaxing music or white noise. You can find both for free on various apps for your smartphone.

                      The second important element is to completely get rid of blue light in your bedroom. LED-bulbs are super popular at the moment, but you should still be switching them off at night. Blue light is sleep’s greatest enemy.

                      Last but not least, control the temperature in your bedroom. There are a whole bunch of sleep studies that recommend keeping the room around 17-19°; in any case, it shouldn’t be any higher. Implement these elements and you’ll have customised the virtually perfect night routine for yourself.

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