CBD for Sleep: A Better Alternative To Sleeping Pills?
CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in hemp and marijuana plants. It isn’t the cannabinoid that gets you high though – some research shows that it can have some health benefits for those suffering from sleep disorders like insomnia, REM Behavior Disorder, or simple anxiety.
Since CBD is a natural product, it could also be a healthier choice than a chemically produced sleep aid. For more information on how CBD oils can help with your sleep problems, read on.
CBD for Sleep: Benefits
To understand how CBD oil can improve sleep, we first need to learn how it works in the body. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 120 cannabinoids found in both hemp and marijuana plants. It is extracted from the plants, usually from those that contain only tiny amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound that causes the euphoric feelings usually associated with cannabis.
Inside the body, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates a wide range of bodily functions, including appetite, motor skills, mood, and even sleep. Certain factors affect how much endocannabinoids the body produces, such as age, disease, or physical injuries. When this productions falls, we need to replenish our endocannabinoids, which is where CBD oil comes in.
There is a human study that shows that CBD interacts with the GABA and serotonin receptors in the ECS system, which are the areas that regulate the circadian sleep-wake cycles. This cycle is responsible for helping us fall asleep and stay asleep.
Another way that CBD can help improve sleep is its ability to reduce anxiety and depression. This helps calm your mind to reduce overthinking, which also helps you fall asleep faster.
CBD vs Melatonin
Sleeping problems are widely spread in society. In the United States, more than 20 percent of adults suffer from at least one sleeping disorder. That’s almost 70 million people having trouble getting enough sleep night after night. The inability to rest at night negatively affects appetite, social skills, and productivity at work.
To combat this, nearly 50 percent of adults with sleeping problems take medication. Those using chemical sleeping aids eventually build up a dependency, making it hard to sleep without them. In most cases, the dependency also leads to higher dosages, which can translate into sleeping pill abuse.
The negative side effects of sleeping pills abuse include dry mouth, foggy memory, dizziness, itching, swelling, hives, among others. With those in mind, many people choose to try a natural sleep aid.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain. When the sun sets, our body clock tells our brain to produce this hormone so we can relax. This leads to drowsiness that then causes us to fall asleep. Melatonin is triggered by the dark, though, so it won’t be produced in a bright room.
Some people have melatonin imbalances that can lead to a sleep disorder, such as insomnia. They require a melatonin supplement to help them achieve the healthy sleep they need. Since it is a natural hormone our bodies already produce, melatonin has no negative side effects.
The supplements do work quickly, though, so you need the right dosage and timing to use them properly. Otherwise, you may be dealing with drowsiness in the morning.
Since some studies suggest that CBD is a possible treatment for insomnia and other sleep disorders, it is another alternative to prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids. CBD reduces anxiety, stress, and even chronic pain, all of which can affect how well you sleep.
CBD isn’t a cure-all, though. It isn’t effective for those dealing with hormonal imbalances, like a lack of melatonin, or other health problems. Though studies show some benefits concerning certain sleep disorders, more research is needed to prove exactly how well it works for certain issues. There is also still some controversy about using CBD, so it isn’t always easy to get your hands on it.
CBD for Sleep: Side Effects
So far, there are no consistent studies exposing negative side effects for CBD usage. Clinical studies testing high doses of CBD resulted in tiredness, decreased appetite, gastrointestinal problems and altered liver enzymes. But again, those symptoms were observed under very particular conditions. Ordinary doses of CBD oil are more likely to benefit your sleep than produce any negative side effects.
CBD has anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects that calm your mind, which leads to a calm body. This relaxing effect helps decrease those swirling thoughts that keep you awake, making it easier to fall asleep. It can also relax you during the day, keeping your head clear so you can resolve issues and prevent stress while you’re awake, making it easier to sleep at night.
As well as helping you fall asleep, researchers in Brazil have discovered that using CBD oil can also improve the quality of your sleep. The majority of the participants in this study slept for at least 7 hours straight.
Another interesting study has shown that using CBD reduces dream recall. Dreams happen during REM sleep, so if those on CBD can’t remember their dreams, it means that they didn’t wake up during this cycle, sleeping through the night uninterrupted.
Serotonin and anandamide levels, as well as opioid receptors, are affected by CBD. These all influence how we feel pain, so using CBD can actually reduce our pain, which can also help us sleep.
Cannabinoids like CBD can also maintain our circadian rhythm, which is also known as our body clock or sleep-wake cycle. CBD can restore our circadian rhythms, which helps us maintain normal sleeping habits.
CBD interacts with receptors in our body both directly and indirectly. Using CBD can eliminate endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome, which leads to a higher rate of wellness.
Useful Tips To Improve Your Sleep With CBD
The effectiveness of CBD for sleep can vary from person to person. There are a few things you can do to help improve your results when using it, though. First of all, don’t expect it to be a cure-all for every sleep issue you may be dealing with. It can help reduce those anxious thoughts that can disrupt your sleep but may not completely eliminate insomnia.
Like other products, the longer you use CBD, the less effective it may be. One study shows that the participants had improved sleep for the first month of use but for the second and third months their sleeplessness came back. For this reason, CBD shouldn’t be used on a daily basis or long term.
Lower doses also may not be best for those using it for sleep-related issues. A 2004 study showed that 15mg doses did not help the participants fall asleep and may even have kept them awake.
It is suggested that starting with a larger dose of 30mg is best. You can also work your way up to a higher dose but only if needed.
How you use it can also affect how CBD works for you. Vaping gets it into your system faster but the effects don’t last very long. Oils, pills, or edibles release the CBD more slowly into your body, which helps you sleep longer.
You should also take them at the right time for the best results. If choosing one of these three CBD forms, it is best to take it an hour before you go to bed.
Quality products are also a must. These may be more expensive, but they will be pure. Otherwise, you may be ingesting contaminants like pesticides or other harmful substances. You should also speak with your doctor before using CBD, especially if taking other medications that could cause adverse reactions.