What Is Melatonin? What it's Used for & Why We Love it
We talk a lot about melatonin here at cbdMD because it works so well in combination with CBD. But we realize – we’ve kind of dropped the ball, so to speak. We have yet to address what we’ve assumed everyone knows. Most people know what melatonin does but have no idea what melatonin is. We thought it’s time we get to the bottom of these questions: What is melatonin? What is melatonin used for? We’ll also explain how it works in your body and why we love pairing it with CBD so you can get your best sleep.
And do we need to even talk about why sleep is so important for your body? Ask those dark circles under your eyes if sleep is one of the most crucial things you do for your body. We cannot survive without sleep, an essential function of our body that allows our mind and body to recharge themselves and do crucial reparative work. Our cognitive function, memory, and our immune systems all depend on the work of sleep. And to make sure we get enough of it, our bodies produce a natural “drowsy” hormone.
So, let’s talk about melatonin, nature’s little sleeping helper. Here’s what we’ll cover today:
Key Questions We’ll Answer (and More!)
- What is melatonin?
- What is melatonin used for?
- Why is melatonin important?
- Why are CBD and melatonin used together so much?
- What about CBD oil for sleep? Isn’t CBD for sleep enough?
- What are some products with CBD and melatonin?
- How do you use CBD oil for sleep with melatonin?
What Is Melatonin?
Your body has a really cool inner “clock” called the circadian rhythm; most living things respond to this 24-hour rhythm, including plants, animals, microbes, and yes, you. This rhythm affects our sleep patterns and works in response to light and dark. It’s nature’s way of making sure that you go to sleep at night and stay awake during the day.
As light diminishes in the evening, the pineal gland in your brain produces a hormone called melatonin, which triggers you to get drowsy. Your eyes interpret light, sending those signals to the cells in the pineal gland, suppressing melatonin production. As the sun goes down and the light dims, our bodies begin to produce melanin.
But what if we have on every light in the house, the TV, the laptop and our phone? You guessed it, the secretion of melatonin into our bodies is slowed down drastically, staving off sleep.
In today’s tech-driven society, we are often exposed to light far into the late hours which can disrupt your body’s natural production of this crucial hormone, causing restlessness, making it more difficult for us to sleep at night and sleep well throughout the night. For some people, even a tiny light on an alarm clock during the night is enough to disrupt their sleep. Melatonin production also slows down as you age, making it even harder to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm and a regular sleep schedule.
To help combat low melatonin production, it is advised to power down your tech and turn off the TV at least 30 minutes (or more) before your bedtime. Turn down the lights and climb into bed or listen to some soft music during this downtime to help your circadian rhythm function properly. Some technology also allows you to lower the blue light (blue light mimics daylight). Use this feature if you must be on your tech devices close to bedtime. There are also lightbulbs and lights with low blue light that you can use for reading at night, which is a wind-down activity that many people enjoy at bedtime.
What Is Melatonin Used for?
Some people incorporate melatonin in the evening to help them sleep as it can be taken orally at bedtime. Some sources of CBD, such as tinctures, CBD gummies, or softgels, incorporate melatonin into their formulas. (More on this later.) Also, there are some foods that contain melatonin.
Melatonin (that you take) is sourced in two ways. The “natural” way is to extract it from the pineal gland of animals. The other way is to develop a synthetic form. If you want your melatonin to be animal-free, you’ll have to check the labeling of the brand you choose. For cbdMD, our CBD + melatonin sleep aids are guaranteed vegan.
How Do You Use Melatonin?
Follow the packaging instructions for how much to take if you choose to use an oral source of melatonin.
- Take it 30 minutes before bed. Go ahead and do your bedtime routine before taking it, so you aren’t busy after using it. Rest and allow the product to work..
- You can also incorporate foods with melatonin into your latest meal or snack.
- If you are using CBD with melatonin, take it 30 minutes before bed and follow the packaging instructions for how much of it you should take.
Is Melatonin Safe to Use?
Melatonin is generally safe to use without the fear of dependence, but you can become a little less responsive to it if you take it over a long period. There are generally few adverse responses, but you may experience a mild headache, dizziness, or some mild nausea. Some people feel a little drowsy when they wake up the next morning.
It is advised to check with your doctor to make sure melatonin is the safest way for you to get the sleep you need.
CBD and Melatonin
Now that we’ve covered what melatonin is and how that works to help you get your best sleep, let’s talk about the connection between CBD and melatonin use.
While the studies on CBD are ongoing and haven’t quite caught up to public perception and what you will often see in product reviews for CBD products, there seems to be a consensus that CBD has a calming effect on our bodies and minds. Many people have found that this extra measure of calming support is helpful in those evening hours when you are trying to wind down for bed.
As we have all experienced, physical drowsiness isn’t always enough. There are other factors at play when getting sleepy, falling asleep, and staying asleep throughout the night. It makes a lot of sense, then, to take advantage of two natural bodily systems at once:
- Your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) which processes CBD and other cannabinoids, CBN, and terpenes to help calm.
- Your body’s production and use of the melatonin hormone to produce drowsiness.
CBD Products with Melatonin
CBD products that infuse melatonin into the formula may specify that they are “bedtime” formulas, “night,” or “PM” formulas, or that they are the “sleep” version of regular CBD products. If you see that kind of labeling, check the ingredients. You will likely see things like this:
- Valerian Root
At cbdMD, we have two products to help with your sleep. You can take your regular CBD formula during the day and the PM formulas at night for 24/7 CBD support. Choose between our award-winning CBD PM tinctures and our easy-to-swallow CBD PM softgels. Here are the product details for both options.
CBD Tinctures with Melatonin and CBN
CBD PM tinctures combine CBD and melatonin, plus other enhancing herbs in an easy-to-use CBD tincture (with a dropper).
Available in: Berry or Mint flavor, 500 mg or 1500 mg strengths
Ingredients & Features:
- Made with Superior Broad Spectrum hemp extracts including CBD, CBG, and CBN
- 150 mg of melatonin for sleep (per bottle)
- Delivered in a wholesome MCT oil base
- Added Valerian Root, Chamomile, Hops, and other herbs to aid relaxation and promote overall calm
- Guaranteed vegan and gluten-free
CBD Softgels with Melatonin and CBN
CBD PM Softgel Capsules combine CBD and melatonin, plus other enhancing herbs in an easy-to-swallow softgel.
Available in: 30-count bottles with 500 mg, 1000 mg, or 1500 mg strengths
Ingredients & Features:
- Made with broad spectrum hemp extract with supportive cannabinoids: CBD, CBG, CBN, and select terpenes
- Includes melatonin and naturally relaxing herbs such as Valerian Root, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, and more
- Fortified with Vitamin E
- Flavorless and easy to swallow
Using CBD and Melatonin for Your Best Sleep
Hopefully, this article cleared up your questions about “what is melatonin?” without making it too complicated (as hormonal discussions can sometimes be) and helped to show the connection between CBD and melatonin use for sleep.
We try to provide clear, informative, and helpful topics here at cbdMD on our blog and in the posts on our Twitter page. If you still have questions, you can hop over to our website and ask us in the chatbox. We’re here to help!