I’ve suffered from chronic poor sleep for as long as I can remember. I spent, essentially, the first 30 years of my life under slept and operating at exceedingly diminished levels. The downstream effects were negative and numerous.
Solid sleep is essential to health, productivity, mood, and nearly every process that takes place in the human body. You can go nearly two months without food, but could very likely die after two weeks without sleep.
Experts generally recommend seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Executing on these numbers allows for memory formation and muscle growth & repair along with numerous other benefits. Studies show that up to 70% of Americans regularly miss the mark on sleep with nearly 33% achieving less than six hours per night. Minimizing sleep is not a badge of honor – it’s making you less effective, happy, and productive. Not cool.
Over a period of years, I tried everything to get my sleep under control. Often, the stress of not being able to sleep made it that much harder to fall asleep. After leaving the military and arriving at Wharton for business school, I finally decided to try CBD for myself – the results were compelling.
Feeling the benefits for myself, I began to research the science behind the compound as well as the best products and brands on the market. I was troubled to find the space crowded with questionable actors, poor ingredients, opaque manufacturing practices and more.
When I couldn’t figure out who to trust, what products to choose, and how to go about making the right purchase for sleep I knew that we could do better.
Our goal with VRB is to save other driven doers from having to sift through this complex space like we did. With simplicity in mind, we’re going to cover the basics of what you need to know regarding CBD and Sleep here.
Why - Why use CBD for sleep?
Sustained stress and anxiety can take a toll on your sleep cycle. You reach a point where “turning off” at the end of the day is nearly impossible and you find yourself staring at your bedroom ceiling hoping for a miracle.
Some sleep issues are to be expected and are a result of poor diet, late night screens (get off your phone in bed), alcohol, eating late, not enough sun, etc.; we can address these issues at another time. However, it’s when stress and anxiety go from slightly uncomfortable to relatively extreme that it can prevent sleep, limit gains, and cause downstream injury. In these cases, CBD is your friend.
CBD is a natural and effective compound for sleep. Though more research needs to be done to isolate the mechanisms of action, the anecdotal results are undeniable.
How – How does CBD help with sleep?
Before we dig into how CBD helps with sleep it’s important to understand our own endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex system of neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that regulate everything from sleep, mood, appetite, memory, immune system and more. The ECS's main role is to maintain bodily homeostasis - biological harmony in response to environmental changes such as physical and mental stress. Endocannabinoids are found throughout our entire body - they are in our brain, nerves, tissue and even our skin.
Our body naturally produces cannabinoids that interact with the ECS and tell our body how to feel. One example of a cannabinoid produced naturally in our body is called anandamide. Anandamide is the cannabinoid responsible for the "runners high" feeling after a long run. Other cannabinoids that can interact with the ECS are called phytocannabinoids. CBD is included in this category.
Sleep issues typically arise when there is a disconnect between our central nervous system and our sleep cycle – the body has a difficult time powering down because the central nervous system is over stimulated.
When you consume CBD it blocks the breakdown of our own endocannabinoids, allowing our bodies to use more of what it is already naturally producing. Essentially, CBD helps balance out the ECS when there are deficiencies as a result of physical or mental stress.
A recent study published in 2019 looked at whether CBD could improve sleep and or reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects, with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep. The subjects were each given 25 milligrams (mg) of CBD in capsule form each day. In the first month, 79.2 percent of the patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 percent reported better sleep.
What & When – What CBD products should I take and when should I take them for sleep?
When we got out of the military and were just getting started at graduate school – this was the million-dollar question. What were the right products to address our specific concerns and how do we take them?!
When we couldn’t get a straight answer we linked up with a team of scientists and practitioners to R&D our way to targeted, tactical solutions that answered the mail - simply, naturally, and effectively. We are very proud to recommend our flagship product targeting sleep – the aptly named Rest.
Rest, a sublingual blend (drops placed under the tongue), helps you naturally transition from a high tempo day into a calming, relaxing night while providing nutrients critical to recovery and a productive tomorrow. All without that groggy hangover feeling in the morning. We recommend taking 1ml of our Rest blend 30-45 minutes before bed. A 1ml dose delivers 25mg of CBD along with our proprietary blend of terpenes and natural botanicals specifically designed for restorative sleep.
In addition to our sleep-specific rest product, you might also consider the VRB Work and Recover blends if you’re struggling with sleep. Work is our daytime blend targeting focus and stress while Recover is our roll-on topical for pain & inflammation.
Prolonged stress and chronic pain are prime factors contributing to insomnia and poor sleep – address these issues at the source and you’ll be well on your way to getting the full nights rest you deserve.