Sweet Dreams: Can CBD Softgels Help You Sleep Better?

by PP Health Admin / Nov 12, 2021
A white alarm clock on a nightstand with an unmade bed in the background.

Having a good night's sleep is extremely important. It is beneficial to both physical and mental health as well as the overall quality of life. Unfortunately, insufficient sleep is somewhat of a regularity in the modern 24-hour society for many of us. Stress levels are high, people are taking work home, electronic distractions are rife, and most are sacrificing their sleep as a result.

In fact, many consider insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic that can have devastating repercussions. Without a regular and healthy sleep pattern, you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, vehicular accidents, workplace accidents and mental illness. It can even shorten your life expectancy!

According to one report, reduced sleep has been connected to seven of the top 15 causes of death in the United States! These include diabetes, accidents and septicemia. Clearly, prioritising sleep is necessary to preserve health and general wellbeing. Ideally, we should aim to get eight hours of sleep per night. According to the NHS, one in three UK adults suffers from poor sleep.

So, what can we do about it? Here at PP Health, we may have the solution with CBD softgels. This article takes you on a journey around the world of CBD, paying particular attention to softgels, and considers whether the supplement could help optimise your sleep routine.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of 113 cannabinoids that comprises the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is found in the flowers, leaves and stems of the plant. CBD is becoming a popular natural supplement as more people realise its wellness potential. Many believe CBD may help relieve symptoms of a variety of ailments.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and should not be confused with CBD. Unlike CBD, THC can get you "high" and is, therefore, probably the most well-known component of the Cannabis sativa plant. It is important to note that CBD is not psychotropic and is not known to be habit-forming or cause dependence.

While CBD has been known for a long time – it was first isolated from the cannabis plant in the early 1940s – research has only really begun recently. Its true potential has only just started to come to light, and as a result, public curiosity has increased. CBD may have the ability to assist in relieving symptoms from a range of different illnesses, such as epilepsy, depression and arthritis. Many also believe that it could be effective as a natural supplement for general wellbeing.

As the potential of this cannabinoid comes to light, CBD is becoming more accepted worldwide. As the difference between CBD and THC becomes more apparent, countries are beginning to decriminalise CBD use as its potential advantages are understood. CBD has managed to break into the wellness sphere, and many questions are now being raised about the stigma that has long been attached to it. Research has increased, and the true potential of CBD will soon come to light as we study this extraordinary compound further.

What Are the Benefits of CBD Use?

Now that you understand a bit more about CBD and its increasing popularity, let’s look at some of its supposed advantages.

May Decrease Anxiety and Depression Symptoms

CBD’s potential to assist with the symptoms of anxiety and depression is one of its more well-known benefits. While more human studies are needed before drawing any conclusions, animal studies suggest that CBD promotes a rapid and sustained antidepressant effect. Furthermore,  a study on the relationship between anxiety and CBD states that preclinical evidence strongly supports the potential of CBD to assist in alleviating anxiety disorders.

You might be asking yourself why you should consider CBD if we already have pharmaceutical drugs to help us with mental health. While we certainly have many pharmaceutical options, they can often come with unwanted side effects such as insomnia and drowsiness. Therefore, many people are starting to look to CBD as a natural supplement and appealing addition to their self-care routine.

May Assist in Pain Management and Relief

CBD may interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex cell-signalling system responsible for regulating vital functions and processes of the body such as sleep, pain and appetite. According to one report, CBD not only encourages pathways of the ECS to facilitate its messages better, but it could serve as an anti-inflammatory agent too. More research is needed into this theory; however, numerous experts think that CBD can interact with the ECS to help manage pain and bring relief.

May Reduce Frequency of Epileptic Seizures

In 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-containing drug for seizures associated with specific forms of epilepsy. This was the first time a CBD product was approved as a prescriptive medicine, meaning that the FDA believes this particular product to be safe and effective for its intended use. This shows a step forward for CBD and its potential as a health supplement.

May Decrease Joint Pain and Inflammation

CBD is argued to have anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to relieve inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. One study details the potentially beneficial effects of CBD on people with arthritis. According to the research, CBD shows promise in alleviating some of the pain and discomfort accompanying arthritis. However, more evidence is needed to demonstrate CBD's possible anti-arthritic activity.

May Improve Skin Condition

CBD could help improve general skin condition. According to a 2020 study, cannabinoids such as CBD may be able to influence our skin and possibly even relieve some of the symptoms and signs associated with acne, itching, and other skin-related issues. 

CBD and Sleep: The Research So Far

A display of cannabis leaves, CBD softgels and CBD oil with tincture.

As you can see from the list above, there are numerous potential benefits linked to CBD use. In addition, CBD use reportedly influences better sleep. Many believe it could be an effective supplement to assist with sleep. This is attributed to its aforementioned potential anxiety and pain-relieving properties. Unsurprisingly, research into CBD and sleep is scarce, and more studies need to be conducted to substantiate any hypotheses regarding its effects. However, there have been a few studies undertaken, and the results show promise.

A 2017 report on cannabinoids and sleep notes that CBD may have therapeutic potential for insomnia. It states that CBD  may hold promise for improving REM sleep behaviour disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.

In a 2019 study that examined the effects of CBD on anxiety and poor sleep, a sample of 72 adults with anxiety or sleep concerns participated. The results are intriguing – In the first month, anxiety scores decreased for 79.2% of patients, and sleep scores improved for 66.7% of patients. This indicates that CBD may help in improving sleep cycles and decreasing anxiety levels.

The Journal of Cannabis Research conducted an online survey for CBD users regarding CBD use patterns, reasons for using CBD, and its effects on anxiety, stress and sleep. The survey was completed by 387 current or past CBD users. While this is not an official study by any means, it offers excellent anecdotal insight into the effects of CBD. Sleep was named as one of the top four reasons for using CBD by 42.5% of participants. Respondents also reported that CBD use was effective for improving stress, anxiety and sleep problems.

A report from 2017 explains that CBD was associated with an increase in total sleep time and less frequent arousals in volunteers with insomnia complaints. It also reports that CBD caused no "hangover" or severe adverse reactions after use.

As we can see, there have been several studies up until now with intriguing results regarding CBD. However, it is essential to note that CBD research into sleep is very much in its infancy, and more studies are required before any definitive conclusions can be drawn. Now let’s look into one particular form of CBD, the softgel.

What Are CBD Softgels?

CBD softgels are one method of administering CBD. There are several other ways to consume CBD, including gummies, vapes, oils and topical balms. Essentially, CBD softgels are capsules that are easy to swallow, tasteless and contain cannabidiol. Here are nine reasons why taking CBD softgels is  a great way to get your daily wellness dose in:

  1. They are easy to dose. It can be hard to track how much you are consuming with some other forms of CBD, such as tinctures or vaping. Softgels contain between 10mg to 25mg of CBD each, so you can easily keep track of how much of the compound you are taking.
  2. People who have tried softgels prefer them as they are easy to swallow, unlike generic capsules, which can be unpleasant. 
  3. CBD is an acquired taste. It is reasonably divisive and is said to have an earthy flavour. With CBD softgels, the CBD is held inside the capsule and is completely tasteless and odourless.
  4. CBD softgels are airtight, meaning that they have a longer shelf-life than other CBD products.
  5. No refrigeration is required for the softgels. They may be stored in a cupboard.
  6. They are portable and are a discrete way to use CBD.
  7. They are the preferred option for oils such as CBD, as they provide better vitamin retention, meaning you get more bang for your buck.
  8. Softgels are better for non-water-soluble oils such as CBD than other forms.
  9. There are very few studies into CBD softgels and their effects to date. However, people who have used softgels have reported feeling a sense of calm, inner balance and groundedness.

When purchasing CBD softgels, ensure that they are third-party tested. CBD products are not regulated in the same way that drugs or dietary supplements are. Therefore, the safety, effectiveness or quality of readily available CBD products cannot be guaranteed. Any product you buy must be third-party tested for quality and safety assurance.

CBD Softgels and Sleep

A sleepy young woman in pyjamas with an eye mask clutching a pillow.

As we now know, CBD may improve overall sleep quality, amongst various other purported benefits. Eager to know why you should use CBD softgels specifically to aid your sleep cycle or why you should choose softgels over vaping or gummies before going to bed? Let’s review a few reasons:

  • Taking CBD softgels after you've brushed your teeth will not be unpleasant. With other forms, such as tinctures, the taste of CBD is strong and can be incredibly unpleasant with remnants of toothpaste. CBD softgels, as we know, are tasteless, so no unwanted smells or tastes will interfere with our nighttime routine.
  • CBD softgels fit perfectly into an existing routine. You could take a capsule when you take your other nightly vitamins, helping you make it a daily habit. In addition, CBD is generally well tolerated and isn’t known to interfere with most vitamins.
  • It is a stress and pain-free way to unwind at night. While some capsules can be difficult or painful to swallow and feel like they are caught in your throat, softgels, fortunately, do not have this issue. They are easy to consume and help you ease into your evening.
  • It is a surefire way to ensure you are regulating your CBD dose, especially when you're tired and unfocused. When you swallow a capsule, you know exactly what you've consumed, so it is easier to keep track of the dosage.
  • People who have taken CBD softgels generally report feeling calm and a sense of inner balance afterwards. What better way is there to relax into your nighttime routine?

Final Thoughts

Investigations into the relationship between CBD and sleep are still in their infancy. It will take more time and research to thoroughly understand the true effects of CBD use on our quality of sleep. However, numerous studies conducted until this point prove optimistic and exhibit promise for the future of CBD as a sleep supplement. While there are many ways to administer CBD, softgels are seen as a desirable option for those aiming to improve their sleep routines through CBD use, one softgel capsule at a time.

Are you intrigued by CBD softgels? Take a look at our PP Health product selection here.