Sleep is, by far, the highest leverage behavior a person can affect to improve performance and well-being. Trouble solving complex problems at work? Get some sleep. Irritability dragging your relationships through the mud? Get some sleep. Working hard in the gym but not seeing the benefit? Guess what? You might need some sleep.
My overarching goal in life is to be the best version of myself that I can be across the spectrum – physically, cognitively, and emotionally. After years of burning myself to the ground in my personal and professional life, I concluded that these lofty goals start with a good night’s sleep.
CBD is a relatively new compound in the health & wellness space. As with any new supplement on the market, the claims can get out of hand and some bad actors in the space can do near-irreparable damage to the reputation of a promising intervention.
That’s why my co-founder and I started VRB – to bring clean, effective, and simple CBD-based solutions for stress, sleep, and pain to the market. After years in elite military warfare specialties following Division 1 sports careers at the service academies – we suffered from pain, stress, and issues with sleep. When we went about trying CBD for ourselves we found the space packed with questionable actors, poor ingredients, opaque manufacturing practices and more.
Bottom line: we didn’t know who to trust, what products to choose, and how to go about making the right purchase for the issues that were diminishing our quality of life.
One of the key drivers to that trend was chronic poor sleep – to be more technical insomnia. As we grew older we found ourselves struck with anxiety at the mere thought of bedtime for fear that we wouldn’t be able to find sleep. This is, obviously, unacceptable!
After discovering, researching, experimenting, and working with CBD, we became converts. Our goal with VRB was to save other driven doers from needing to learn the ins and outs of this compound to benefit from it. With simplicity in mind, we’re going to cover the basics of what you need to know regarding CBD and Sleep here.
VRB Labs: CBD for Sleep
Why do we need CBD for sleep?
Putting your body through stress and dealing with anxiety – whether deliberately in the case of a hard workout or reactively running from a mountain lion in the wild -tends to leave us amped up. That’s natural. However, sustained periods of 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.
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 rewarding run. Other cannabinoids that can interact with the ECS are called phytocannabinoids. CBD is a phytocannabinoid.
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 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 30-45minutes before bed. A 1ml dose delivers 25mgs 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.