Melatonin and CBD: How They Work Together to Deliver Better Sleep

Melatonin and CBD: How They Work Together to Deliver Better Sleep

As America slowly emerges from the pandemic lockdown, travel is starting to pick up again. And while it’s still far from normal, with the holidays just around the corner, more of us may be finding ourselves on the road – or in the skies – sooner than we expected.

But with travel comes a familiar problem: jet lag. And more and more people are turning to melatonin and CBD to help them cope with these disruptions.

But what are these exactly, and how do they help people get good sleep? In this article, we’ll discuss how melatonin and CBD work with the body to maintain normal sleep cycles and how you can fit them into your life.

A detailed diagram walks you through the steps of the circadian rhythm hour by hour

Melatonin and Sleep Cycles

Why is jet lag such a pain? Well, if we were like cats and could conk out whenever we got tired, we could probably just nap our way out of it. But most humans’ sleep follows a circadian rhythm, with signals in our bodies telling us to sleep at night and be awake during the day, according to a 24-hour cycle. So when the sun doesn’t match our internal clock, our signals get crossed.

One of the chief signaling mechanisms in our bodies is melatonin, a hormone that tells us when it’s time to go to bed. It doesn’t instantly put you to sleep – melatonin production usually starts a couple hours before you conk out – but it starts getting your body ready to rest. When you’ve slept for about six hours, your melatonin starts dropping again, eventually leading you to naturally wake up.

A cartoon diagram walks you through each step of the average nightly sleep cycle

In a world without clocks, darkness and a drop in temperature were the chief signals to the body to start pumping out melatonin. Granted, not everyone naturally follows the same schedule, which is why there are early birds and night owls. There are even some people whose cycle seems to be longer than 24 hours as if they came from a slower-spinning planet.

However, even people with basically normal internal clocks can get thrown off by features of modern life – not just long-distance travel, but things like electric lights, central heating, and ubiquitous screens. So a lot of us may find ourselves in need of an extra melatonin boost once in a while.

The molecular structure of melatonin is shown against a blue background

Fortunately, there are other sources of melatonin out there, including in plants. So in the 1990s, makers of herbal supplements started selling plant-based melatonin as an over-the-counter sleep aid. It hasn’t been approved by the FDA for that purpose, but research indicates that it’s safe to use, non-addictive, and probably effective for jet lag and other sleep-cycle disruptions.

Can I Take CBD Oil With Melatonin?

More recently, many people have found that taking CBD oil helps them to relax. CBD, a non-intoxicating extract of cannabis, works with certain bodily systems to promote feelings of calm.

CBD isn’t as directly connected to the sleep process as melatonin is, however. Some people say it makes them feel sleepy, but many take it with their morning coffee and go through their days just fine. So adding melatonin to CBD at bedtime makes sense.

The great thing about both melatonin and CBD is that neither of them depresses your central nervous system the way many prescription sleep aids do. So the safety issues with combining different sedatives, such as barbiturates or opioids, don’t apply here. And while CBD does interfere with the effectiveness of some medications, melatonin is a completely different animal.

A bottle of 1000 mg cbd pm from cbdmd sits on a bedside table

To that end, cbdMD has created CBD PM, incorporating CBD plus melatonin and a special blend of herbs that have traditionally been used for relaxation. Among them are valerian root, chamomile, cascade hops, and lemon balm. For a more detailed ingredient breakdown, see our earlier post, Award-Winning CBD and Melatonin.

That post focuses mainly on the CBD PM tincture, which won the 2020 Product of the Year Award in the new CBD Sleep Aids category. But cbdMD also sells CBD melatonin capsules with the same formula, except for a somewhat lower concentration of melatonin.

The CBD PM tincture works faster if you take it by sublingual absorption. That means squeezing a dropperful under your tongue and holding it there for about 30 seconds before swallowing. Since your bloodstream can absorb the ingredients straight through the mucous membrane, it starts taking effect in about 30 minutes.

The CBD and melatonin capsules are swallowed, which means that they’re faster to take but only start working after an hour or two. However, they’re also spill-proof, and they don’t have the mint flavor of the tincture if you’re not into that.

A golden retriever lays on a stone step with his eyes closed next to a bottle of cbd canine calming chews from cbdmd

Melatonin and CBD Works For Pets Too!

It’s not just humans who can get their sleep cycles disrupted; dog anxiety is also a thing. And since human and canine physiology has a lot in common, they can also benefit from CBD and melatonin for sleep. Our Calming Tinctures are made with dog-safe versions of the same CBD PM formula; in flavors your pooch will love.

Just be sure to talk to your veterinarian before starting your pet on a CBD regimen. For that matter, the same goes for you: because of the possible drug interactions mentioned earlier, your doctor should know what kinds of supplements you’re taking.

So wherever your adventures take you in this unpredictable year, be sure to have melatonin and CBD on hand. A good night’s sleep will prepare you for whatever comes next.