How amazing is it to start your day off after getting consistent, quality sleep? Whether it's the day-to-day grind, accomplishing new goals or doing something you love with people you love, life goes so much better when well rested! We can all relate to lack of sleep affecting one or more areas in our lives... overall mood, productivity, effective communication, being present, relationships, or difficulty combating negative habits. Lack of sleep can send us into a spiral of any of these setbacks, so getting back into a healthy routine is so important if we want to show up as our best selves.
Melatonin and CBD are beneficial in assisting your body to regulate or reset its natural clock. Our circadian rhythm and sleep/ wake cycle tells our body when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up. Disruptions caused by anxiety, stress, inconsistent bedtimes, and travel can spur temporary or chronic insomnia which derail much needed rest. Whether you have trouble falling sleeping, want a predictable sleep schedule, or have been thrown off by jet lag, melatonin and cbd supplements are your new best friend.
How does melatonin help with sleep and what do I need to know?
Sleep disruptions throw off melatonin production. Melatonin is what your body makes to provide “night information” or “time to sleep information” and is what stabilizes the circadian rhythm. If your body isn't naturally producing enough melatonin, taking a supplement can help put you back on the right track.
Sleep benefits of taking melatonin
- Melatonin helps you fall asleep by a desired time-and stay asleep. For those with delayed sleep-phase syndrome (consistent delay of 2 hours or more than a typical sleep schedule), it especially helps with falling asleep faster than usual. By bringing melatonin levels back to normal, your body is able to put it’s sleep schedule back into stability, giving you a better night's rest.
- Melatonin also binds to certain brain receptors to slow down nerve activity which put your body into a state of relaxation.
- Melatonin helps with jet lag recovery. Because melatonin is triggered by a response to darkness, traveling can cause a disruption in sleep cycles and inadequate melatonin production. Taking a supplement before or after you travel can help regulate melatonin levels.
Important tips for taking melatonin
Take melatonin at least 2 hrs before bed. Think of how our bodies are naturally meant to sleep. When the sun goes down, that is how our bodies know it is time to rest soon so it starts to produce melatonin. But we do not fall asleep right away. That’s why if you want to be asleep by 10, take melatonin no later than 8- and it is recommended to take supplements even earlier (around 6) for it to be most effective.
Avoid blue light from your phone and computer screen. These lights basically tell our brains “time to wake up”. If you take melatonin supplements and are still using your phone or computer, this resets your body’s circadian rhythm- which can end up making sleep problems even worse than if you had never taken melatonin. Once you take melatonin, switching your phone to “night shift” or a blue light filter, wearing blue light glasses if you are on your computer or phone, and switching to all warm lighting throughout the house help make melatonin effective.-Or just stay off your phone and spend some time in self-care instead!
How does CBD help with sleep and what do I need to know?
Cannabidiol interacts with the brain in a way that sends messages to receptors about the sleep/wake cycle. In addition, CBD helps to soothe symptoms of physical and mental pain that can make falling asleep difficult. The components of CBD are not the same as cannabis (marijuana) because it does not contain THC which is what causes the “high”-making it the perfect antidote for those who don’t want the psychoactive effects.
Sleep benefits of taking CBD
- CBD decreases inflammation in the body so any body aches and pains are relieved, making it easier to fall asleep.
- Can ease REM sleep disorder which affects the sleep/wake cycle and cause nightmares.
- Anxiety and depression are considered a bidirectional problem- meaning they are the cause of and the result of insomnia. Because of the probable effect on serotonin levels, CBD soothes anxiety and depression which make it easier to fall asleep and prevent anxiety.
Important tips for taking CBD
Take lower doses. 10mg/kg is the sweet spot for seeing results when it comes to using CBD to treat anxiety. Higher doses are not proven to show any benefits, and because of the way it bonds to brain receptors, it can even overwhelm the brain-reducing the likelihood of positive effects.
Check and make sure it won’t interfere with other medications you may be taking. CBD can interact with liver enzymes and prevent your medication from metabolizing. Antidepressants like Prozac or cholesterol-lowering medication like Lipitor are some that can cause harmful interactions but be sure to check with your doctor.
4 Reasons why getting quality sleep is so important...
- Better Sleep, Better Mental Well-Being: It is a vicious cycle when stress leads to less sleep, adding more stress.
- Better Sleep, Better Physical Health: It is important for our immune system so our bodies can fight off viruses or recover from any injuries.
- Better Sleep, Better Productivity: Quality sleep is needed to improve mental processing to its optimal capability.
- Better Sleep, Better Self Care: Sleep affects emotional processing, so lack of sleep only makes time in self-care more difficult.
Explore our Night Time Formula here.
Melatonin Is Magical For More Than Just Sleep!
By now most people have heard of melatonin and perhaps use or have used a supplement form to help them with sleep. While it is most commonly associated with sleep, what many people don’t know is that melatonin also has a myriad of other health benefits ranging from alleviating depression to strengthening the immune system to protecting against cancer and heart disease.
What is melatonin? For those who are new to the information, melatonin is a chemical hormone produced by the pineal gland. It plays an important role in the regulation of sleep cycles. Melatonin is released at night in response to the change of light. As the sun goes down, light receptors in the eyes detect the darkness and send signals to the brain telling the pineal gland to begin producing melatonin which is what makes us begin to get sleepy and feel ready for bed. Throughout the night melatonin continues to be released in increments to keep us asleep. This may seem like no big deal, but did you know that melatonin also plays a huge role in the body’s physiological functions? That means that when you are not getting proper sleep, not only are you crabby in the morning, but many of your organs and other bodily functions are suffering on a chemical level.
So what’s the problem? Even though our bodies naturally produce melatonin, modern day factors are damaging that process if we are not mindful. We are living in a time where it is “normal” to work 8-12 hour days in an office underneath fluorescent lighting, staring at computers and then going home to spend a good majority of the rest of our days staring at smartphones, flat screen televisions, and more computers. The artificial lights from these devices are greatly responsible for the decrease in our natural melatonin production because the unnatural blue and white lights that come from these devices trick our brains into believing that it is daytime and therefore cause our pineal glands to stop producing melatonin. In addition to the artificial light damaging our body’s natural cycles, stress, medication, EMF’s, nutrition-less diets, lack of physical activity, and poor bedtime routines are also largely responsible. For a short time a lack of sleep doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the problem is that this easily becomes a habit and long term the effects of not producing enough melatonin are detrimental to your health. The short term effects begin with anxiety, depression, fatigue, brain fog, inflammation, inability to focus, insomnia, restlessness, poor digestion, poor circulation, breakouts and the list goes on. Long term, the effects can turn into severe depression and anxiety, ADHD, poor immune function, blood pressure and blood sugar instability, major digestive disorders such as leaky gut, reproductive diseases, plague and degeneration of brain tissues, Alzheimer’s disease, nervous system diseases, heart disease, and accelerated cancer cell growth.
Why should I consider taking melatonin? In addition to regular exercise, a good bedtime routine, and a nutrition rich diet, studies have shown that melatonin supplementation may effectively restore balance to your body and its natural cycles. Melatonin is an incredible antioxidant. It travels throughout the body scavenging free radicals while protecting and repairing damaged cells. Melatonin diffuses easily into all cells and is even able to cross the blood brain barrier meaning that it is able to get into the brain and spinal cord, which is what has lead researchers to believe in its ability to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that people with diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and who have suffered a stroke have low levels of melatonin. Adding a melatonin supplement in these cases was shown to reduce brain inflammation and repair and protect the neurons from deterioration.
There’s more! If what you’ve read so far about the benefits of melatonin has peaked your interest here are some of the other amazing ways that melatonin can improve your health…
- Melatonin receptors are found all over the body, especially in the ovaries, intestines, blood vessels, and brain. Adding melatonin supplementation to your routine can help protect all of these functions from damage and repair damage that has already been done.
- Reduces inflammation in the body, especially in the brain and may help regrow new neurons.
- Slows down the division of cancer and tumor cells throughout the body, especially in sex hormone cancers by cutting down estrogen’s inclination to increase cell growth. (Studies have shown that melatonin has a balancing effect on reproductive hormones explaining why it seems to protect against cancers of the reproductive organs such as ovarian, endometrial, prostate, testicular and breast).
- Balances ALL hormones in the body. (Hormones are not limited to reproductive organs. They’re responsible for a majority of the body’s major functions including kidney function, digestion, immune etc.).
- Strengthens the immune system and increases the production of immune system substances.
- Helps counteract the toxic effects of chemotherapy. (In a study of patients undergoing chemotherapy the results showed that the patients given a 20mg dose of melatonin at night showed a higher rate of survival than those who were not. In addition the patients given melatonin showed a significant reduction in side effects of chemotherapy including heart damage, mouth sores, fatigue, anxiety, decreased blood platelets, and neuotoxicity).
- Helps with symptoms and effects of drug withdrawal.
- Reduction and prevention of migraine headaches.
- Increased mental clarity and focus.
- Improved quality of sleep
And the list goes on …
All things considered, remember that supplementation of any kind is not intended to replace a nutrient rich diet, exercise, good self-care and healthy living habits, but instead it is meant to supplement what is lacking from your current routine until you can get to where you need to be. Keep in mind that every single person’s body is unique and requires different things for their own perfect health. Don’t take anything you read at face value. Do your research, find alternate sources of information, and try many different avenues until you find the one that works for you. That applies to not only to your physical health, but also to your mind and soul. Well wishes on your journey of being your best you…
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***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.