CBD and Insomnia: How Cannabidiol Improves Sleep Quality

CBD and Insomnia: How Cannabidiol Improves Sleep Quality


Cannabidiol (CBD) has been getting a lot of attention over the last few years, and one of the things that has specifically caught people's interest is how CBD affects sleep architecture and circadian rhythm regulation. This article will discuss research findings to explain how CBD affects sleep and wake cycles. We will look at both the positive and negative effects and consider different groups of people, which will ultimately help us understand CBD oil benefits for sleep and its effect on the body's natural rhythms. This work is based on actual evidence from reputable scientific sources to help you make an informed decision and try CBD oil for sleep.

CBD for Sleep and Circadian Rhythms

In line with findings from a systematic review featured in Sleep (Official publication of the Sleep Society), seven out of 19 randomised studies and seven out of 12 uncontrolled trials showed that cannabis improves sleep. There were no significant differences between THC or CBD, but cannabis proved to be most effective for pain-related disorders, not for those with other disorders. However, it did not affect the sleep of healthy people. While people said they slept better, tests showed no improvement in how they slept. Adverse events such as headache, sedation, and dizziness were reported but were more common at higher doses. No serious adverse events were observed.

Another systematic review included thirty-four studies of CBD and insomnia, all reporting improvements in insomnia symptoms. Among these, 19 used CBD therapy, while 21 used CBD and THC in equal amounts. Among studies testing a hypothesis, 4 out of 7 with a CBD-predominant arm and 12 out of 16 with an equal CBD-to-THC ratio reported significant improvements in insomnia outcomes. However, only 2 out of the 34 studies focused explicitly on insomnia patients. Further research is needed to assess CBD's efficacy in insomnia patients using validated measures.

In an extensive retrospective case series conducted in a psychiatric clinic, CBD was investigated as an adjunctive therapy for anxiety and sleep problems alongside standard treatment protocols—the medical records review of 103 adult patients documenting anxiety and sleep quality. The final analysis focused on 72 adults who were primarily concerned with either anxiety or poor sleep. The results showed promising trends: sleep quality improved, with 66.7% experiencing better sleep within the first month, although there was variability over time. Remarkably, CBD was well tolerated by most patients, with only three experiencing adverse effects. These discoveries add to the evidence endorsing the potential of CBD as a therapeutic tool for anxiety and sleep management in clinical settings.

These studies highlight that cannabis can help people sleep better, although there is an urgent need for formal research into CBD's efficacy and optimal dosage. With growing public interest and commercialisation of CBD products, there is an urgent need to ensure safe and effective use.

Beyond the high: Uncovering CBD's side effects

As CBD gains recognition for its potential therapeutic benefits, it's important to remain aware of its possible adverse effects. CBD might cause some side effects, including fatigue, changes in appetite and diarrhoea. This sometimes happens when CBD interacts with certain medications, potentially affecting their effectiveness or causing unexpected side effects. In addition, although rare, some users may experience allergic reactions to CBD, such as skin rashes or respiratory problems. It's important to consult a healthcare professional before incorporating CBD into your daily life, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.

Allergic alerts

Although rare, allergic reactions to CBD include skin irritation such as rashes or itching, respiratory problems such as coughing or difficulty breathing, or gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea or vomiting. These reactions may occur due to individual sensitivities to CBD or other compounds in CBD products. It's important to monitor for adverse symptoms, discontinue use if allergic reactions occur and consult a healthcare professional.

Nightmares and CBD

Nightmares are typically caused by a variety of factors, including stress, trauma, and underlying mental health conditions such as PTSD or anxiety disorders. They often occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the stage associated with vivid dreaming.

CBD's potential effect on nightmares is related to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (mainly CB1 and CB2 receptors), which regulates sleep cycles and emotional responses. Some researchers are investigating the possibility of CBD alleviating nightmares by modulating REM sleep and reducing anxiety and stress levels.

However, the evidence for CBD's specific effect on nightmares is still limited, and more research, mainly in controlled clinical trials, is needed to confirm its efficacy in this regard.

Dosing for Dreamers: Finding Your CBD Sweet Spot

CBD Dose for Sleep and Anxiety

To ensure accurate dosing of CBD, it is best to opt for products like capsules or CBD gummies for sleep, as the bottle clearly states the exact milligrams of CBD per unit. Conversely, achieving accurate dosing with CBD oil for sleep and relaxation can be more difficult, especially for older people. In addition, capsules have the advantage of being tasteless, whereas tinctures can have a more natural hempy flavour that may be different from everyone's liking. For those looking for a quick effect, a tincture or spray is the fastest way to go. When you place CBD under your tongue, it gets absorbed by the mucous membranes of the mouth, and the effects are often felt within 20 minutes. In contrast, CBD capsules or liquid forms must pass through the digestive system and undergo liver metabolism, which can take up to an hour or two before effects are felt.
While the absorption rate is important, personal preference also plays a role in choosing the best CBD for sleep and its delivery methods. Some may find it convenient to add CBD to drinks or smoothies, while others may prefer the simplicity of capsules. Regardless of the method chosen, the timing of CBD ingestion is key to maximising its effects. For example, those looking to improve sleep quality may find it beneficial to take a capsule or tincture approximately two hours before bedtime.

Strategies for Improving Sleep Quality

Good sleep habits are important for your health and cognitive function. Here are some tips as an addition to CBD oil that might help you sleep better:

  1. Circadian Rhythm

    Maintain a consistent sleep schedule and limit napping: Set a regular bedtime and waking time to regulate your body's internal clock. If you nap during the day, keep it brief, not exceeding 45 minutes, to avoid disrupting nighttime sleep patterns.

  2. Diet & Exercise

    Avoid consuming alcohol and smoking close to bedtime. Caffeine and spicy, sugary or heavy foods can keep you awake within 4 hours of sleep. Have a light snack if you need one.

  3. Exercise

    Engage in regular physical activity, but only exercise a little right before bed. Do something calming before bed to help you sleep. Like writing in a journal, reading something relaxing, stretching, or having a bath.

  4. Bedroom

    Make your bed comfortable and cool to create a comfortable sleep environment. Don't let noise or light distract you. Also, use your bed for sleep and intimacy only, not work or fun.

By implementing these practices, you can cultivate healthier sleep habits, which are ultimately essential for overall health and well-being.


This article reviewed how cannabidiol affects sleep quality and circadian rhythms. Using reputable scientific sources, we analysed studies that demonstrate the potential benefits of CBD for improving sleep patterns and managing anxiety. The results suggest that CBD may offer promising results in improving sleep quality for people with anxiety or sleep disorders. However, more research is needed to determine its efficacy and optimal dosage. It's important to remain vigilant about the potential side effects and consult a healthcare professional before using CBD.


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