When to Take CBD Oil to For Sleep: A Guide for Restfulness 2023

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Reviewed by Brittany, F., PhD

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when to take cbd oil for sleep

The essence[1]  of a good night’s sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle cannot be exaggerated. We need sleep just like we need a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. A single night of bad sleep can negatively influence your energy levels, attention, mood, and ability to process mentally and physically. 

From time to time, it’s typical to struggle to fall asleep[2], toss and turn in bed, or notice your thoughts starts running far too early in the morning. Fortunately, options for enhancing sleep[3] have developed over the years. Sleep seekers have diverted to yoga, meditation, and hot baths looking for restful nights. 

Sleeping pills or melatonin are not long-term safe resolutions, so it’s not a surprise people are embracing CBD oil into their nightly routine.

When Is the Best Time to Take CBD at Night?

To get a good night’s sleep, many advise taking CBD roughly 30 to 60 minutes before you wish to be asleep. This permits the body to absorb the CBD and take effect.

The time required for CBD oil to take effect will vary based on many factors, including your mode of ingestion, dosage, personal metabolism rate, and weight. CBD oil used in food or drinks will take longer to affect the body than drops of CBD oil placed under the tongue.

when to take cbd oil for sleep

How CBD Can Help With Sleep

CBD is commonly used as a powerful stress and pain reliever. It is also known to relieve symptoms of psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. These effects of CBD may help improve the sleep cycle in people handling such conditions.

Stress Relief

One of the main symptoms of stress is sleep difficulty. High cortisol levels in the body during the night contribute to troubles with falling asleep and waking up the night, leading to reduced sleep quality [4]

So if you struggle to fall asleep at night due to stress, CBD may help influence sleep by reducing the sensation of stress. It inhibits cortisol secretion, resulting in lessening cortisol in the body. This soothes the nervous system and calms the body. Therefore, taking CBD oil before bed may help enhance the overall quality of sleep.

Pain Relief

CBD appears as a safe treatment option[5] for both chronic and acute pain conditions. Pain is a standard reason for struggling to fall asleep. And chronic pain can be throbbing, affecting the quality of life, social interactions, the capacity to work, and sleep. By receding pain, CBD lowers the cause of sleep disturbance, permitting better quality sleep.

CBD is an allosteric modulator of the opioid receptors[6] in the body. These receptors control pain sensation, and CBD secures to opioid receptors and transforms how they respond to distressing stimuli, lowering the pain sensation. The pain relief properties of CBD can add to more relaxing sleep for people who encounter pain throughout the night.

Anxiety Relief

CBD may help ease anxiety by reducing the activity of a part of the brain called the amygdala. The amygdala is the brain’s fear center, and it is hyperactive in many people who encounter anxiety. By lowering amygdala activity, CBD may diminish anxiety feelings and increase the odds of falling asleep.

Antidepressant

Depression is generally induced by low levels of serotonin available in the body. CBD is a partial agonist of serotonin receptors[7], meaning it likewise works on these receptors to serotonin molecules. This can support control your mood and potentially enhance your capacity to fall asleep.

How Much CBD Do I Take for Sleep?

Deducing how much CBD to take to enable you to sleep can be challenging. CBD delivers various benefits depending on the dose (hence its biphasic nature). The rule of thumb is to start with a low dose and work your way up until you find the dose with the sweet spot. You may start with a dose of 60 mg and gradually ramp up to 300 mg. 

While lower doses of CBD may act as a stimulant and provide a calming effect and sense of clear-headedness, higher doses may deliver sedative effects. Therefore, improved sleep is typically attained with higher doses. However, everyone’s optimal dosage[8] dose is unique. CBD doses for sleep can range anywhere from 40 mg to 160 mg per serving, or more. 
Research suggests that doses as low as 25 mg per day may be sufficient for sleep improvement[9] in adults with anxiety. However, some studies have shown that higher doses of 300-600 mg per day are needed for that sedative effect in healthy adults[10]. Note that, A “high dose” can change according to individual differences in a person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS)[11], but any amount above 50 mg per day could be deemed a high dose.

CBD Dosage

When figuring out the correct dose of CBD oil for you:

  • If you experience difficulty falling asleep due to anxiety, stress, pain, or depression, you may need doses as high as 300 mg or more per day. In contrast, others may find more moderate doses of 25 mg per day helpful as a sleep aid.
  • Instead of taking one high dose at night, many people gradually dose CBD over the day. For example, instead of one 75 mg dose 1-2 hours before bed, they may take 25 mg three times per day. Dosing like this can help relieve pain, stress, and/or anxiety over the day, which allows a person to rest and get to sleep easier at night.

How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Make You Sleepy

  • The effects of CBD oil can be felt within 15 to 30 minutes[12] after ingestion when drops are placed under the tongue. The CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through a tiny set of capillaries and bypasses metabolism in the liver.
  • When CBD is consumed in the form of an edible (like CBD gummies) or beverage, it must pass through the liver and be metabolized before entering the bloodstream. This may take 60 to 90 minutes. Metabolism also decreases the portion of CBD obtainable by your body.
  • Oral products like CBD capsules, gummies, or honey sticks, need to pass through the digestive system before taking effect — so you may experience a delay of anywhere between 40 minutes and 2 hours.
  • Inhaling CBD oil via a vape will cause the effects to emerge within 15 to 30 minutes, equivalent to positioning the oil under the tongue. However, thinners are required when vaping CBD oil, and this form of consuming CBD products is not advised. Vaping CBD is believed to pose serious health risks[13].

How to Use CBD Oil for Sleep (CBD Before Bed)

It is often recommended that when exploring CBD oil to improve the sleep you should first start by trying CBD oil during the day. This will allow you to measure your body’s individual reaction to your initial dosage and adapt accordingly when taking it before bed to receive optimal results.

For the highest efficacy and speed of absorption, CBD oil in tincture form is taken sublingually. This implies you gauge out your dose of CBD with the oil’s dropper and set it beneath the tongue for 60 seconds — then swallow. You can waggle the tongue around your gums and palate to raise the surface area for absorption.

When it kicks in, you should notice a soothing wave of ease and a sense of peace in the mind. The effects will build up with time, becoming more prominent after an hour from ingestion.

Conclusion

CBD oil is known for its therapeutic effects such as anxiety, pain, and stress relief. Due to these effects, CBD oil may improve insomnia, sleep onset and sleep quality in people with these conditions. It may also enhance sleep in healthy adults at much higher doses. 

While CBD appears to be a safe and effective remedy that could help some people get the rest they need, there is still a lot we don’t know about its safety and long-term use.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much CBD should I take at bedtime?

Research on the most effective dosage for sleep varies, but most studies agree that higher doses seem to work better. Although many authorities say dosing should be based on body weight, people who struggle with sleep due to anxiety, pain, or stress may experience gains in sleep when using CBD doses as low as 25 mg, while others 300 to 600 mg.

What happens if I take CBD oil before bed?

Taking the correct CBD oil dose 30 to 60 minutes before bed can help de-stress and calm your body. This can assist with falling asleep and potentially improve the overall quality of your sleep.

CBD Oil and Sleeping Pills: Can You Take Them Together?

 If you are desperate to get those 8 hours of high-quality rest, you may be considering the idea of taking CBD and sleeping pills together. More research is needed, but current evidence suggests that CBD could alter the concentrations of many medications in the body.

How and When to Take CBD Oil for Sleep

Taking low doses of CBD in the morning may enhance your focus and alertness, leading to increased productivity. Large doses taken in the evening may cause a drop in blood pressure and make you feel sleepy.

Is CBD oil Safe?

Although CBD use is growing in popularity, there is still very little known about its safety, effectiveness, or optimal dosage. Products are not regulated by the FDA, so despite labels and claims, it is difficult to know exactly what is in each bottle.

+ 14 sources

MIDSS has strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes and medical associations. We work primarily with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accuracy. We avoid using tertiary references. For more information on how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content, please see our editorial policy.

  1. Health.gov. (2021). Get Enough Sleep – MyHealthfinder | health.gov. [online] Available at: https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/healthy-living/mental-health-and-relationships/get-enough-sleep [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
  2. CDC (2022). Are You Getting Enough Sleep? [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/features/getting-enough-sleep.html [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
  3. Healthdirect.gov.au. (2022). Sleep. [online] Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/sleep [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7068538/
  5. and, E., Health, Board and Evidence, A. (2017). Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425767/ [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
  6. and, E., Health, Board and Evidence, A. (2017). Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425767/ [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
  7. ‌https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584618301167
  8. Ashton, L. (2020). CBD Dosage: How Much to Take for Pain, Anxiety & Sleep. [online] CFAH. Available at: https://cfah.org/cbd-dosage/ [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
  9. Shannon, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23. doi:10.7812/tpp/18-041.
  10. Shannon, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23. doi:10.7812/tpp/18-041.
  11. Leafwell (2021). Endocannabinoid System: What Is It, and How Does It Work? [online] Leafwell. Available at: https://leafwell.com/blog/endocannabinoid-system/ [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
  12. Khalid, N. and Singh, A. (2022). Cannabis Versus Opioids For Pain. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK573080/ [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
  13. Leafwell (2022). Vaping CBD: Is It Safe or Healthy? [online] Leafwell. Available at: https://leafwell.com/blog/vaping-cbd/ [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
  14. Zwarensteyn, J. (2022). Insomnia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. [online] Sleep Advisor. Available at: https://www.sleepadvisor.org/insomnia/ [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].‌

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Conor, P., MD
Medical Student
Conor is a 2nd-year medical student with a strong interest in creative writing, copywriting, and business. He is passionate about scientific and medical literacy, as well as innovating in the field of medical technology. In addition to becoming a doctor, one of his great goals is to write a novel that becomes adapted into a movie.

ABOUT MEDICAL REVIEWER

Brittany, F., PhD
Occupational Therapist, Medical Reviewer
Brittany is the owner of a writing and consulting company called Simplicity of Health. She has written over 350 pieces of patient-facing content, published 4 books, created over 30 continuing education courses, and medically reviewed countless pieces of content for accuracy. Her media appearances include being quoted as a health expert in WebMD, Healthline, NBCNews, and Forbes.