Sleep. It’s one of the things that are most important to how we function in our day-to-day lives, but as progress and efficiency have become the idols of our society, sleep has gotten the boot as ‘unimportant’ and ‘wasteful.’ People might not come right out and say it, but it often feels as if you were someone who prioritized a good night’s sleep, you weren’t doing as much as you could with your life.
But you know that that’s a lie. Our bodies are made to need and enjoy sleep. It nourishes us, lets us heal and grow, gives us energy for the day ahead and everything that we are responsible for. Sleep feels good, which is your body’s way of telling you that it is something you should seek out. However, the way our world functions gives us plenty of factors that make sleep difficult.
Not only is it not valued in our society as a whole, but we are bombarded with things every day that make sleep hard. We don’t have as much physical activity each day as our ancestors did; the more physical activity you have, the more tired you are at night, and the easier it is to fall into a deep, restful sleep. We use electricity all day and evening long, which gives our bodies mixed signals as to when it is time to turn it in. We are on some type of screen—phone, computer, tablet, television—for hours and hours each day, and the blue light from these devices keeps our brain wired for far longer than is healthy. Not only do we have this to deal with, but it can be hard to put those blue light electronics away in the evening, doubling up the struggle.
There are so many things that make a good night’s sleep difficult, but thankfully, there are also plenty of ways to counteract those and add healthy, helpful practices into your life to encourage a good night’s rest. Natural sleep supplements come in many forms, such as non-melatonin sleep aids, CBN supplements, etc. Here, we’ll specifically explore CBN for sleep as a natural way to get the restorative rest that your body deserves.
The Basics of CBN
CBN is the acronym for cannabinol, belonging to the family of chemicals commonly called cannabinoids. You’ve also heard of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) as being beneficial in multiple areas—not only sleep but pain relief, relaxation, mental health boosters, and more.
The reason that CBN is effective for pain relief, reducing anxiety, and helping promote restful sleep is that THC degrades to CBN over time. Thus, the more aged cannabis plants have a higher concentration of CBN as compared to younger leaves. CBN is actually a molecule all on its own, not containing any THC. This means that products with only CBN in them will not “pop positive” on a drug screen, either, which is often a concern for people simply wanting to use cannabis products for health reasons.
Out of all the compounds that can be derived from the hemp (or cannabis) plant, the one that has the highest sedative effect is CBN. Although CBD (the most common compound in natural supplements) is great for general anti-inflammatory and mood-stabilizing effects, CBN is more specific in its benefits. It decreases anxiety and allows for less stimulation to enter the brain, making it easier to go to—and stay—asleep.
The Entourage Effect
One of the most wondrous things about the cannabis plant is how it is naturally prone to help with so many ailments of human life. One of these reasons is attributed to the myriad compounds in the plant—THC, CBN, CBD, and terpenes. All of these specific molecules work together to amplify the plant’s medicinal properties.
Depending on your needs, you can choose products that have either “broad-spectrum” or “full-spectrum” CBD. The more of the plant’s original properties it has, the fuller the spectrum of terpenes and flavonoids that are present in the supplement and the wider its use. If you have a broad-spectrum product, the CBD is simply more concentrated and can be used for a more specific benefit.
Why CBN for Sleep Works
Natural sleep supplements that are sold under the label ‘CBN’ don’t typically contain any THC*. The CBD itself is less psychoactive—it doesn’t produce the intense changes in mood, perception, and cognition that supplements with THC do. However, natural sleep supplements with CBN do provide those deeply relaxing effects that can help you settle into a good night’s sleep.
There is growing evidence that CBN can help reduce psychological arousal, or that “brain on” feeling that is hard for many people to “turn off” when it’s time for sleep. Some studies have also shown that CBN is a natural anti-inflammatory herb, meaning it can relieve some of the pain that is often associated with psychological arousal. It’s also possible that CBN makes us less sensitive to stimulation, which helps us wind down more easily.
Why Non-Melatonin Sleep Aids Are a Beneficial Choice
If you’ve been struggling with sleep, you’ve likely heard the word “melatonin” everywhere you turn. Melatonin is a chemical that your brain naturally produces as it’s time to settle down for sleep, but sometimes (often because of the negative effects of our society, as we mentioned above), people’s brains don’t necessarily produce the amounts of melatonin necessary to achieve a night of deep, relaxing sleep.
Melatonin can also be habit-forming, though, and some people say that it produces a hangover-like effect—not an enjoyable way to start your day. The reason for this is that although melatonin is naturally produced—and important—our bodies actually produce a small amount of melatonin each day. So, when we take in a much higher level of it (especially in synthetic form), our bodies have a hard time processing all the excess, creating a next-day fog and lethargy. Ironic, considering that that’s what you’re trying to avoid with a restful night’s sleep.
Adding Relaxation Techniques to Help Aid in Sleep
Adding CBN to other sleep-inducing practices can be highly beneficial in getting that restful night’s sleep you need and deserve. That being said, although Raw Botanics makes products to help you get there, we know that being dependent on a product for the long run isn’t your goal. So, we want to offer you some other tried and true practices that will add to your repertoire of relaxing practices.
If you have children, you know that one of the most given pieces of “advice” out there is to have a “bedtime routine” with your baby. Give them a bath, give them a little massage, put on cozy jammies, rock in the glider with some soft music. This gives the brain cues that it is “time to sleep” and helps naturally bring the body and mind into a restful state. Somehow, we come away from this though as adults, but it is still beneficial. Create a routine for yourself that you look forward to: make a cup of tea, settle in on the couch with a couple of chapters of a book, do some light stretching, journal about the day. Whatever it is, a treasure that time and consider it something you honor yourself with for a hard day’s work.
You’ve likely heard about the health benefits—mental and physical—of yoga, but restorative yoga is in a class all its own. It takes the traditional poses used in practice and adds in supports so that no part of the body is being pushed or “exercised” at all. However, all your organs get the benefits of moving and opening up. Restorative yoga chooses a few poses to rest in for long, relaxing minutes—sometimes up to ten at a time in one pose. This eases your body into the “rest and digest” stage, which is essential for good sleep.
This term is actually taken from submarines, in which they have no electrical signals going out of the boat to stay hidden from other vessels deep in the ocean. Imagine yourself hiding away from all the stimulation of the world, or even your home. Choose radio silence for an hour—or even two—before bed. This means you’ll put away the phone, tablet, television, smart speaker music, anything electrical and stimulating. Turn down the lights (maybe put those candles to use!) and let your brain calm down into a restful, peaceful, sleepy state.
On the Cutting Edge of Science
CBN for sleep is at the beginning of its journey onto the natural health scene. The studies of CBN on animals are promising and have excellent prognoses for the benefits of CBN as an effective non-melatonin natural sleep supplement. Not only does the science point us in the right direction, but people’s anecdotal accounts are strongly indicative of the benefits of CBN for sleep.
If you’re experiencing poor sleep quality, Raw Botanics invites you to try CBN for natural sleep. Maybe start with our Rest CBN softgels.
*Or contains nominal amounts, less than 0.3%.