LABDOOR GUIDES - SLEEP, SUPPLEMENTS AND CBD
INTRODUCING LABDOOR GUIDES
Labdoor Guides are our new way to help you decide which supplements and CBD products to buy. While Labdoor’s Rankings focus on objectively ranking products based on testing data, Labdoor’s Guides aim to help people improve common issues such as sleep, pain, energy, focus, anxiety, and more. You will find specific product recommendations across different categories in each of these guides. Please send us a message @Labdoor on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram if you have ideas on which guides we should write next.
Whether you need help falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting deeper sleep, this guide can help you find new products to try to address these sleep issues.
Supplements like melatonin, valerian, vitamin D, magnesium, GABA, and lavender have all led to positive sleep results through faster time to sleep and higher sleep quality. Melatonin is the supplement with the most clinical evidence as an aid to fall asleep. Sleep issues can be caused by or related to anxiety issues. Products like CBD and valerian can improve sleep through reduced anxiety.
Different types of CBD can be useful for different sleep issues. CBD vape cartridges can work faster and be more effective at helping people fall asleep while CBD oils can be absorbed more slowly by the body, aiding people in staying asleep. (Consumer Reports)
In our research, we found that the best product in one category is rarely the same brand as the best product in another category. That is why we pick one product review in each category to recommend to you in these guides, regardless of brand. Each review includes a link to all products that Labdoor has tested in that category so you can compare different reviews and find the best products for you.
TOP 10 SUPPLEMENTS AND CBD PRODUCTS FOR SLEEP
GOAL #1: FALL ASLEEP
CBD VAPE CARTRIDGES
- CBD vape cartridges are the fastest delivery mechanism for cannabidiol (CBD), with effects starting in 30 seconds or less. (Consumer Reports)
- Vape cartridges allow people to microdose CBD, taking a small dose at first and slowly increasing consumption as needed to get to the desired effect without using too much CBD.
- However, not all vape cartridges offer consistent doses of CBD. Check Labdoor’s CBD Vape Cartridges Rankings to see the actual amount of CBD in each of these products.
- Labdoor’s Pick for CBD Vape Cartridges is coming soon.
- Melatonin is naturally produced in our brains and is used as a signal that it is time to sleep. Your melatonin levels may be suboptimal if you have recently traveled across multiple time zones or frequently exposure yourself to light late at night like using a cell phone in bed. (Sleep.org)
- People who work night shifts can benefit from melatonin to help the body adjust to an unnatural sleep schedule. (Mayo Clinic)
- 1-5 mg of melatonin is a standard dosage as a sleep aid for falling asleep. Labdoor’s pick for melatonin contains 3mg of melatonin per serving.
LABDOOR’S PICK FOR MELATONIN
- A 2018 randomized double-blind clinical trial found that participants with sleep disorder who took a vitamin D supplement fell asleep in almost half the time and slept over one hour longer than the placebo group. (Examine)
LABDOOR’S PICK FOR VITAMIN D
- Magnesium can reduce symptoms of restless legs syndrome, increase GABA concentration in the brain, and reduce anxiety and speed of thoughts, helping people fall asleep and stay asleep. (Sleep.org)
LABDOOR’S PICK FOR MAGNESIUM
Goal #2: Stay Asleep
- The 2018 Farm Bill legalizes hemp-derived products that contain less than 0.3% THC content by weight. Hemp products, including CBD oil and hemp oil, contain large amounts of CBD and little to no THC. (Brookings)
- CBD is expected to improve sleep by activating specific brain receptors that regulate the body’s sleep cycles. (CPR)
- 4 in 5 patients in a recent CBD study reported reduced anxiety and 2 in 3 patients reported improved sleep. (Permanente)
- Start with a 30mg serving of CBD and to gradually increase dosage as needed to improve the effect. Doses of 15mg or less of CBD have not been effective at helping people fall asleep. (Consumer Reports)
LABDOOR’S PICK FOR CBD OIL
- Hemp oils are very similar to CBD oils. The difference is that hemp oils do not disclose their CBD content on their product labels.
- This means that people do not always not how much CBD they are taking per serving when consuming hemp oils. Check Labdoor’s hemp oil reviews for the actual quantities of CBD in each product.
- People have reported feeling positive effects from CBD usage including for sleep, pain, anxiety, seizure frequency, and symptoms of intestinal diseases. (Examine)
- Labdoor’s pick for hemp oil contains 7.8 mg/ml of CBD, which means approximately 4ml of this hemp oil will provide a 30mg serving of CBD.
LABDOOR’S PICK FOR HEMP OIL
Goal #3: Sleep Quality
- Activation of ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain induces sleep. Many sleep medications work by acting on GABA receptors. (Neuroscience)
- Alcohol also works on GABA receptors, which is the primary cause of alcohol’s sleepiness effect at low to moderate doses. Altering the GABA system through drugs and supplements can have side effects, including reduced GABA sensitivity after the initial dose wears off, providing the inverse effect of the drug during a rebound period. (AMN)
- Glycine is an essential amino acid with a sweet taste, naturally found in protein-rich foods. Along with being one of the protein components, glycine is also a neurotransmitter, which means it can affect your brain cells.
- Glycine takes part in serotonin synthesis. Serotonin is our “happiness molecule” that combats depression and anxiety and improves mood overall. (NCI)
- When it comes to sleep improvements, glycine can help you by:
- Decreasing body temperature. Studies find the correlation between lower basal temperature and better melatonin production. Thus, glycine can indirectly boost your melatonin levels and help you fall asleep faster.
- Reducing the symptoms of insomnia. By inhibiting nervous system cells, glycine can lessen the anxiety and even treat panic attacks.
- Resetting the internal clock. Some studies suggest that taking high doses of glycine may help you bounce back to your regular sleep schedule after a period of disruptions.
- Improving overall sleep quality. By boosting serotonin levels, glycine can encourage more restful and deeper sleep in people with sleeping disorders and irregular sleeping schedules.
- Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe. Processed valerian root has a mild sedative effect, which is why it can be used to treat insomnia and menopausal symptoms. It is also commonly found in over-the-counter sleep aids.
- Valerian “showed a statistically significant benefit” for sleep quality in a systematic review of randomized, placebo-controlled trials. (AJM)
- Multiple studies show that taking valerian extract right before bed may have the following benefits:
- reduced time for falling asleep;
- improved overall sleep quality;
- relief of anxiety disorder symptoms;
- treatment for menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes;
- reduced sleep inertia in the morning.
- Although valerian root seems to work completely fine for adults in the short term, there’s still not enough data about long-term use and safety for pregnant and lactating women. (AJM)
- Lavender promotes sleep by decreasing your heart rate and thus lowering blood pressure, helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. Lavender improved average sleep quality in at least three different single-blind randomized studies. (EBCAM)
- Lavender has also been studied as a treatment for sleep deprivation in hospitalized patients who are recovering from illness. A study conducted in an intermediate care unit showed that patients who had lavender aromatherapy sessions showed a more significant blood pressure drop during the night (and thus improved sleep quality).
- Lavender’s greatest effects seem to be connected to its aromatherapy benefits, which is why most lavender products are sold as oils, teas, or sachets.
WHAT TO AVOID
- Alcohol is commonly used to help people fall asleep, but that high alcohol doses, especially consumed immediately before bedtime, can cause sleep disturbances, especially in the second half of the night. (NIH)
- Alcohol also causes REM disturbances, with lower REM sleep in the first half of the night and higher REM sleep (a REM rebound) in the second half of the night. (Nature)
- Alcohol mimics GABA and also increases GABA absorption, which again initially increases sleep in the first half of the night but causes a rebound effect in the second half of the night. (SMR)
- Light, especially blue light, suppresses the body’s melatonin production, disrupting its circadian sleep rhythm. Blue light mimics natural sunlight and can boost energy during the day but can also impair sleep at night. (Harvard)
- Use thick blinds in your bedroom windows to minimize light and avoid using your cellphone or laptop in bed.
- Consider using an eye mask to maximize darkness in higher light environments.
- Melatonin is still the first supplement recommended for help falling asleep.
- Try 1 tablet of Nature Made Melatonin within 30 minutes of bedtime.
- CBD products are gaining popularity for those whose sleep issues are connected to anxiety.
- Try 2ml of Lazarus Naturals Standard Potency CBD Tincture (~30mg of CBD) within 30 minutes of bedtime.
- Avoid heavy alcohol and late night to maximize your body’s melatonin production and optimize your circadian sleep rhythm.
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