Why are people taking CBD? Consumer polls find a wide range of reasons. Physical discomfort and common 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 greats, bodybuilding champions, and motorsports stars.
But the possibilities for CBD and athletes’ 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.
So while this article will discuss the strengthening bond between CBD and athletes and how they use it 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 and 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 support your healthy lifestyle.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to learn from this article:
- The unique physical and mental challenges athletes face
- Why sleep is so important to athletes
- What top pros are saying about CBD and athletes and how CBD for sleep can support good sleep routines
- What CBD products fit best into the bedtime routines of athletes
The Life of an Athlete
The concept of CBD for athletes has picked up steam recently. More and more professional athletes are signing on to work with CBD companies like cbdMD. And one of the main reasons CBD for athletes has become such a hot topic is its applications for sleep – an important step in the recovery process. But to understand why sleep is so vital for athletes and how CBD can help, we need to have a better understanding of their lives.
There are three main topics we’ll need to cover:
- The physical toll sports take on the human body
- The incredible mental stress pro athletes endure
- Why experts point to sleep as the ultimate performance enhancer
The Physical Toll
When we think about pro athletes, it’s easy to believe that it’s only a part-time job. Athletes have extensive offseasons, 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 12-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 down the stretch – every single year.
During the offseason, those players aren't required to 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. And the way CBD for athletes supports this vital function is a major reason athletes at all levels are adopting it.
The Pressure is Real
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. It only takes one crucial error, be it mental or physical in nature, and everyone will have something to say – from the franchise owner to Jack Blogger, Armchair General Manager.
Add to that, an athlete’s performance on the field and at press conferences affects other aspects of how they make a living. Shoe companies aren’t looking to release a Chokey McScrub sneaker anytime soon.
Sleep is the reset button for this kind of stress. But a good night’s rest is hard when your mind is cluttered with all of these things.
CBD is known to encourage a sense of calm, which comes in especially handy at bedtime. CBD for sleep with melatonin adds an extra layer for maintaining a regular, healthy sleep pattern.
Why Experts Say Athletes Need to Prioritize Sleep
Before we look at how athletes use CBD oil for sleep, we need to understand why sleep is so important to them.
The waking life of a professional athlete is grueling and tedious. Each day includes vigorous training, prescribed meal routines, and precise supplement intake. Then there’s the repetitive nature of practices. But many sports pros also double as parents and family caregivers. Amateur athletes in training for international competition often juggle multiple responsibilities since their chosen sport may not always pay the bills.
And while strenuous training routines and specialized diets play a major role in the life of an athlete, healthy sleep habits play an equal part. Without it, their performance would suffer greatly.
The National Sleep Foundation explains that physical activity puts stress on the body’s muscular and nervous systems. It can also be mentally draining. Recovery from this kind of strain happens while you sleep. The organization 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 frequent 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.
Given the importance of sleep for physically active people, improved sleep ranks among the top benefits of CBD for athletes.
Athletes’ Nightly Routines
So far, we’ve zeroed in on a few key points about the lives of athletes and why sleep is so important to performance.
- The training methods athletes use put tremendous physical stress on their bodies
- Professional athletes face incredible mental stress
- Getting enough sleep is vital to recovery and performance
It 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.
But their sleep routines, and the tools they use to achieve those routines, rarely get the attention they deserve. CBD for athletes and how athletes use CBD for sleep to support quality rest is relatively new ground. Still, there’s a lot the average person can learn from their evening routines and how they use CBD.
But before we get to the sleep benefits of CBD for athletes, we need to look at how they set themselves up with healthy routines. CBD isn’t a fix-all solution for irregular sleep. Instead, it’s meant to supplement smart sleep hygiene rituals.
Sleep Hygiene for Athletes
Professionals usually regiment their evenings the same way they do their training and diet – often following a strict routine. For instance, many of them schedule their final meal or snack a few hours before bedtime and abstain from even mild stimulants like caffeine.
Most athletes also set regular bedtimes, even on rare days off and vacations. The human body craves routine, especially when it comes to essential functions like sleep.
Athletes also take measures to draw clear lines between their waking and sleeping hours. For example, many set their thermostats to a lower temperature in the evening and only use their bedrooms for sleep, sex, hygiene, and getting dressed. In other words, they do not watch television, use mobile devices, or work (like reviewing playbooks) in the same room where they sleep.
Those techniques provide an effective buffer between waking hours and sleep. Athletes also utilize a 30- to 60-minute wind-down period before bed, including stretching, meditation, hygiene, or other relaxing activities with low light and no distractions.
What Top Athletes are Saying About CBD For Sleep
To be clear, there is no completed, peer-reviewed research on CBD for athletes as it pertains to sleep. And CBD can’t serve as a silver bullet for serious sleep disruptions or any other health issue. Experts are interested in the topic of CBD for athletes, but most agree that the benefits of CBD for sleep require further investigation.
But many professional athletes, both active and retired, report positive results.
When most athletes talk about the potential for CBD and athletic recovery, they’re usually talking about the hemp-derived compound’s potential to support overworked muscles and joints.
But they’re also speaking out about CBD for sleep, especially as a way to encourage a sense of calm before bed. And they’re partial to brands that make CBD for athletes, or at least those that align with their unique needs. For instance, most athletes prefer CBD products that do not contain detectable levels of THC.
Bubba Watson ranks among the first and most vocal competitors speaking freely on the topic of CBD and athletes in professional sports.
Watson credits CBD for sleep as a tool for a better night's rest 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... Waking up with better sleep, that was [something] 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.”
Leah Pruett, a professional drag racing champion, is a relative newcomer to the idea of CBD for athletes. She credits the cbdMD’s products with helping her prioritize self-care.
Known for running “with both ends of the candle lit,“ Pruett said, “I haven’t always understood the value of just relaxing or getting good sleep. cbdMD’s products helped me embrace those things, and I’m extremely thankful for that.”
Chael Sonnen is a retired mixed martial artist known for his incredible career in the world’s top promotions. He currently works as a commentator but makes it a priority to stay in peak condition.
“CBD PM is a crucial part of my sleep and recovery schedule,” he said. “I travel and train constantly, and I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, day in and day out, without the support cbdMD’s products provide.”
CBD for Athletes: The Products They Prefer
Here’s what we know:
- Athletes put their minds and bodies under significant stress.
- As a result, they need more sleep than less-active people.
- CBD products can support recovery through better sleep.
- High-profile pro athletes have started to speak out about how and why they use CBD.
But what products do they prefer?
As stated above, most pro athletes prefer to avoid THC. That’s because it can trigger positive tests for marijuana. Broad spectrum products, like those made by cbdMD, fit the bill.
However, while many people view cbdMD as a company that makes CBD for athletes specifically, that’s not really the case. Their products are just as valuable and useful for non-athletes who want to experience CBD’s many wellness benefits, including better sleep.
CBD Oil For Sleep
Above all others, CBD PM is the best CBD oil for athletes who want to maintain healthy sleep routines. We know that CBD promotes relaxation. But CBD PM also contains supplemental levels of melatonin – a hormone naturally produced in the body that readies your mind and body for sleep.
Softgel capsules are the easiest way to add CBD PM to your evening routine. But since capsules take a while to absorb through digestion, you’ll need to take them about an hour before bed. CBD PM softgels are available in 16.5 mg or 40 mg of CBD, plus 3 mg of melatonin per capsule.
CBD PM tinctures are a little more involved. You squeeze your desired serving under your tongue, hold for 30 to 60 seconds, then swallow. This method allows some of the melatonin and CBD combo to absorb through the mucous membrane under your tongue. As a result, the compounds begin interacting with your system a little more efficiently.
CBD PM tinctures are available in 16.5 mg or 40 mg of CBD, plus 5 mg of melatonin per serving.
Pain Relief Topicals
It’s hard to sleep when your joints or muscles ache. Of course, this is a common problem for athletes at every level. And while CBD is present in these formulas and provides support for the skin, it’s not necessarily the star of the show.
Instead, active pain relievers like menthol, histamine dihydrochloride (HCL), and lidocaine handle the heavy lifting.
cbdMD Freeze utilizes menthol and provides a near-instant cooling sensation to sore spots. On the other hand, cbdMD Recover with HCL provides a slight warming sensation that some find particularly soothing. cbdMD Relieve with lidocaine actually numbs achy areas.
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 is a particularly popular option that provides full mind and body relaxation during your evening wind-down. cbdMD’s Nighttime bath salts, which features Epsom, Himalayan, and Dead Sea salts alongside CBD, melatonin, and lavender, is another great way to wind down before bed.
And remember, you can always mix and match products to personalize your CBD for sleep routine – just like the pros.
CBD Skin Care Products
Athletes often expose their skin to the elements for hours on end, and skin care plays a large role in many people’s bedtime rituals. That’s where cbdMD Botanicals, a line of skin care products that features natural ingredients and CBD, comes into play.
cbdMD Botanicals’ moisturizers (especially the Night Shift), exfoliants, and Clearskin line are all great ways to integrate CBD for athletes into a nightly routine. They’re especially useful for athletes who spend a lot of time outdoors, wear protective headgear, or those whose faces tend to be touched a lot (wrestlers, mixed martial artists, boxers).
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts who work out in the evening and shower as part of their bedtime routine will find cbdMD Botanical’s body care products particularly useful. All three products work best when used during or immediately after bathing. The CBD Dry Body Oil and CBD Body Butter both provide and lock in moisture. And the CBD Sugar Scrub is a terrific exfoliator but also provides moisture during your post-workout shower. All three products are available in Coconut, Lavender, and Deep Sea scent options.
Follow Team cbdMD for More Ways Athletes Use CBD
Looking for more ways CBD and athletes go hand in hand? Follow our team of professional athletes who choose to take advantage of CBD benefits from cbdMD to support their recovery and wellness regimen.