August 20, 2022 5 min read

IS MELATONIN OR CBD MORE EFFECTIVE FOR SLEEP

If one has insomnia or sleep-related disorders, they might have heard of either CBD or melatonin being touted as sleep supplements, but which is more effective between the two? This article is a discussion of the two compounds.

CBD is a phytocannabinoid extracted from mature hemp leaves, flowers, and stems. This cannabinoid interacts with the body via the endocannabinoid system through various receptors to alter how the body functions. CBD has shown potential benefits in treating various mental issues. CBD promotes sleep through interaction with the various ECS receptors. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin influences the circadian rhythm, which induces various body states. This hormone is affected by levels of light which either in its production prepares the body for rest. The calmed state of the body enables one to fall asleep easily. But which of the two is the best for promoting sleep.

Melatonin For Sleep

Melatonin does not operate as a sedative but instead is a hormone that regulates different body activities. According to Gobbi & Comai (2019), in mice, when melatonin is infused in the brain at night – when the mice are up and active – it enhances sleep and decreases wakefulness by blocking certain neurons that stimulate the brain to wake up research. The study also revealed that inhibiting melatonin receptors in the brain before bedtime boosted wakefulness considerably. The research identified MT1 as how melatonin inhibits the specific orexin neurons that wake you up. This study could lead to pharmaceuticals that target only the MT1 receptor rather than many receptors, resulting in fewer negative effects for patients who take sleep-promoting treatments. Melatonin production in the brain is stimulated by darkness, and it is a powerful bio time regulator.  Palm et al. (1997) showed that It enhances sleep by strengthening the body's sleep-wake cycles. Stronger sleep-wake cycles result in a more consistent sleep schedule. When your bio clock is in sync, it can enhance your mood, daytime performance, energy levels, and overall health, including immune function and metabolism, digestion, and hunger regulation. According to a study, melatonin can reduce fall asleep time and boost sleep levels. It has been found to improve sleep quality and decrease daytime drowsiness and exhaustionBourne et al. (2008) showed that Melatonin has also been shown in studies to increase REM sleep. REM sleep is when we consolidate and process memories and prime the brain regions connected with learning. Melatonin can help reduce the effects of jet lag. Jet lag occurs when a person's internal clock becomes misaligned with the local day-night cycle. Costello et al. (2014) suggested that melatonin supplements may help reset the sleep-wake cycle and enhance sleep in people with jet lag.

CBD For Sleep

CBD's effects on sleep disorders are still being researched. Some people who take CBD for chronic pain say it helps them sleep better. Nobody knows if these folks sleep better because CBD aids in their sleep. Other early CBD sleep disorders study has yielded encouraging benefits. On the other hand, CBD does not work for everyone, and different doses may provide different outcomes. Lafaye et al. (2022) showed that CBD in low dosages is stimulating, while CBD in high concentrations is sedating. Differences in experience can be attributed to differences in CBD delivery technique and dose. More research is needed to fully comprehend CBD's involvement in treating sleep disorders. Insomniacs have difficulty falling or staying asleep at night. It has an impact on daytime alertness, focus, and mood. Insomniacs may become anxious about getting enough sleep, exacerbating their condition. According to Kuhathasan et al. (2022), CBD is suggested to help decrease insomnia-related anxiety due to its potential benefits in reducing anxiety. Patients with REM sleep behavior disorder talk and make violent movements. It is particularly common among senior persons suffering from neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. CBD improved REM sleep behavior disorder symptoms in a short trial of four Parkinson's patients. Before utilizing CBD, symptoms of the condition occurred 2–7 times each week. After using CBD, symptoms reappeared 0–1 time per week. This first data points to CBD as a possible REM sleep behavior disorder treatment.

How CBD And Melatonin Work Together For Better Sleep

Ucci (2021) noted that CBD is well-known for its relaxing properties. CBD has been shown in studies to function synergistically with melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that informs the body when it is time to sleep. Melatonin production in the pineal gland can be affected by stress, sleeplessness, alcohol, or too much ambient light before bed. When the body does not produce melatonin, taking a supplement may help with this biological function. While many companies sell CBD and melatonin pills individually, others have produced a CBD and melatonin combination. According to Zhang et al.  (2020), CBD may also be beneficial for people who have insomnia, REM sleep behavior abnormalities, or excessive tiredness throughout the day. While CBD alone can be useful for sleep, using full-spectrum hemp oils that contain several cannabinoids has the potential to have an even bigger impact. It has been demonstrated that using a product containing the cannabinoid CBN, for example, improves sleep. Thorpy & Dauvilliers (2015) noted that pharmaceutical sleep aids, on the other hand, have been linked to sleepwalking, habit building, and daytime tiredness. CBD has not been demonstrated to have any of these negative effects. Typically, consumers are advised to begin CBD treatment by ingesting a solution 20 minutes before bed. They are urged to monitor how their bodies react to CBD and alter time and amounts as needed.

Which Is Better

CBD and melatonin work differently to improve sleep. Whereas CBD reduces factors that can induce sleep deprivation, melatonin works by preparing the body for sleep. The two compounds can be used hand in hand to complement each other in promoting sleep. One can avoid blue light sources at night to improve melatonin production to prepare the body for sleep. In addition, they can ingest CBD gummies twenty minutes before sleep to reduce the side effects of factors that hinder deep sleep.

Conclusion

Insomnia and sleep-related issues are a growing concern, and CBD and melatonin are two of the most reliable methods of helping induce sleep. CBD is a phytocannabinoid that binds to ECS receptors to reduce the effects of anxiety and other related issues that hinder sleep. Melatonin is affected by the light level but promotes sleep by preparing the body for the various sleep cycles. While the two compounds are great individually, using them together may prove more useful.

References

Bourne, R. S., Mills, G. H., & Minelli, C. (2008). Melatonin Therapy To Improve Nocturnal Sleep In Critically Ill Patients: Encouraging Results From A Small Randomized Controlled Trial. Critical Care12(2), 1-9.

Costello, R. B., Lentino, C. V., Boyd, C. C., O’Connell, M. L., Crawford, C. C., Sprengel, M. L., & Deuster, P. A. (2014). The Effectiveness Of Melatonin For Promoting Healthy Sleep: A Rapid Evidence Assessment Of The Literature. Nutrition Journal13(1), 1-17.

Gobbi, G., & Comai, S. (2019). Differential Function Of Melatonin MT1 And MT2 Receptors In REM And NREM Sleep. Frontiers In Endocrinology, 87.

Kuhathasan, N., Minuzzi, L., Mackillop, J., & Frey, B. N. (2022). An Investigation Of Cannabis Use For Insomnia In Depression And Anxiety In A Naturalistic Sample. BMC Psychiatry22(1), 1-8.

Lafaye, G., Karila, L., Blecha, L., & Benyamina, A. (2022). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, And Health. Dialogues In Clinical Neuroscience.

Palm, L., Phd, G. B. M. D., & Phd, L. W. M. D. (1997). Long‐Term Melatonin Treatment In Blind Children And Young Adults With Circadian Sleep‐Wake Disturbances. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology39(5), 319-325.

Thorpy, M. J., & Dauvilliers, Y. (2015). Clinical And Practical Considerations In The Pharmacologic Management Of Narcolepsy. Sleep Medicine16(1), 9-18.

Ucci, M. Full Spectrum CBD Oil And CBD Flower Benefits (2021 CBD Guide).

Zhang, F., Niu, L., Liu, X., Liu, Y., Li, S., Yu, H., & Le, W. (2020). Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder And Neurodegenerative Diseases: An Update. Aging And Disease11(2), 315.