Had a crazy day? Find yourself lying in bed wondering how to exhale? Waiting for sheep? You are not alone. You may be surprised to learn that according to a recent study, one-third of all Americans report sleep difficulties on a regular basis.

While the underlying causes of these sleep issues can vary, most site some sort of stress or upsetting event as a precursor to sleep disruptions. There are some simple things that you can do to facilitate healthy sleep which allows your body to rest and prepare for the next day.

1 Use Oils. Some of the more popular oils for for aiding sleep contain CBD or CBDa oils. CBD or cannabidiol is growing in popularity for use as a sleep aid. Dr. Joseph Maroon, a clinical professor and neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has stated that CBD oils could help in the aid of sleep when used by some people. He also notes that CBD when used for anxiety or pain appears to also help certain individuals sleep better.

Application: Applying CBD as a topical cream on the soles of the feet, face, neck or palms of the hands seems to aid absorption in most instances. When used within 30 mins of bedtime, CBD lotions or tinctures can help some individuals fall and stay asleep, allowing for deeper healing rest.


2 Limit Screen Time. Studies have shown that blue light from screens can disrupt our natural sleep rhythms and cause our bodies confusion. It is a pretty basic principle, actually. Nigh time is dark for a reason, we are to be resting our bodies and minds. In days before electronics, people lived by the sunrise and sunset. Look at the way farmers live today. They are up with the dawn and head to bed at sundown. Most Americans do not get the rest that they should and it can cause a whole list of medical and mental health issues as this Harvard University study outlines.

Application: Turn off screens at least 30 minutes before heading to bed. This allows your body to acclimate to the the time of day, helps slow the thinking processes, and gives a break between day and night which can help provide relaxation necessary for sleep.


3 Drink Herbal Tea. There is some evidence that sipping on teas containing camomile, valerian root, or lavender can help aid relaxation which can lead to sleep. Camomile is often cited for its calming effects. It contains an antioxidant called apigenin which binds to specific receptors in your brain that may help decrease feelings of anxiety that block sleep. Valerian root became popular for the use of aiding sleep and reducing feelings of anxiety during WWII in Britain during air raids. It has grown in popularity and is one of the more common herbal sleep aids used by those living in Britain and America. While scientists do not actually know exactly how it aids sleep, it has shown itself to be effective for some individuals. Lavender has been used through the ages as a calming herb for use in teas, lotions, and inhalants.

Application: Drink a cup of tea an hour before bedtime. This gives your body a chance to absorb and purge liquid before heading to bed for the night, and allows the tea’s benefits to take effect.


4 Limit Caffeine. By limiting caffeine intake after certain hours or altogether, the body has a chance to create it’s own energy rhythms without relying on artificial energy. If you feel that you are especially sensitive to the effects of caffeine, you may want to consider avoiding consumption after a certain time of day. That may be as early as lunchtime for some people. It really depends on how your body metabolizes caffeine. Read labels carefully, you may be surprised what you are taking in that has hidden caffeine.

Application: Avoid all caffeinated beverages and foods after 4pm to give yourself 4-6 hours before bedtime to process it’s effects. Stick to herbal drinks, water, and sugar-free beverages before bedtime.


5 Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol has a calming effect when consumed. It can make you feel relaxed and ready for bed but this can often lead to sleeplessness a few hours later. The initial effects of alcohol on your mind can slow down racing thoughts or temporarily alleviate stress, but this is a small window. Drinking alcohol can actually have to opposite effect on some people, causing wakefulness for hours. If you are sensitive to the effects of alcohol, you may want to monitor your intake after certain hours of the day.

Application: Alcohol in moderation may not cause sleep disruptions in everyone, but it may for you. Be careful when consuming beverages with alcohol after 6pm if they cause you to be wakeful at bedtime.


In closing, the most effective ways to combat insomnia include a window of time between activity and rest. Drinking water only after certain hours, avoiding screens and TV, and using topical or oral herbs/oils may actually help your body to find rest and sleep.

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Be Well!