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CBD for Sleep and Insomnia

by Kyriaco Charalambous on January 27, 2021


CBD for Sleep and Insomnia 


Every night, people all over the world find it difficult falling asleep or staying asleep. While for some people insomnia may be temporary, for others can become a chronic issue that affects everyday life. Medical news and articles state that getting a restful night's sleep is one of the most essential yet overlooked necessities in life. So, what could help one sleep better?

Having a regular sleep schedule has many benefits that people should incorporate into their life's. Dealing with a sleepless night can be very frustrating. In turn, this can affect your mood and energy levels the next day, stopping you from achieving your full potential, even a single night can take a toll on your wellbeing.

Experts have said that the lack of sleep due to insomnia is linked to an increase in forgetfulness, risk of depression and anxiety. Also, not getting enough sleep can potentially increase your chances of developing diseases such as dementia.
Fortunately, there are different options within reach for improving sleep quality and preventing insomnia.

In recent years, CBD oil has come to light as a progressively popular natural treatment for insomnia. As always studies are in the early stages however, there are promising signs that CBD is an effective way for improving, enhancing and getting a restful night's sleep.

 


What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an organic compound found in the cannabis and hemp plant. However, unlike its famous counterpart Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not leave you feeling “high” when consumed, as it’s used for its therapeutic properties. There are over 100 cannabidiols that can be found in the cannabis plant and unlike many other cannabinoids, CBD does not have psychoactive properties like THC does.

For CBD to be legal in the UK, there must be a limit of 0.2% or less of the substance THC inside any given product or supplement.

CBD was first researched in 1942 when scientists found it difficult to complete research on the benefits of CBD, since then there has been a lot more research to uncover how CBD oil can help with insomnia and much more!

Photo by National Cancer Institute

Why does insomnia happen?
Insomnia is one of the most common disorders in the UK. Data published back in 2018 stated that approximately 16% of adults in the UK sleep less than 6 hours a night. Additionally, a further 19% only sleep for 6 to 7 hours which is less than the recommended amount of 7-9 hours per night.
However, a lot of people typically associate insomnia with a whole night spent awake or struggling to get to sleep, in actuality insomnia can range from light to severe.

Signs of insomnia could be:
-Constantly waking up during the night then shortly after falling back to sleep
-Difficulty focusing and working productively due to lack of sleep
-Dependant on supplements or medication to fall and stay asleep
-Struggling to fall asleep after getting into bed for several hours
-Waking up in the middle of the night and struggling to get back to sleep
-Waking up early (before sunrise) and struggling to sleep again


Short-term insomnia, maybe be caused by a number of factors including:
-Stress
-Jet lag
-upsetting or traumatic events
-Changes in your sleep habits, like sleeping in a hotel
-Chronic pain
-Medications


Chronic insomnia can last for at least 3 months or more and be primary or secondary. Primary insomnia has no cause. Secondary insomnia can happen with another condition that might be:
-Anxiety or depression
-Diabetes
-Medical conditions that make it hard to sleep, like chronic back pain and arthritis
-Sleep apnoea
-Substance use


Photo by Charles Deluvio

How CBD may help improve sleep quality?

A lot of the time, professionals prescribe medications to treat insomnia. Most of these drugs under brand names such as Ambien, Valium and Zopiclone.
These drugs are commonly used in the UK. An article back in 2012 stated that more than 15 million people were prescribed sleeping pills. They have said to be England's hidden addiction.

Not only are sleeping pills potentially addictive they also have the potential to be harmful. Drugs such as Valium are associated to side effects such as dependence, people who use them often experience threatening withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop.
They're somewhat poor as a treatment for insomnia, with drugs like Valium often aiding in sleep however, preventing them from experiencing REM sleep that’s vital for cognitive function and recovery.
Because of the side effects and the growing number of people with sleep disorders are instead turning to organic remedies for their insomnia, one being CBD.

Like all the other benefits of CBD, research into CBD’s effects on sleep conditions such as insomnia is still in preliminary stages. Even so, the current data suggests that CBD could be immensely helpful, improving sleep quality and safe treatment for preventing insomnia.
For instance, research in 2014 into cannabidiol (CBD) found that it reduces the frequency of events related to REM sleep behaviour disorder, in patients with Parkinson's disease. The people that were provided CBD during this study all showed great improvements.

In a nutshell, while research into CBD and sleep isn't yet finalised, it does show great signs that CBD could be helpful for preventing insomnia and improving sleep quality in people who are susceptible to sleep disorders.

How to use CBD for sleep

If you’ve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder you should always talk to your local doctor about treatment options for you. CBD is one of many ways of treatment.
However, if you’d like to use CBD for improving your sleep there are a wide range of different options for you to choose from.

There is:

-CBD oil tinctures. These are the most common way for treatment. You simply put a couple drops under your tongue and wait a 30 second to 2 minutes then swallow. By using this method it’s a lot faster absorption rate, as the tissue under your tongue has a thin membrane that can enter your bloodstream delivering it straight to the body.

-CBD oil capsules. These bring CBD into your body via your stomach. People find these easy and convenient to use, however they can take a more prolonged time to absorb into the body.

-CBD e-liquid and vape. Vaping is the most efficient way to take CBD as they effects can last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. Numerous people have said that it eases stress and anxiety as well as pain relief.

-CBD edibles. There has been a growing popularity in edibles such as brownies, cookies and gummies which have been a tasteful way to enjoy CBD. Once again, they do take longer to absorb into the body.


Bottom line
Studies reveal that CBD might support healthy sleep in some people, whereas in others do the opposite. More research is needed for the appropriate dosage and more clinical trials in the future, may offer insight and understanding into the use of CBD as a way to treat insomnia and aid sleep.

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