Traveling to new destinations and exploring unfamiliar terrains promise the prospect of adventure and discovery, but for many globetrotters, adjusting to new time zones can disrupt the delicate balance of our circadian rhythm—the fancy term for our internal sleep-wake cycles.
Unfortunately, resulting jet lag and fatigue from these long-haul travels across multiple time zones can cast a shadow over the excitement of exploration and traveling.
In recent years, cannabidiol—better known as CBD—has emerged as a potential solution for those seeking restful sleep in unfamiliar time zones.
This article explores the relationship between CBD and sleep, as well as the best CBD products for sleep, thereby shedding light on how this natural compound may offer a pathway to more restorative and rejuvenating slumber when your’s and the world’s clocks are out of sync.
Understanding the sleep-wake cycle: the impact of time zone changes
The human body operates on a circadian rhythm—an internal clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. It picks up cues from the environment, such as whether there is still daylight, and tells the body when it is time to wake up or sleep.
When we travel across multiple time zones, this delicate balance gets disrupted, leading to the phenomenon known as jet lag. The mismatch between the internal body clock that your body is used to in your current time zone and the local time of your destination can result in sleep disturbances, daytime fatigue, and a general sense of malaise or feeling of being sick.
As travelers seek natural ways to mitigate the effects of jet lag, CBD has emerged as a potential ally in the quest for quality sleep.
Here are the mechanisms by which CBD can affect sleep:
1. Interaction with the ECS
The endogenous cannabinoid system is a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that regulates various physiological processes, including sleep.
CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the ECS, thus modulating the ECS and influencing the sleep-wake cycle. This, in turn, helps the body adjust faster to the change in time zone. CBD has also been known to exert anti-insomniac effects, which allows users to fall asleep more quickly and have longer, uninterrupted quality sleep.
2. Anxiety and stress reduction
CBD is renowned for its anxiolytic properties, which can be particularly beneficial for travelers grappling with the stress and anxiety associated with navigating new environments.
By alleviating these stressors, CBD may contribute to a more relaxed state conducive to quality sleep. Essentially, with your mind free from doubts and stressors, you can fall asleep faster.
3. Regulation of serotonin receptors
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter whose function is mood regulation, is also crucial for the sleep process.
This is because melatonin—the neurotransmitter that regulates the internal sleep-wake cycle of the body—is actually derived from serotonin through N-acetylation.
CBD can interact with 5-HT (serotonin) receptors, influence mood, and promote a sense of immense calmness and relaxation, which primes you to have a restful sleep. Moreover, it stimulates the production of serotonin, which will be converted to melatonin—the neurotransmitter that makes you feel sleepy.
4. Pain relief and relaxation
CBD’s analgesic properties make it a potential tool for alleviating discomfort or pain that can disrupt sleep.
By reducing pain and promoting relaxation, CBD may contribute to a more comfortable, uninterrupted, and restful night’s sleep.
CBD for jet lag: a holistic approach to sleep across time zones
You can use CBD to help alleviate the impacts of jet lag when traversing multiple time zones.
1. Pre-flight reparation
Incorporating CBD into the pre-flight routine can be a proactive strategy for minimizing the impact of jet lag.
Starting with a low dose a day or two before travel allows the body to acclimate gradually, potentially easing the transition to a new time zone.
2. In-flight support
The confined space and disruption of routine during long flights can exacerbate the challenges of adjusting to a new time zone.
CBD–be it in the form of capsules, tinctures, or edibles—provides a discreet and convenient solution for in-flight support so you can sleep better in the cabin.
3. Post-arrival adjustment
Upon reaching the destination, continuing to use CBD strategically can aid in the adjustment to the local sleep-wake cycle.
Administering CBD before bedtime in the new time zone may help the body synchronize with the local schedule more efficiently.
4. Daily routine integration
Establishing a consistent CBD routine during the stay in a different time zone reinforces the potential benefits.
This approach is particularly valuable for frequent travelers who may find themselves navigating various time zones regularly.
Practical considerations and dosage
As with most supplements, it is prudent to consider the following aspects when integrating CBD into your travel routine:
1. Start with a low dosage
CBD affects every individual differently so the optimal dosage can vary depending on your needs and your body’s pharmacokinetics.
It is always prudent to start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed. This allows you to gauge your sensitivity to CBD and find the right balance for your sleep needs.
2. Choose the right lroduct
The CBD market offers a variety of products, including tinctures, capsules, edibles, and topicals.
The right kind of product depends on individual preferences, lifestyle, and the desired method of consumption. However, for travelers, tinctures and capsules are often the most popular form of dosing because of their ease of use and accuracy in dosing.
3. Choose full-spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum CBD products—that is, one that contains a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant.
Having these extra ingredients and not just pure CBD creates a synergistic combination, known as the entourage effect, which has the potential to enhance or synergize the therapeutic effects of CBD for sleep.
4. Consult with healthcare professionals
Before incorporating CBD into a sleep routine, individuals should consult with healthcare professionals, especially if they have pre-existing health conditions or are taking other medications.
A healthcare provider can offer personalized guidance based on individual health profiles and notify you of drug-drug interactions, if any.
5. Legal considerations
While CBD is already legal in most states, these regulations may vary depending on where you are.
Thus, it is essential for users to be aware of the legal status of CBD in both their departure and destination locations. Moreover, travelers should be mindful of regulations regarding the transportation of CBD products, especially across international borders. This knowledge ensures compliance with local laws and prevents complications.
Embrace sweet dreams with CBD
As the world becomes more interconnected and travel opportunities abound, the challenge of adjusting to new time zones remains a common hurdle for globetrotters.
CBD, with its multifaceted approach to sleep support, is emerging as a natural ally in this journey for better rest across time zones. By addressing factors such as anxiety, inflammation, and pain that can disrupt sleep, CBD offers a holistic solution for those seeking a more balanced and rejuvenating sleep experience.
As research continues to unveil the nuanced relationship between CBD and sleep, individuals embarking on international adventures can look to this natural compound to harmonize their circadian rhythms and turn sleepless nights into a landscape of sweet dreams.
So, as you plan your next voyage, consider the potential of CBD to enhance your sleep and make every time zone transition a seamless and restorative part of your travel experience.