CBD and Sleep: What You Need to Know
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that comes from the cannabis plant. CBD has been used for medicinal purposes by many cultures since ancient times and it is only recently that science has begun to better understand its potential benefits. CBD has been shown to have many therapeutic effects, especially for those with chronic pain and anxiety. Many people are looking for natural solutions to help them cope with different health conditions, so this may be an option worth exploring.
CBD has also proved to be quite helpful as a sleep aid, and many people have reported that when using CBD before sleep, they are able to either fall asleep much more easily, or sleep through the entire night. This is obviously music to the ears of anyone who has struggled with sleep, and if this is something that you need help with, here is what you need to know about CBD and sleep.
What Causes Insomnia and Poor Sleep?
If you have been suffering from poor sleep, and just can’t bear the thought of another restless night in bed, then you might be wanting to try CBD already, however it might be a good idea to first understand what could actually cause poor sleep and insomnia. This is mainly because there could be something that you can try to improve your sleep without using CBD.
One of the most common causes of poor sleep or insomnia symptoms is drinking caffeine late in the day, or before bed. Caffeine can contribute to anxiety, sleeplessness, waking up frequently throughout the night, and feeling you didn’t actually get sleep when waking up. Certain medications can also cause you to have poor sleep, as well as environmental factors like having a less than comfortable bed or loud noises. It is also known that mental disorders such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), depression or anxiety could also cause insomnia or poor sleep.
How Does CBD Help?
The first thing to bear in mind is that CBD isn’t a cure all, and as such, doesn’t actually make you fall asleep when you consume it. Instead, it is great for treating the factors that are contributing to you suffering from poor sleep.
For example, maybe your poor sleep is caused by physical conditions like restless legs, or chronic pain. CBD will then be able to potentially alleviate that pain by interacting with your endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for many functions, including immune system response, pain, appetite and sleep. CBD will then reduce chronic pain and inflammation by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity.
In addition to this, poor sleep or insomnia symptoms could be caused by psychological factors such as anxiety, PTSD or depression, which CBD is also really good at treating, as research has shown. If the factors that cause insomnia symptoms or poor sleep are treated, or managed, you will begin to see an improvement in your sleep.
hat Does the Research Say?
Although the research into CBD and its effects on sleep are still in very early stages, the research that has been done has shown very promising results. Of course, the results do vary from person to person, since everyone is different and not one thing will work for everyone, the majority of the studies show positive results. It should be noted however, that prolonged use of CBD for sleep doesn’t seem to show a consistent level of positive results, which indicates that it is much more effective as a short term solution.
For those that suffer from insomnia, CBD has shown to increase the amount of sleep a person receives. The theory behind why this happens is that during the night, an individual with insomnia has higher levels of cortisol, whereas someone who doesn’t have insomnia doesn’t, which then leads to interrupted sleep. When individuals consume between 300 or 600 mg of CBD, cortisol levels drastically decrease, resulting in uninterrupted sleep.
Other studies show that those who suffer from anxiety were able to increase their sleep by 66.7%, or more, when consuming 25 mg of CBD.
What Is the Best Way to Consume CBD For Sleep?
If you are someone who doesn’t consume CBD, or any cannabis product, then you might not be aware that there are different ways to consume CBD, and not all of them produce the same results. In order to choose the best method to consume CBD, you have to consider your reason for using it; are you struggling to fall asleep? Are you struggling to stay asleep? Is it a bit of both?
If you are struggling to fall asleep, then the best option for you would be to use a vaporizer, since these take effect within a few minutes, but the effects will only last for up to an hour, which means that these devices aren’t the best for having uninterrupted sleep.
The next choice would be to use a tincture, which is placed under the tongue. CBD tinctures can help you to fall asleep relatively quickly since the effects take around 20 minutes to be felt, and last between 4 to 5 hours. This method will allow you to stay asleep for quite a while if you don’t wake up too often, and need to fall asleep relatively quickly.
For those that struggle to stay asleep and wake up often during the night, then CBD edibles would be the best choice for you. CBD edibles take around 1 to 2 hours for the effects to be felt, so you might want to take them 2 hours before bed, however the effects can last up to 8 hours, ensuring uninterrupted sleep.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Finally, the last thing to be aware of is that CBD might cause certain side effects in some individuals, although it isn’t very common. Some people might experience varying levels of fatigue, diarrhea and changes in weight and appetite.
This means that you should always consult your doctor before taking any new medications, as well as finding out if there could be any adverse effects with regards to medications you are currently taking.