- Your circadian rhythm affects your brain, organ function, hormones, and, well, pretty much everything.
- Daylight Saving Time throws a wrench in your sleep patterns, and the effects can last up to five days (and maybe longer).
CBD and terpenes help you fall asleep and stay asleep, and they work on the chemical level.
- Find out how they work, plus tips to conquer the effects of DST once and for all.
If you’ve ever felt jet lag after traveling to a different timezone, you already know that your body likes to operate on a schedule. Any change can throw a wrench in your ability to properly show up the next day. Think of Daylight Saving Time (DST), like a dose of jet lag that happens twice a year. DST shifts not just your alarm clock but also the cues your brain and body use to regulate sleep.
That’s because of the sunlight; your behaviors and even your diet can all affect your sleep quality. DST is a significant shift that can dramatically impact your ability to get any restful shut-eye. Fortunately, you can make it easier to relax, fall asleep, and stay asleep without using sleeping pills: just try CBD and terpenes. Here’s how they work and how to use them around Daylight Saving.
What Happens To Your Body During Daylight Saving Time
Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, you have an internal clock that regulates when you wind down and when you wake up. This clock is called your circadian rhythm, and it plays a role in your entire body. Your brain responds to light changes in your environment by making you feel alert or sleepy, which is why staring at your phone after dark can keep you awake1. Recent rodent research suggests that your organs can also respond to light changes, which means they have their own circadian rhythms, too2.
Your circadian rhythm is also synchronized with things like temperature, meal timing, and external cues. This includes a specific bedtime routine, the smell of herbal tea, or the feeling of your perfectly fluffed pillow as it cradles your head. With so many factors at play, any significant change to your schedule can impact the way you feel — including shifting your clock an hour forward or back. Enter Daylight Saving Time.
Studies show that time shifts can disrupt your sleep for at least five days and possibly longer34. This disruption can even lead to sleep deprivation because when you aren’t getting enough quality sleep, the adverse effects can accumulate over time.
Those negative effects include taking longer to fall asleep, waking up throughout the night, and waking up when your body is still full of melatonin, your sleep hormone5. If you’re sleep-deprived, you might struggle with memory, learning, and focus, not to mention feeling extra groggy. DST is even associated with an increase in traffic accidents67.
All this to say, DST can be a drag. If you’re tired of feeling tired around this time of year, you have the power to take matters into your own hands and help your body transition. It all starts with two powerful types of plant compounds: CBD and terpenes.
Related Article: How To Get a Good Night of Sleep Without Melatonin
How CBD and Terpenes Can Help You Sleep
CBD and terpenes can help you relax, ease into a bedtime routine, and drift off to sleep. This is great throughout the year but even more critical when you want to help your body adjust to a new bedtime. CBD and terpenes are both plant compounds, but they work in different ways — and no, you don’t have to get high if you don’t want to.
A Quick Primer On CBD and Terpenes
- CBD (cannabidiol) is a molecule found in cannabis plants. It binds to receptors in a system in your body called the endocannabinoid system. From there, it supports chemical reactions that can help relieve anxiety, reduce inflammation, and manage pain. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD won’t get you high.
- Terpenes are compounds that give plants their aroma and flavor. Think of lavender essential oil: terpenes like linalool, myrcene, and pinene give the plant its relaxing scent. Terpenes cross the blood-brain barrier and interact with your neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers in your brain, to cause different effects.
Tens of thousands of terpenes exist throughout the plant kingdom in varying amounts. The cannabis plant is especially full of them. You’ll find CBD and terpenes in both the marijuana plant and hemp, which are two different varieties of the cannabis plant. The difference is that the marijuana plant is rich in psychoactive THC, while the hemp plant is higher in CBD. Both plant varieties have terpenes because, well, plants.
Whether or not you want to get high, you want full-spectrum products that combine CBD plus terpenes. This is called full-spectrum or whole-plant CBD. It matters because terpenes, CBD, and THC all work together to amplify the feel-better effects of cannabis (this is called the entourage effect). The trick is that different ratios of CBD, THC, and terpenes are better for sleep than others.
Ratios? What is this, math? Kinda. Growers can tweak the ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes to help you achieve specific effects. If you don’t want to get high, go with a product that’s higher in CBD (but still has a little THC). And if you want to support your sleepy vibes, try products that are rich in some of the following terpenes:
Adjust to Daylight Saving Time with These Terpenes
People respond to various terpene profiles in different ways, so it’s essential to experiment and find what works best for you. Broadly speaking, these terpenes are shown to support what you want to fall asleep and stay asleep — namely, sedation and relaxation. Use them as starting points to guide your cannabis adventure.
- Linalool: Lavender is a popular relaxation scent for a reason. In essence, this soothing flower is rich in the terpene linalool, which is associated with improved sleep time and reduced anxiety89.
- Myrcene: If you’ve ever heard of the “couch-lock” effect of specific cannabis strains, you’re dealing with myrcene. This terpene is a known sedative and muscle relaxant101112.
- Citral: In a rodent study, citral was shown to support sedation and muscle relaxation, and it improved sleeping time13
- Caryophyllene: This do-it-all terpene is one of the only known terpenes to behave like a cannabinoid in your system, which means it interacts with your endocannabinoid system. That means it can support whole-body benefits like anxiety relief and reduced inflammation (significant if you’re stressed).
- Alpha-pinene: In rodent studies, alpha-pinene reduced anxiety and enhanced sleep1415. Pinene, along with terpenes like borneol, verbenol, and pinocarveol, may amplify the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation1617. This is also one of the ways anti-anxiety medications like diazepam and zolpidem affect your brain18.
How To Use CBD and Terpenes In Your DST Bedtime Routine
Just like sleeping pills aren’t a cure for poor sleep habits, CBD and terpenes are best used as part of an overall healthy approach to better sleep. This is called sleep hygiene, and it refers to the behaviors and practices that help signal to your brain and body that it’s time for shut-eye.
Good sleep hygiene includes:
- Getting daily exposure to natural light
- Avoiding caffeine six to eight hours before bedtime
- Limiting screens after dark
- Avoiding heavy meals before bed
- Sleeping in a cool, dark, and quiet room
Cannabis should supplement these habits, not replace them.
Cannabis products are available in a range of formats and ratios, and what you use mostly depends on your preferences and individual biology. That’s because cannabis can affect people differently, and you won’t know what helps you adjust to DST until you try it.
If you’re using CBD and terpenes for sleep, you likely want something fast-acting and long-lasting. Try CBD oil or inhalants (like vape pens or joints), which enter the bloodstream faster and in more reliable doses than edibles or creams.
In the days or weeks leading up to DST, use the oil or vape about an hour before you want to start winding down and adjust your dosage or timing based on how you feel. Then, when DST hits, you’ll have a better idea of how your body responds. This means you can use your cannabis product to fall asleep when you want to fall asleep and wake up feeling rested. Not jet-lagged.