The Struggle to Sleep
In my mid to late 30’s insomnia hit me, hard. Some days I would fall asleep quickly and get a deep restful sleep right up until around 6 am when I seemed to naturally wake up. But other nights at random I would toss and turn for hours not being able to sleep until 1 am or later. Even worse I would have nights where I would go to sleep quickly but then wake up at 2 or 3 am unable to get back to sleep.
What brought this on? I have no idea. I never felt a ton of stress from work nor from my family life. Regardless, when I struggled to sleep it always seemed like my mind was busy. I’m not sure I’d say it was racing but on nights I struggled with insomnia I would always be thinking about things, good, bad, indifferent. Not necessarily at a fast pace but it’s as if I can’t turn off my brain. I’d think about menial work tasks, recent interactions with people, pointless articles I read online, projects I wanted to get done around the house, anything really.
Treating the Insomnia
I tried all sorts of cures, all the ones that you’ll read about on the first page of Google when you search for “insomnia cure” or “trouble sleeping”. Going to bed at the same time, relaxing/meditating, no screen time before bed, plenty of exercise, dark room, etc. etc... I even tried melatonin for a few weeks and that didn’t do anything for me. Nyquil definitely works but that has harmful side effects when used for an extended period of time and is also highly addictive. There are even inpatient facilities for people who become addicted to Nyquil.
Just a bit about me for reference when you consider trying any of these brands. I’m in my early 40s, fairly in shape, white male who exercises 3 to 5 times a week regularly. I weigh about 235 and am 6’1”. I do drink one to two cups of coffee per day but it’s always in the morning and generally I exercise in the evening anywhere from 4 to 8 pm.
Trying CBD and What Brand Worked the Best for Me
In 2018 when CBD became legal a lot of products flooded the market. I was skeptical at first, but I was also willing to try anything at this point because I was tired of walking around in a sleepless fog anywhere from half to two thirds of the week. Since that time, I’ve tried three brands, all soft gel capsules with somewhat varying effects. The three brands are Irwin Naturals, Charlotte’s Web, and Medterra. Here is how I would rank them starting with my top choice first:
Out of the three I feel that Medterra worked the best for me. The others were not bad, as I’ll explain below, but Medterra seemed to give me the best results. The number one reason I like Medterra is I felt I slept the soundest with it. I never seemed to wake up early at say 5 or 5:30 am. I would sleep right up until 6 am or when I heard my wife’s alarm go off at 6:15. It didn’t have any taste or weird aftertaste and I think it made me fall asleep quickly. Faster than the other two? I don’t know.
- Charlotte’s Web
This brand was a close second. I felt I slept almost as equally as sound, however I don’t think it worked as quickly. I remember the first few times I took Charlotte’s Web I was thinking I should up the dose because after an hour I wasn’t as sleepy as I felt I should have been. Regardless, I did get some sound sleep with it and I don’t ever recall waking up early while taking it. It also has no weird aftertaste and I felt like I was taking a quality product. But I should feel like that being that it’s the most expensive of the three and frankly, I think overpriced at around $95 for thirty 25mg capsules.
- Irwin Naturals
My least favorite of the three but It still did the job, just not as well. I felt I slept not quite as soundly, in fact I remember waking up one morning around 4:30 and being annoyed because I felt the CBD didn’t do its job. This happened a couple of times while taking Irwin Naturals. The other thing I wasn’t super keen on with this brand was that these are “dry” capsules and for some reason I felt in the morning as though I had a bit of a weird aftertaste, almost like a super mild hangover. I didn’t feel terrible, I just felt like I had literally a weird taste in my mouth for an hour or so. Keep in mind though this product is the least expensive of the three by far at about $23 for 60 capsules, each serving containing 30mg.
All in all that’s my experience thus far with CBD and trying to treat my insomnia. I think when the current bottle of Irwin Naturals runs out, I’ll switch to a tincture. I’d expect the tinctures to be a bit faster acting due to the way it’s taken under the tongue, but we’ll see. I’ll try a few out and report back with another blog post.
Keep in mind these were my personal experiences with these products, in no way is this medical advice as I am not a medical professional. Take these products at your own risk and do your own research.