Sleep is one of the most natural, restorative aspects of the human experience — at least, it should be. But in our modern world, more people struggle with sleep than ever before. The effects on physical and mental health are well documented, so why is it so hard to get good sleep and stay in a healthy sleep routine?
There are many aspects to sleep hygiene worth considering, but nighttime supplementation is often a subject of confusion and debate. Should you try herbal teas, CBD, melatonin, or a mix of them all? We’re here to set the record straight and give you the breakdown of these common compounds.
This article will discuss the impact of cannabinol (CBN), melatonin, and other compounds on your sleep quality and sustainability. We’ll give you the truth about sleep supplements based on how these compounds work in the body — so stay tuned — and let’s learn what quality sleep is all about.
What is CBN?
Cannabinol (CBN) is one of the many naturally occurring compounds found in the hemp plant. While it’s often grouped with CBD, CBN has a closer relationship to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). That’s because CBN directly results from THC degradation in older cannabis plants. When THC breaks down over time, CBN is one of the compounds that emerge with a unique chemical composition.
CBN is one of the more difficult cannabis compounds to identify and isolate, meaning it’s hard to find hemp extract products that truly emphasize CBN. However, this cannabinoid is one of the most promising natural forms of sleep support in recent scientific discovery.*
How does CBN work in the body?
CBN works in the body by targeting CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This neural network of transmitters is found throughout the body, with high concentrations in the brain and central nervous system.
As a cannabinoid, CBN interacts with these receptors and supports the processes in the body that support sleep, restoration, memory consolidation, and more. The effects of CBN tend to be more physically soothing rather than mentally stimulating, as the compound targets CB2 receptors more heavily than CB1.*
Whether CBN is ingested in a Full Spectrum Sleep Gummy or consumed sublingually with an oil tincture, the research says that a consistent CBN regimen may improve sleep. Evidence shows that CBN is the new frontier of natural sleep support.*
What are the potential benefits of CBN?
We know how CBN interacts with the endocannabinoid system, but what results from this chemical reaction in the body and brain?
Like all cannabinoids, the main action of CBN is to promote balance and homeostasis in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). For instance, if you’re in a tense state or dealing with discomfort before bed, CBN may help smooth out some of these physical and mental imbalances and prepare your body and mind for restorative sleep.*
Good sleep hygeniene is all about winding down, relaxing, and letting go of the stress built up throughout the day. CBN helps support the body’s natural ability to reduce these tense and uncomfortable sensations as you ease into your evening routine. The benefits include improved sleep onset, better sleep quality, and reduced daytime fatigue.*
With that said, CBN is not an “anytime” cannabinoid like CBD. You probably won’t want to reach for CBN in the morning or the afternoon, as it could leave you feeling ready to doze instead of productive and focused on your to-dos.
How is melatonin produced in the body?
CBN might be hemp's answer to a good night's rest, but how does melatonin stack up in terms of sleep improvement? Let’s start with how melatonin works and what you should know.
Melatonin, unlike CBN, is a hormone produced naturally in the body. It is comprised of amino acids like tryptophan and is secreted by the pineal gland in response to darkness after sundown. In other words, it’s the body’s way of aligning with the rhythm of the sun and moon, ensuring we stay on track with our circadian rhythm and achieve consistent sleep.
It’s an incredible mechanism that speaks to the evolutionary wonders of our biological development, but there’s more to melatonin than meets the eye.
Why do people take melatonin supplements?
If melatonin is secreted naturally by the brain at night, why is this such a popular sleep aid supplement in our modern world? The answer is this simple: people aren’t getting the sleep they need, so they turn to exogenous forms of melatonin to help.
Taking melatonin can manipulate the body's natural circadian rhythm and help you fall asleep, even if you aren’t tired at the end of the day. Those with jet lag or sleeping troubles may find melatonin useful when it comes time to reset their sleep cycle and catch up on sleep debt.
This isn’t inherently a bad thing — there are worse ways to induce sleep. However, taking external sources of endogenous hormones can backfire over time, as the body loses its ability to produce them independently. Melatonin is also known to cause unwanted side effects, making for an unsustainable daily routine. That’s why Sunmed recommends using CBN and practicing other forms of sleep hygiene to achieve natural, sustainable, and consistently effective sleep support.
Can you take CBN and melatonin together?
While melatonin supplements are sleep-inducing hormones, CBN supplements support endocannabinoid system balance, which prepares the body for deep, restorative sleep. It makes sense that pairing these two supplements may be a good plan, but is this the right move for your health and longevity? Let’s find out.
Does taking CBN and melatonin together amplify benefits?
You might find that combining CBN and melatonin can amplify the benefits of these individual compounds.* Melatonin can reset your circadian rhythm and help you fall asleep faster, while CBN can help support overall sleep restoration.*
However, it’s often best to try one product at a time and incorporate other sleep hygiene practices before combining these ingredients.
Does melatonin have side effects?
The other reason we recommend CBN over melatonin is that melatonin does come with certain risks and side effects. As we stated earlier, introducing outside sources of a hormone can limit the body’s ability to produce it over the long term. Melatonin is a valuable natural hormone, and you don’t want to disrupt nature’s way of falling asleep.
Furthermore, studies show that up to 88% of over-the-countermelatonin products are labeled incorrectly. The report shows that some products contain more melatonin than is reported on the label, meaning users are ingesting far more than intended. Other side effects of melatonin include drowsiness, grogginess, and brain fog the following day.
How else can you support your sleep?
Sleep supplements are popular because of their convenience. However, true restful sleep starts with lifestyle habits and a conscious effort to practice sleep hygiene. Here are some proven ways to overcome sleep problems for good.
Get enough movement during the day
These days, sedentary lifestyle keeps us seated, and cars take us from point A to point B. Aim to increase your level of daily exercise, whether that includes walking, working out, doing yoga, or using a standing desk setup.
Wind down before bed
Your evening routine matters, so don’t bombard yourself with artificial stimulation during the latter part of your day. Cut the caffeine by noon, reduce screen time, and try a calming bath and deep breathing routine as you ease into the evening. This is the perfect time to take a CBN supplement and set the stage for a good night of rest.*
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Consistency is everything when it comes to sleep. Remember circadian rhythm? It’s built into our biology for a reason. Aim to get to bed at the same time each night, even if that means sacrificing some TV or social media time. You’ll soon see what it really feels like to wake up refreshed and energized.
The bottom line
Everyone is in search of a quick fix for sleep, which explains the hype around melatonin supplements. However, there’s no cheating nature, and it’s smarter to incorporate CBN as a daily sleep regimen, along with proven sleep hygiene practices.*
Like all aspects of wellness, aim for the most natural, trusted, and sustainable way forward for your health. Sunmed is here with the CBN education and wellness products you need to thrive, from your evening routine to your daily to-do list.*