Desperate to say good night to insomnia?
In a world that is always “switched on” and experiencing major changes, it’s no surprise that compromised sleep and insomnia becoming more prevalent. A full 8 hours of sleep is seen as a luxury - and yet it is the essence of our wellbeing.
Good sleep improves our productivity, mood, mental health, cognitive performance and also boosts our immune system – which is very important during this time where we need to be in good health and take care of ourselves. Allowing your body to have the right amount of rest is essential, but why is that so hard?
Well, it can feel close to impossible when whirling thoughts are plaguing your brain, as one of the main causes of insomnia and sleep issues relate to the stress and anxiety we experience in our day-to-day lives.
However, it can also be a result of chronic pain, the medications we take, caffeine and poor diet, external environmental factors such as the bright light from our mobile or laptop devices, loud noises like traffic and snoring partners... the list is endless.
So how can CBD oil help you have a good night’s rest so you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle… life?
What the science says...
Although there is a lot more research to be done around CBD and sleep, there are a few studies available that have been conducted affirming that it does work - as well as endless anecdotal evidence from soundly sleeping cannabis users.
There is not very much known or understood about how exactly CBD works to improve sleep, but it is generally thought to be that cannabidiol works to treat the root causes of insomnia and sleep disruption.
As mentioned, stress often goes hand in hand with sleep deprivation, and so the anti-anxiety properties of CBD are thought to be behind its apparent potential to promote a greater sense of calm - helping to relax tension in the body and mind to provide a better night’s rest.
A 2019 study set out to explore the effect of administering CBD to a group of 72 patients with primary concerns of anxiety or poor sleep. Their sleep and anxiety was tracked every month with results that speak for themselves. 78% of the patients indicating significantly decreased anxiety scores and 67% experiencing vastly improved sleep.
There has also been a lot of research conducted on how CBD can be used to relieve chronic pain, discomfort which is often the cause of a disrupted sleep cycle.
This is great news considering the effects of popular pharmaceutical pain and sleep medications, which can have numerous negative side effects on your body - including constipation, diarrhoea, dizziness, headaches, daytime drowsiness, heartburn and more.
CBD, on the other hand, is a natural remedy and, thus, has very limited to no side effects.
Your Circadian Rhythm
We all have a hardwired biological clock that determines when we sleep and when we wake, and it is calibrated by the presence and absence of light.
For most of us, this is what allows us to sleep at night and be wakeful during the day. In the brain, the hypothalamus is the command centre for your sleep/wake cycle, or what is otherwise known as our circadian rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm works by way of signals. When it's dark outside your eyes send a signal to your brain that it is night time, which in turn causes your brain to signal your body to produce melatonin.
This cycle is reversed when the sun comes up and it's time to wake up - and when it is exposed to light, your body prepares to raise its temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. Your brain signals your body to stop producing melatonin and to release hormones like cortisol instead.
Being that your endocannabinoid system works to restore balance in the body and has been shown to directly influence hormones such as these, it stands to reason that this is also part of the reason why a daily dose of CBD can be useful in helping to reset your system and restore any disruption in your sleep cycle.
Dosage When Using CBD for Sleep
Something that is important to keep in mind especially when it comes to using CBD for sleep troubles is that everybody's individual biochemistry is different.
So in the same way that some people drink coffee and then can't sleep, some people can take the drops right before bed and immediately fall asleep while other find that the drops keep them awake (as their endocannabinoid system is overstimulated).
In the latter case it is best to try taking the drops throughout the day up until about 6pm, to ease the anxiety and tension that causes sleep problems so that the body and mind are relaxed by the time you put head to pillow.
With CBD and sleep it is especially true that you will just need to tinker around and find a dosage time and amount that is right for you as an individual.
A different kind of entourage effect...?
Of course, there are many other things that can and should be done in conjunction with CBD consumption to help you get a solid night’s sleep, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet and an established routine.
Perhaps just before closing your eyes you might also have a warm bath, light some candles, meditate, or even listen to some good tunes. Together with some CBD, this should help you relax for a night of quality sleep - the best and most essential form of self-care.
Find out what works for you - whatever it may be - and go forth into a peaceful rest.