Sleep is not a luxury, but rather one of the body’s essential functions. The average adult needs between 7-8 hours of sleep per night to restore body, mind and to keep at bay conditions such as obesity, diabetes, infections and heart disease. Sleep is also essential to regulate mood, boost productivity, and protect our mental and emotional wellbeing.
At the same time, millions of people struggle with sleep disorders that prevent them from falling asleep and remaining asleep for the necessary time. If these conditions become repetitive and chronic, they can have long-lasting, disruptive effects on your health.
While there is no definitive cure for these disorders, CBD oil is gaining attention for the benefits it offers. Here is all you need to know about how CBD oil can help attenuate sleep disorders.
Sleep Disorders: What You Need To Know
The Sleep Foundation defines “Sleep disorders” as an umbrella term that refers to all of those conditions that affect a person’s sleep duration, quality, and timing, thus impacting the person’s physical health, wakefulness, and mental well-being. If left unaddressed, sleep disorders can turn into chronic conditions that actively contribute to and increase the risk of other medical conditions and mental health issues.
Today, the medical community recognises over 100 specific sleep disorders, over 35% of US adults report sleeping less than 8 hours a night, and chronic insomnia is believed to affect up to 30% of the global adult population.
The most common sleep disorders include:
- Sleep Apnea
- REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
- Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Excessive Sleepiness
Sleep disorders manifest themselves through symptoms such as having trouble falling and remaining asleep, reduced daytime wakefulness, circadian rhythm imbalances, mood swings, tiredness and fatigue.
The causes of such disorders are many and complex, and they include:
- Mental health disorders - including depression, anxiety, and PTSD
- Medications that disturb the sleep cycle
- Environmental factors - such as an uncomfortable bed or a noisy sleeping environment
- Lifestyle factors - including caffeine use, alcohol abuse, or a sedentary life
CBD: Effects and Benefits
Understanding what causes sleep disorders and how they manifest is vital to understand why CBD oil can be so effective in treating poor sleep and addressing sleep problems. CBD - also known as cannabidiol - is a non-psychoactive compound and one of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. CBD can influence the endocannabinoid system - an essential system in our body in charge of regulating the production of hormones linked to response to stress, balance, stability, homeostasis, and reproduction. As we know, research confirming the benefits of CBD is still at its early stages, but some studies have confirmed the following aspects:
- CBD can reduce anxiety - In a 2019 study involving 72 subjects, 79.2% of the patients who were given 25mg of CBD for a month reported lower anxiety levels.
- CBD can help with chronic pain - A 2018 study, reviewed several pieces of evidence and concluded that CBD can be effective in treating chronic pain conditions. You can read more about this here.
- CBD can promote daytime wakefulness - a 2014 study suggests that CBD can reduce daytime sleepiness, grogginess, and tiredness, thus improving the sleep and REM cycle.
- CBD can treat some forms of epilepsy - approved in 2018, Epidiolex is the first CBD-based drug in circulation, and it aims to treat rare and severe cases of epilepsy.
A 2017 review also indicates that CBD can be an element n the treatment of a range of conditions, including:
- Chronic pain
- Panic attacks
- Opioid addiction
- Certain inflammatory skin conditions such as acne
- Nausea and pain deriving from chemotherapy
- High blood pressure
CBD and Sleep: How Can CBD Oil Help?
As we have seen, CBD is believed to have many beneficial effects. But can it also be a natural sleep aid for people suffering from sleep disorders? The studies that confirm this theory are still preliminary, and more research is needed.
However, as mentioned above, recent studies tell us that CBD is effective in treating a variety of conditions that are also at the root of many common sleep disorders such as insomnia.
A literature review published in 2017, looks at the effects of CBD and THC on sleep. The study suggests that cannabidiol can be an effective natural treatment to refresh the REM sleep cycle, reduce daytime sleepiness, and relieve anti-sleep conditions such as anxiety and high-stress levels.
How To Use CBD Oil To Improve Sleep
There are many ways to use CBD to promote regular sleeping, fall asleep faster, and address sleep disorders. Some options include:
- Vape concentrates
However, one of the most efficient ways to consume CBD is in the form of oils or tinctures, which can be taken by administering a few drops under the tongue.
The dosage that you will need to see results will depend on many factors, including your weight, the kind of sleep disorder, personal body chemistry, and personal needs. You should always consult an expert before committing to this treatment.
However, most trials show that it is recommended to start with low quantities - around 10-20mg of CBD per day. Taking your CBD oil drops at the same time every day can help you analyse any changes that are happening. If you don’t notice the effects after a week, start increasing this quantity by 5mg.
Some people might also enjoy consuming CBD by adding a few drops to their tea or other drinks of choice.
Combining CBD Oil With Other Sleep Tips
Using CBD products to address disrupted sleep can be efficient, but you are not likely to see the best results without also changing some aspects of your lifestyle. According to The Sleep Foundation, some tips to improve sleep quality include:
- Rethink your bedroom to create a sleep-inducing environment
- Maintain a balanced sleep schedule and try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day
- Have a defined pre-bedtime routine in place that does not include screen time or caffeine. Opt for meditation and relaxation techniques instead!
- Foster a pro-sleep lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a healthy diet, time in natural settings and outdoors, and limited alcohol and caffeine intake.
If you can’t fall asleep, don’t stew in bed. Instead, try meditation and relaxation techniques, take a warm bath, keep a diary, and speak to a doctor.