I know what you did last night. You went to bed intending to sleep, didn’t you? Why Sleep Is Important

You washed your face, brushed your teeth, voided your bladder (that’s important!), slid between the sheets, wrestled your pillow into submission, and—with all the lights off, and god knows, you didn’t look at your computer in the last 90 minutes without the blue light protector on, and you closed your eyes.

You meant to go straight to sleep. You really did. You wanted to, longed to do it. You turned over to the other side, wiggled your legs, smushed the pillow, and waited some more. A few minutes later, you repeated the sequence on the other side.

At which point you began to review all the things you did, or didn’t do, said or didn’t say but should have, during the day. And when you were finished with that list, you decided to go over it again. And maybe again, just to be sure. Oh the mind games are endless. You sighed and thought “It’s gonna be a long night.”

Or, maybe it happened like this: You DID go to sleep. Drifted right off.

Then, suddenly, out of nowhere with no discernible environmental disturbance (i.e. the dog didn’t bark, sirens didn’t wail outside the window, the earth didn’t move) and you, fighting the rise into consciousness because at some level you know what this means, woke up. Eyes wide, spirit sinking. Without looking at the clock you KNEW what time it was—somewhere in that ghostly time between 2 and 3 AM. Damn.

Because it’s not so much just that you were awake when you wanted to be asleep, it’s that you KNEW you were not going to go back to sleep again no matter how much you tossed and turned, no matter how much you ruminated, or how many sheep you counted, or how many world problems you attempted to resolve… you knew you were not going to sleep again until just before day break at which time you will have again succumbed to deep, fully dreaming REM sleep. And, you know, waking up at this point, hurts.

The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world. — Leonard Cohen

Here at Cloud Forest Botanicals, we know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Most nights, we do. But occasionally, when the moon is full and beaming through our window, or we have a problem that won’t go away, or we splurge and drink one extra glass of wine and eat one extra bite of chocolate, we find ourselves smack in the middle of insomnia. And, unlike Leonard Cohen, we don’t feel superior. We feel frustrated and resigned to not being our best the next day…unless…

…unless we reach for the bottle of Sleep Tonight ZZZZ that we keep handy on the night stand. Give it a shake, squirt one or two droppers full (15 – 30 drops) under the tongue, roll over, and most often…the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos, will again visit and we can drop off to dreamland. Great—and no hangover in the morning, either! Woohoo!

What exactly is insomnia? What causes insomnia?

Insomnia can be short-term (acute) or last a long time (chronic). Acute insomnia lasts from one night to a few weeks. It may come and go. Insomnia before a big trip, a job review, a public appearance, or a pending meeting with your ex is acute, episodic. You know why you can’t sleep. This type of insomnia, while majorly annoying, isn’t a serious problem. The monster beneath the bed has a name and you are fairly sure it will go away come tomorrow night or the night after.

Insomnia is chronic when it happens at least 3 nights a week for 3 months or more. This type of sleep deprivation can create significant physical and mental health issues.

Insomnia is most often caused by

  • poor sleep habits, such as drinking a caffeine in the late afternoon or evening, exercising late at night, or having an irregular sleep-wake schedule;
  • mental health disorders, particularly depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders;
  • heart and lung disorders, disorders that affect muscles or bones, or the presence of chronic pain;
  • stress related to life issues, such as that due to hospitalization or loss of a job (called adjustment insomnia);
  • heightened levels of cortisol—the stress hormone.
  • worrying about sleeplessness and another day of fatigue (called psycho-physiologic insomnia
  • sleeping late or napping may make sleeping the next night even harder.

Shocking stats from The Sleep Foundation. (Follow the links for the studies and more details.)..

Insufficient Sleep

  • Adults between 18 and 64 need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Adults over 65 need 7-8 hours.
  • 35.2% of all adults in the U.S. report sleeping fewer than seven hours per night.
  • Almost half of all Americans say they feel sleepy during the day 3-7 days per week.

Sleep Disorders Sleep Apnea Treatment, Symptoms & Causesand Disruptions

 Sleep Deprivation is Dangerous

  • Drowsy driving is responsible for more than 6,000 fatal car crashes every year in the United States.
  • People with severe insomnia are seven times more likely to have work-related accidents than good sleepers.

The links between insomnia, depression, suicide, and even psychosis

Sleeping pill symbol and insomnia medicine concept as a pharmaceutical sleep prescription medication with the letter z emerging as a sleeping aid metaphor as a 3D illustration. Stock Photo - 76853462

Do Sleeping Pills Work?

  • A recent 2021 study out of Boston that tracked the sleep patterns of middle-aged women in the US, showed that long term use of prescription sleep medications does NOT provide better quality sleep and may lead to other health problems.
  • About 80% of people who take prescription sleep medications experienced residual effects the next day.
  • 8.2% of adults say they took medication to help them sleep at least four times in the past week. .

Whew! Makes a person wonder if anyone anywhere is getting their requisite shut eye!

So what’s a body to do? There are clear do’s and don’ts for maximizing the chances of a good night’s sleep.

Avoid these if you want to sleep better.

In healthy adults, caffeine has a half-life of five hours, which means that only half of the caffeine consumed will be eliminated from the body in five hours. So, don’t drink caffeine after 3 PM (because half of it will still be floating around your body at 8 or 9 PM);

Likewise, easy does it on the alcohol, which can cause your blood sugar to drop around 3 AM and then floods the body with signals to WAKE UP! and the need to get up and pee. Drinking more than two servings of alcohol per day for men and more than one serving per day for women has been found to decrease sleep quality by 39.2%.

You may have read or been told to avoid blue light from computer screens or phone devices 90 minutes before bed, but why? Blue light stimulates the brain into thinking it is still daylight–which prevents your pineal gland from producing natural melatonin, the sleep hormone. No melatonin, less sleep.

No Facebook, Twitter or Instagram after 9 PM! Who needs the drama??

How to promote restful sleep, naturally.

The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. W.C. Fields

  • Do make sure your bedroom is tranquil and comfortable. Good mattress, comfy pillows. Fresh air. Quiet. If you live were there is noise from traffic or naughty neighbors, get a white noise machine, use ear plugs (the silicone ones are more comfortable than the foam ones, IMO).
  • Block out ambient light with curtains or shades.
  • Drink a cup of chamomille or other relaxing herb tea an hour before bed.
  • Drink a cup of Golden Milk (recipe here). Yum.
  • Take magnesium citrate and potassium supplements – they will help with relaxation and may help prevent muscle cramps (and god knows we HATE those!). Just in case, keep a squirt bottle of liquid magnesium by the bed—at the first waking sign of a cramp in the leg or foot, spray it with the magnesium, and rub it in. You may be awake, but in a few minutes you won’t be in agony.
  • Try to keep a regular schedule—go to bed at roughly the same time (research says 10 – 11 PM is ideal for most circadian rhythms) and get up at the same time.
  • Practice slow, meditative breathing once you are in bed and comfortable.
  • 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week has been associated with reduced levels of daytime sleepiness and better concentration even when tired.

How can CBD and CBN promote better sleep and help you defeat insomnia?

The body’s endocannabinoid system (the complex system that regulates mood, sleep, and circadian rhythms, has two primary receptors, CB1 and CB2. CBD, a non-psychoactive component of hemp and marijuana, attaches to these receptors to impact the sleep/wake cycle. As we age, our receptors may not be as sensitive or efficient. CBD  helps to restore homeostasis or balance, which may lead to better sleep. It has also been shown to reduce anxiety and pain, both of which are enemies of good sleep.

CBN is yet another cannabinoid that is attracting a great deal of attention. CBN is produced by marijuana or hemp plants when the THC content (the cannabinoid that gets you high) is degraded through heat or aging.  There is emerging evidence that CBN will not get you high, but that it has relaxation and sedative properties. Project CBD, a non-commericial information site, lists peer reviewed studies on the effects of CBD and CBN for sleep-related problems.

Sleep Tonight ZZZZ is a proprietary blend of passionflower, lavender, and lemongrass—traditional herbs known for their sleep inducing properties. Passionflower has been used traditionally by herbalists to calm the brain and reduce anxiety. It does this by increasing levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain. Studies on the oral use of lavender have shown that this lovely herb reduces anxiety, calms the nervous system, and may reduce stress. Lemongrass, like passionflower and lavender, has a long history of being used to reduce anxiety and boost immunity.

In addition to these age old remedies for sleep, Cloud Forest Botanicals has, after thousands of hours of research, identified specific relaxing, calming terpenes (those naturally occurring phytochemicals that give plants their distinctive fragrances, tastes, and certain medicinal properties). We carefully combine these with the purest organic CBD isolate and CBN available on the market. This potent combination helps to create a relaxed, sleep-ready state.

Sleep Tonight ZZZZ, like all of the products formulated here in the Cloud Forest, is a marriage of ancient plant wisdom and emerging scientific research. The very best of old…and new.

So…here’s to sweet dreams, waking with the rising sun to the song of birds, fresh and ready to greet the day.


10 ways to improve your sleep – and your health






How to improve your sleep links: