Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for health and well-being. However, many adults suffer from insomnia, restless sleep, and other sleep disorders that prevent them from getting quality rest. Sleep medications are most often used to help address these issues. Recently, CBD has emerged as a natural sleep aid, available in formats like gummies.
Counter (otc) sleep aids
- Antihistamines- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and doxylamine succinate (Unisom) have sedative effects that induce drowsiness. However, they leave people feeling groggy the next day.
- Melatonin- Melatonin supplements mimic the naturally produced sleep hormone melatonin. The process helps reset the body’s sleep-wake cycles. While generally mild, melatonin causes side effects like headaches, nausea, and dizziness in some.
- Advil PM- Combining the pain reliever ibuprofen with the antihistamine diphenhydramine, this OTC med provides relief for those kept awake by pain and discomfort. As with Benadryl, the antihistamine aspect causes lingering drowsiness the next day.
These OTC sleep aids are easily accessible and provide short-term relief for occasional insomnia. However, they are not intended for long-term use as dependence and tolerance develop. Frequent use also impairs next-day functioning.
Prescription sleep medications
- Benzodiazepine hypnotics: Drugs like Xanax, Ativan, and Halcion belong in this anti-anxiety medication class. They promote sleep by depressing the central nervous system. While fast-acting, they are addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms.
- Non-benzodiazepine hypnotics: Also known as Z-drugs, these include Sonata (zaleplon), Lunesta (eszopiclone), and Ambien (zolpidem). They alter brain chemistry to induce sleep but potential side effects include sleepwalking, amnesia, and daytime drowsiness.
While effective at inducing and maintaining sleep, the downsides of these prescription options include the development of tolerance, next-day drowsiness, and the potential for addiction and abuse.
CBD gummies for sleep
Pharmaceutical sleep medications, CBD offers a natural alternative with far fewer side effects. Derived from hemp, CBD gummies contain CBD mixed with sweetener and flavoring. Available without a prescription, CBD gummies provide relaxing, calming effects that promote better sleep.
- Less risk of side effects- cbd gummies for sleep contain all-natural CBD oil extract. They do not depress the central nervous system or alter brain chemistry like prescription sleep meds, removing risks like impaired thinking, daytime drowsiness, and dependence. Most people tolerate CBD well with few side effects.
- No groggy feeling the next day– Antihistamines and sleep medications leave people feeling sluggish after use. CBD allows you to fall asleep naturally and wake up feeling awake without any lingering sedation.
- Not habit-forming- Prescription sedative hypnotics like Ambien become addictive and risky to use long-term. Taking CBD gummies occasionally as needed does not lead to compulsive use or dependence.
- Relieves anxiety-Stress and anxious thoughts are common obstacles to falling asleep. The natural anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties of CBD promote relaxation and reduce anxiety levels at night to improve sleep.
- Long-term safety– Existing research indicates CBD has a high safety profile with no risk for overdose or potential for abuse. CBD gummies be consumed safely over an extended period.
- Improves sleep quality– Beyond just falling asleep faster, research indicates CBD may improve sleep quality and increase time spent in restorative REM sleep stages. Restful deep sleep is key for health.
- Calms pain- CBD and compounds in hemp oil have natural pain-relieving properties. By reducing discomfort, CBD gummies help those struggling to sleep due to pain.