A good night’s sleep (like the one that leaves you refreshed and ready for the day) is something everyone craves. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t a reality for many people.
Did you know that approximately one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep? That is, they sleep six or fewer hours every night. In fact, since 2013, more people have reported getting less sleep.
Chronic sleep deprivation is more than just a nuisance; it has been related to an increased risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, depression, heart disease, and the more immediate danger of an accident.
While there are a variety of pharmaceutical drugs and behavioral therapies available to help you sleep, cannabidiol, or CBD, has lately gained attention as a promising remedy.
But what’s all the buzz about? Can a natural compound found in hemp effectively alleviate all your sleep-related woes?
If you’re keen to know more about how CBD and sleep, or more specifically, how CBD can help you get more sleep and why you should consider using CBD, continue reading.
How CBD promotes better sleep
The human body has a biological system of endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system helps regulate vital functions such as appetite, mood, fertility, memory, and pain. This system is also linked to the euphoria that can accompany strenuous exercise.
CBD affects numerous receptors both inside and outside the endocannabinoid system, altering the behavior of hormones and neurotransmitters. CB1 and CB2 are the principal endocannabinoid receptors located in the brain, peripheral organs, and nervous system.
These CBD interactions may be advantageous to physiological processes such as:
• Sleep-wake cycles
• Emotion regulation
• Pain perception
One of the other benefits of CBD is that it can help with seizures, especially in children, and are hard to treat. Epidolex, a CBD-based medicine, has been approved by the FDA to treat two rare and severe forms of pediatric convulsive epilepsy for which no other treatment exists.
Does CBD help users sleep? Here’s what the research says
CBD may be beneficial as a sleep aid for some people. In the last ten years, people have become increasingly interested in the benefits of CBD, which has led to more research into its effects.
According to one study, a CBD dosage of 160 milligrams (mg) enhanced sleep duration compared to a placebo. The researchers also concluded that the placebo, 5 mg of the insomnia drug nitrazepam, and 40, 80, and 160 mg of CBD all assisted subjects in falling asleep.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, generally peaks in the morning, but individuals with insomnia may have elevated cortisol levels at night. Insomnia aside, having elevated cortisol levels at night is linked to an increased number of nighttime awakenings.
Scientists had found that cortisol levels plummeted significantly when participants took 300 or 600 mg of CBD oil in one study investigating the benefits of CBD. These findings imply that CBD influences cortisol release, possibly functioning as a sedative.
A CBD and sleep study recruited 103 people with anxiety or poor sleep. The researchers investigated the effects of CBD in combination with other prescription drugs. CBD dosages ranged from 25 to 175 mg.
Scientists found that 25 mg CBD was the most helpful dosage for anxiety, and higher doses for disrupted sleep were required.
The researchers checked in with the individuals during the three-month trial every month. At the initial follow-up, 66.7% reported improved sleep, while 25%reported worsened sleep. 56.1% of subjects reported better sleep on the second test, whereas 26.8% reported worse sleep.
According to the study, CBD may help people sleep in the short term.
CBD, anxiety, and sleep
CBD may assist sleep to some extent because it also helps with anxiety. In a 2019 study of 72 persons with anxiety or poor sleep published in The Permanente Journal, researchers discovered that CBD reduced anxiety and maintained low anxiety levels for three months.
However, it had no discernible effect on sleep (the reason was not made clear). Even if additional research shows that CBD is beneficial for sleep disorders, the dosage is critical.
What are the best CBD products for sleep?
In terms of safety, CBD products are not regulated as strictly as pharmaceuticals. That means there are many products on the market with varying ingredients, doses, and claims—some of which may be completely fraudulent. It is unknown whether any of these may provide a sleep advantage at this stage.
There are currently no formal CBD sleep guidelines. If you want to try CBD products for sleep, there is a massive variety of products from which to choose— CBD oil, CBD tinctures, CBD capsules, and CBD edibles. CBD consumption techniques vary and are personal preference.
If you opt for CBD oil, you can take it orally or vape it. If you’re considering using CBD for sleep, consult your doctor first.
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Preparing for a good night’s sleep
Melatonin for sleep, like CBD, requires additional research to uncover its benefits and drawbacks. We naturally secrete melatonin as our bodies prepare for sleep.
Until we have more information regarding CBD, there are a variety of behavioral methods that encourage better sleep, such as:
- Allowing yourself time to unwind before bed in a dark environment free of bright displays. If you have to look at a screen, apply a brightness filter.
- Having outlets for stress and anxiety, such as journaling or seeking professional help from a therapist if the situation is more serious.
- If you don’t already have a pattern, train your body to follow a regular sleep and wake cycle.
If you have difficulty sleeping regularly, you may have an underlying sleep condition that a sleep specialist may help diagnose and treat. If sleep issues persist, it’s advisable to see a sleep specialist.
You’ll be able to find the cause of your insomnia, the type of treatments available, your sleep goals, and your expectations from a sleep aid.
The final word
Sleep disorders are growing more frequent and are now considered a public health crisis in the United States. Treatment for sleep disorders, such as insomnia may necessitate a change in lifestyle behaviors and medications.
Yet, CBD is a healthy option worth exploring and continues to help many people experiencing sleep difficulties around the world.
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to text, images, graphics, and other material contained in this article, are for informational and educational purposes, solely intended to be used as a self-help tool.
No information in this article or on this website is intended to substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, always seek guidance and advice from a qualified healthcare provider.