Sleep is responsible for maintaining brain health and keen focus. It’s when our minds and bodies repair the damage of an active day. Despite how important proper sleep is to our well being it is often the first thing we sacrifice to get more done in our busy lives.
7 to 9 hours is the generally recommended amount of sleep a person should get nightly to maintain optimal health but the average American only gets 6.8 hours of sleep time. We are suffering from sleep depravation now more than ever before.
We wake up earlier and go to sleep later to meet more of our daily obligations. Our electronic devices are also making it harder for our bodies to understand when it’s time to go to sleep, a.k.a. "The Blue Light Effect", often making it more difficult to relax and fall asleep.
CBD has been shown to have a great deal of promise in helping people relax enough to drift off into a peaceful restorative sleep. Let’s discuss some of the current remedies that may provide some relief and hopefully help you increase the amount of restorative sleep you get every night.
Insomnia is an extreme type of sleep disorder in which individuals find it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep or both. In the most chronic cases, this condition can lead to fatigue, anxiety, stress and depression and patients can also experience other symptoms like:
- Difficulty Waking up in the morning.
- Trouble falling or staying asleep.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness.
CBD Can Help You Drift To Sleep
CBD is found naturally in cannabis or hemp plants and can provide relief for chronic pain symptoms and help to reduce, inflammation discomfort and pain all of which can make getting a good night's sleep difficult. It can also help you relax and slow down after a stressful day making it possible to fall into a deep restorative sleep.
Cannabidiol is the main cannabinoid in the cannabis plant that interacts with our endocannabinoid system and helps the body to maintain a state of calm stability, encouraging rest and maximizing sleep time.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not a psychoactive compound which means it does not intoxicate. Rather CBD offers a way to increase relaxation to facilitate a night of sound sleep.
CBD Consumption Methods
CBD can be ingested in several ways such as:
It is always recommended to start CBD usage with a low dose and then gradually shift to the higher doses to prevent negative side effects.
It is very difficult to fall asleep if you’re in pain. When you experience pain falling asleep is replaced with tossing and turning.
Hemp Oil acts as an analgesic giving you anti-inflammatory benefits that may reduce pain and inflammation providing relief to aching muscles, arthritis, and joint pain all of which can make falling asleep difficult.
How Does CBD Interact Inside The Body?
Once ingested CBD interacts with serotonin receptors and GABA receptors in the brain. Serotonin plays a very crucial role in mood and anxiety management. GABA is acknowledged as a main inhibitory neurotransmitter. It is responsible for calming excessive activity in the brain and promoting relaxation.
There is a complex network of cannabinoid receptors present inside the human body and in the central nervous system. This network is responsible for regulating sleep. Our body manufactures endogenous cannabinoids and with the usage of cannabis-based products, the same effect is produced in the body. An Endocannabinoid deficiency in the body results in difficulty with sleep.
CBD is one of the 80 known cannabinoids derived from the cannabis Sativa plant. CBD is available as a crystalline isolate which means it can be purified to contain only CBD, or full-spectrum oil consisting of a variety of compounds including cannabinoids, essential oil and terpenes.
In studies conducted at the psychiatric clinic, CBD is helpful for anxiety and sleep disorder. It can reduce the anxiety level in more than 79% of patients. And it can lead to an improvement in sleep patterns in 66.7% of patients within the first month of treatment.
Does CBD Make You Drowsy?
Cannabidiol has been proven to be safe and effective for managing sleep disorders as it acts with serotonin receptors and works to promote a relaxed state. Sleep disorders are common in individuals suffering from anxiety disorders and CBD has been shown to be effective at relieving many of the effects of anxiety. Hence CBD usage is very effective in treating sleep conditions in patients with such illness.
High CBD strains are enriched with Terpene called Myrcene which is known to have sedative effects and is found in abundance in the sleep-inducing herb called hops. It has been proved that the impact of cannabidiol on sleep depends upon the intake dose. A lower dose of CBD may have a stimulating effect increasing wakefulness whereas higher doses of CBD have a sedative effect. CBD may increase the total amount of sleep time and decrease restlessness during the night. Short term usage of CBD improves insomnia by decreasing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
Is CBD Usage Safe?
Although usage of CBD is growing, its safety, effectiveness and the optimal dose are still debatable. CBD products are not regulated by the FDA. So despite labels and claims, it is very difficult to ascertain the exact safety of its consumption. As of now, only FDA approved form of CBD is prescription oil called Epidiolex. It is used for the treatment of two types of epilepsy. Research on 84 CBD products available online shows that more than one-fourth of the products contain less cannabidiol then that was listed on the label.
When deciding to buy a CBD product you must be provided easy access to the lab report that clearly describes the potency and extraction method used. In addition, there will be a description of the growing methods, terpene profiles and the use of pesticides during cultivation will be disclosed. As a rule of thumb if lab reports are not made available stay away from the product.
Doses of CBD for Sleep Promotion
Various research is being carried out for the most effective dose for the sleep of CBD. Most studies have concluded that when trying to relieve a sleep disorder higher doses seem to work better. But in the lack of accepted guidelines on the most optimal dose for sleep and the variation in the concentration of CBD in different products have created ambiguity regarding how much CBD should be used for promoting sleep. According to various authorities, doses of CBD should be based on body weight, age, and other factors.
An Alternative to CBD for Promoting Sleep
Research is still underway to confirm all the positive effects CBD may have on promoting sleep, but other solutions have been well researched for the treatment of sleep-related issues. Doctor recommended treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy, improving sleep hygiene or investigating the root causes of troubled sleep can also be effective as well.
Studies have also shown that going outside for some light exercise or enjoying the company of friends can also have a calming effect that can help you fall asleep.
Some Natural Alternatives
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the brain in response to sunlight and darkness. It helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle known as a circadian rhythm.
Other natural alternatives for sleep that a person can try include herbal medicines, aromatherapy, homeopathy, magnesium, exercising, sleep hygiene, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and melatonin. Some herbal medicines such as valerian, chamomile, passionflower, lemon balm, kava, Ginkgo Bulova and St. John's Wort have been proved to be a safe and effective measure for natural sleep.
Aromatherapy uses essential oil such as lavender, chamomile, blue tansy, and cedarwood. These can be inhaled directly from the bottle, used in an aromatherapy diffuser or few drops can be placed on a pillow to promote relaxation.
The Bottom Line
If you’re having difficulty winding down at the end of your day there are many natural alternatives to prescription medication to achieve healthy restorative sleep. Your relief may come from something simple like organizing your life in a way that allows you to get to sleep earlier, or, you may want to try a CBD tincture at a low dosage and slowly increase it until you reach the sweet spot. Remember that a healthy diet and moderate exercise can also go a long way towards helping you relax in the evening. Turning off those screens an hour before you plan to go to sleep will also help your body understand that it’s time for bed.