The average adult should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night. Sadly, there’s a big difference between how much sleep you should get in order to function and how much you actually get. Lots of things can lead to a restless night’s sleep including anxiety, poor diet, stress, and underlying medical conditions. Insomnia is defined as an inability to sleep or chronic sleeplessness and affects 1 in 3 people. The good news is, CBD can actually help you achieve the quality night’s sleep you’re looking for by treating some of the triggers that cause sleepless nights. And here’s how!
Understand the Triggers
To fully understand how CBD can help those with insomnia, you must first understand what causes insomnia. While there’s no one size fits all reason people experience disrupted sleep, trouble falling asleep, or the inability to stay asleep, there are some common factors. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
- Chronic pain
Other factors can also disrupt sleep including your diet, overexposure to electronics or light prior to sleep, and inconsistent sleep patterns. Making adjustments to these lifestyle choices can help improve your sleep habits.
Who Can Use CBD?
The great thing about CBD, or cannabidiol, is that it’s accessible to anyone. Even in the states where marijuana is not yet legal, you can purchase and legally use CBD. THC is the other popular component of the cannabis plant but has the adverse effect. THC is what gives users the “high” associated with marijuana use. CBD offers more calming, mood elevating effects, making it perfect as a sleep aid. It is, however, important to note that in small doses CBD may actually cause feelings of alertness. Insomnia sufferers can use this to their advantage by using CBD during the daytime hours to reduce fatigue. Being alert and energized during the day will leave you tired and ready for sleep come nighttime.
How Does it Work?
CBD interacts with proteins, chemicals, and receptors in your body. During these interactions, you experience changes in the brain’s neurotransmitters and hormones that positively affect the brain and its function. These changes then alter how your body reacts to pain, inflammation, anxiety, and even helps regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycles. Believe it or not, your body actually produces cannabinoids of its own known as endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is the part of the body that processes signals from cannabinoids — both those you naturally produce and those you consume. The ECS is responsible for regulating the body’s response to sleep, pain, and the immune system. This is why ingesting additional CBD can improve these functions.
Treating Causes of Insomnia
Let’s take a closer look at how CBD can reduce some specific causes of insomnia.
For chronic pain sufferers, the discomfort can be crippling. It interferes with their ability to function during the day and makes sleep nearly impossible. Many chronic pain conditions including arthritis and back, neck, and shoulder pain are associated with inflammation. It’s believed that when your brain and body interact with CBD, it can help regulate your response to pain and inflammation. This reduced reaction can help sufferers focus on rest instead of their level of discomfort. CBD is also a great natural remedy for athletic recovery.
It’s no secret that anxiety is crippling both mentally and physically. When CBD interacts with the body’s hormones and neurotransmitters it helps elicit feelings of relaxation, calm, and happiness. These changes can help reduce stress and anxiety, leading to a more relaxed state of mind that welcomes sleep. Insomnia sufferers who also suffer from anxiety have a difficult time quieting their minds. Racing thoughts, worry, and apprehension over the day’s events can make sleep nearly impossible. These reactions to anxiety can cause further medical complications including high blood pressure, heart disease, and even diabetes. CBD helps regulate your blood pressure and restore calm in both your body and mind.
Your brain, along with several other factors, control your body’s sleep-wake cycles. The circadian rhythm is what tells your body that it’s time to wake up and helps you stay asleep. For some people, this rhythm is out of whack. This is especially true for shift workers who work during the night and try to sleep during the day. This schedule confuses the body and can lead to sleep disturbances. Another disorder known as REM sleep disorder behavior is common in those with Parkinson’s disease and causes individuals to act out during the REM cycle of sleep. In a normal, healthy person, your body is completely paralyzed during the REM cycle. This stops you from physically acting out in your dreams, which generally occur during this portion of the sleep cycle. For those with REM sleep disorder behavior, they are not immobile and can unknowingly hurt both themselves and others while dreaming. CBD can help reduce the outbursts associated with REM sleep disorder behavior and maintain healthy, consistent sleep-wake cycles in healthy individuals.
While the jury is still out on whether or not CBD can positively impact sleep, several studies and testimonials show evidence that the calming effects of CBD are also effective as a sleep aid. Pair the use of CBD with healthy sleep habits like avoiding heavy meals or alcohol before bed, going to sleep at the same time each night, and creating a dark, quiet space conducive to sleep, and you may just find the insomnia relief you’ve so desperately been seeking.
Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. All opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the company or product I am reviewing. Disclaimer: Sweet Honeybee Health and its owners are not medical professionals. Content on this website is intended for informational purposes only. I research and write on numerous health topics and companies. Do not use the information you find on this site as medical advice. You are encouraged to seek the advice of a medical professional prior to trying any health remedy, no matter how safe or risk-free it may claim to be. This blog may contain posts by guest bloggers. These posts may not reflect the opinion of sweethoneybeehealth.com or any affiliates that are posted or mentioned on this page. CBD Disclaimer: While some CBD products contain THC, there are many that do not. If you have question about the content of CBD in a product, contact the CBD company for these questions. Reputable companies should have no more than 0.3% or less THC in their product and this should not produce any psychoactive effects.