CBD for Sleep: How Athletes Use CBD in Their Nighttime Routines
Why are people taking CBD? Consumer polls find a wide range of reasons. Pain and stress issues top most polls. But the topic of CBD for sleep frequently appears high on those lists as well.
Professional athletes represent some of the most valuable conversation starters about CBD and sleep. Included in the growing list of sports stars who have discussed the link between CBD oil and athletic recovery are golf’s top players, mixed martial arts champions, and Olympic gold medal winners.
But the possibilities for CBD oil and athletic recovery extend well beyond the realm of professional sports. Sleep issues rank among the most common health issues Americans face. More specifically, 83.6 million American adults sleep less than seven hours each night.
And to put that into perspective, insufficient sleep (less than seven hours per day) has been linked to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other maladies.
So while this article will discuss the strengthening bond between CBD and athletes for sleep, it’s important to understand that their needs aren’t much different from yours. And when you consider the physical and mental strain athletes endure plus the level of physical fitness required to perform at such a high level, it’s easy to see how the CBD products they use can help someone like you.
The Life of an Athlete
When we think about pro athletes, it’s easy to believe that it’s only a part-time job. They have extensive off seasons, most leagues only play one to four games a week, and each game only lasts two or three hours.
Sounds great, right? Think again.
For instance, NFL teams only play one game per week. But they often work up to 10-hour days, five to six days per week, for nearly six months of the year. Team meetings, organized workouts, live practices, and sessions with team trainers go on throughout the week.
Further, many football players face fines if they become overweight.
In the absence of this rigorous work, all teams would end up like the Dallas Cowboys – starting strong, but ultimately blowing it in down the stretch – every single year.
During the offseason, those same players may not attend mandatory, organized team events. But they are expected to maintain near-peak physical fitness. The offseason may also include extensive physical therapy or even surgeries to heal and repair injuries accumulated over the previous season.
But none of this is possible without restful, rejuvenating sleep.
Stress is a major factor for athletes as well. Sports pros perform their work under a microscope. And in the case of team sports, the efforts of one player can affect an entire game. Add to that the fact that millions of dollars are at stake in personal contracts and advertising deals.
It only takes one crucial error, be it mental or physical in nature, and everyone from the franchise owner to Jack Blogger, Armchair General Manager, will take you to task.
Sleep is the reset button for this kind of stress. But a good night’s rest is hard to come by when your mind is cluttered with all of these stimuli.
Experts Weigh In on the Importance of Sleep for Athletes
Before we look at how athletes use CBD oil for sleep, we need to understand why sleep is so important.
The waking life of a professional athlete is grueling and frequently tedious. Each day includes vigorous training, prescribed meal routines, and precise supplement intake. Many sports pros also double as parents and family caregivers.
And while workout routines and diets get most of the attention, healthy sleep habits provide athletes the ability to do all of this. Without it, their performance would suffer greatly.
The National Sleep Foundation explains that physical activity puts stress on the body’s muscles and nervous system, among other functions. Recovery from this kind of strain happens while you sleep. The organization also makes it clear: the more active you are, the more sleep you need.
Fatigue Science, a company that consults with NBA, NHL, and NFL franchises, takes things a step further, and describes sleep as the world’s best performance enhancer. In an article on the topic, they noted that chronic sleep loss of two to four hours per day for two weeks degrades performance in similar ways to 24-48 hours of total sleep deprivation.
Athletes and Their Nightly Routines
It just makes sense to follow pro athletes’ lead on health and fitness issues. It’s accurate to say that their livelihoods depend on their ability to perform at the highest level. But most people focus on their workout techniques, supplement choices, and diets.
Their sleep routines, and the tools they use to achieve those routines, rarely get the attention they deserve.
First, it’s important to understand that CBD, be it in the form of a capsule, tincture, topical, or special sleep formula, can’t serve as a silver bullet for insomnia or any other health issue. Studies on CBD and sleep show great promise. But the vast majority of physicians and scientists insist that more research is needed to understand the compound’s full potential.
However, athletes frequently choose to use CBD as one tool among several to promote the sleep they need in order to perform at the highest levels.
Professionals often regiment their nighttime routine the same way they do their training and diet. For instance, many abstain from caffeinated drinks within four hours of bedtime. Athletes often make sure their last meal of the day takes place three to four hours before bed to avoid uncomfortable indigestion.
Most also stick to strict bedtimes, even during rare days off and vacations. The human body craves routine, especially when it comes to essential functions like sleep.
Athletes also take measures to separate their waking hours from their sleep time. For example, many set their thermostats to a lower temperature in the evening, and only use their bedrooms for sleeping and other activities of a more nocturnal nature. In other words, they do not watch television or use electronic devices with screens in the same room where they sleep.
Those techniques, along with a 30- to 60-minute wind-down period with low light and no distractions, provide an effective buffer between waking hours and sleep.
What Top Athletes are Saying About CBD and Sleep
To be clear, there are no completed research papers on CBD and athletes as it pertains to sleep or any other issue. But some professionals, both active and retired, report positive results.
When most athletes talk about the potential for CBD oil and athletic recovery, they’re usually talking about the hemp-derived compound’s potential for pain relief. That’s especially true among former players of contact sports like football and ice hockey, including Steve Smith Sr., Rob Gronkowsky, Riley Cote, and Ryan VandenBussche.
But discussion on how athletes use CBD for sleep becomes more frequent as people become more aware of its properties.
Pain is a hindrance to restful sleep. As Lolo Jones, an Olympic hurdler and bobsledder, puts it in an interview with One37PM, “I had really bad whiplash and couldn't sleep at night. I was always in a lot of pain.”
Jones continued, “I also take this CBD oil at night to help me sleep because I’m traveling a lot internationally. I struggle with jet lag and insomnia. So I can just take CBD oil and go right to bed.”
Bubba Watson ranks among the first and most vocal active competitors speaking freely on the topic of CBD and athletes in professional sports.
Watson credits CBD as a tool for better sleep and recovery as he gets older. When asked about why he chose CBD to provide support for his game and his life, he told The Street, “Just because I'm getting older, and inflammation in my body. Waking up with better sleep, that was the two things that I was focused on with a seven-year-old and a four-year-old at the house and playing golf all day."
He went further, saying, "I needed some energy fast, and so for me, it's all about sleep and I'm trying to get the body right.”
Kerri Walsh Jennings, the most decorated beach volleyball champion on the planet, said, “As a mother, I'm a big fan of sleep. Implementing cbdMD's CBD PM into my routine has improved my sleep and I definitely see a change in my overall well-being.”
And while it may sound crazy, there are plenty of professional mixed martial arts champions who rely on CBD bath bombs for recuperation and relaxation before bedtime.
How Athletes Use CBD for Better Sleep
While athletes often keep their fitness routines private, a few athletes share their secrets with the world. Here are a few of Team cbdMD’s favorite CBD products for a good night’s rest.
If you ask Lolo Jones and Kerri Walsh Jennings about their go-to sleep aid, they’ll point you to cbdMD’s CBD PM, their award-winning CBD and melatonin product.
CBD PM, winner of the 2020 Product of the Year Award, is an oil-based tincture that combines hemp-derived CBD with melatonin – a hormone naturally produced in the body to regulate the day/night cycle. And it’s incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is put a dropper-full under your tongue, hold it there for 30 to 60 seconds, and swallow.
If you don’t care for the taste or mouthfeel of oil tinctures, cbdMD also offers its CBD sleep aid formula in softgel capsules.
Do you remember that Lolo mentioned a CBD recovery cream she used for her neck pain? She was referring to CBD Recover, which provides targeted relief wherever you need it most – especially at bedtime.
There are a wide range of products marketed as CBD for pain relief. The difference is that CBD Recover also features a wide range of soothing botanicals, plus an FDA-approved pain reliever, histamine dihydrochloride. It’s available in CBD concentrations of 300 mg, 750 mg, and 1500 mg.
If you prefer a cooling pain-fighting sensation, you may want to consider cbdMD’s CBD Freeze, 2020 Product of the Year in the CBD Topicals category.
CBD Bath Bombs
As a wide range of professional fighters and extreme sports athletes will tell you, soaking in a hot CBD-infused bath goes a long way towards settling in for a good long sleep.
cbdMD’s lavender and cbd bath bomb provides full mind and body relaxation during your evening wind-down.
And remember, you can always mix and match products to personalize your CBD for sleep routine – just like the pros.
Follow Team cbdMD for More Ways Athletes Use CBD
Looking for more ways athletes use CBD? Follow our team of over 40 professional athletes who choose cbdMD to support their recovery and wellness regimen.
Disclaimer: The cbdMD page contains general information about health, diet, lifestyle, and nutrition. Any information provided should not be considered or treated as medical advice and always consult a medical professional before making any lifestyle changes. Products and information mentioned on the cbdMD blog are not intended to be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Any links to third-party websites are provided as a convenience only and cbdMD is not responsible for their content.