As the US market for CBD continues to trend upwards, the research into potential CBD benefits continues to expand as well, with new findings coming to light every day. A couple of the most recent studies have begun to link CBD as a potential aid for those who struggle with sleep.
While CBD is not yet medically approved for sleep disorders, many users report that taking CBD for sleep helps them get a better night’s rest. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few ways in which studies have shown CBD and sleep to be linked!
The Impact of Sleeping Disorders
Before jumping into what CBD might be able to do to help us feel more well-rested, let’s take some time to discuss the prevalence of sleeping issues reported across the country. Unfortunately, sleeplessness is not an uncommon problem. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that over 70% of adults report having trouble falling asleep at least once a month, and 11% report inadequate sleep on a nightly basis.
It’s well-known that a lack of sleep affects learning abilities, reaction time, alertness, mood, and countless other aspects of our daily life. If left unaddressed, sleep deprivation can turn irritability and fatigue into issues with severe consequences: untreated sleep disorders cost the US economy over $100 billion annually in lost productivity, medical expenses, and property damage.
What Causes Sleeplessness?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there’s no shortage of possible causes that can cause insomnia relating to sleeping habits, lifestyle choices, and medical conditions. A few include:
- Too much stimulation, such as noisiness, hyperactivity, or caffeine.
- Sleep cycles naturally changing with age.
- Physical pain, inflammation, or muscle stiffness.
- Mental health conditions like anxiety or depression.
While some of these problems can be addressed by changing some lifestyle choices, others require further exploration.
Sleep Cycles and CBD for Sleep
As it stands today, sleep experts have defined five main stages of the sleep-cycle. These are characterized by brain and body activity during each phase.
- Stage one is a light sleep where breathing remains regular.
- Stage two is where you spend the majority of your sleep cycle. You’re less likely to wake up, and the brain begins to experience sleep spindles, which will cause sudden bursts of brain activity.
- Stages three and four are both considered “deep sleep.” Here you are least likely to be woken up as the brain waves are at their slowest.
- Stage five or REM sleep is where dreaming occurs. It differs from stages three and four in that the brain resembles wake time, but the body is paralyzed. Breathing becomes erratic, and your heart rate increases.
Although definitive research as to how CBD relates to these cycles is yet to be determined, early studies suggest that there may be a correlation in interactivity. For example, a 2017 review suggests that there may be a direct relationship between CBD and sleep cycles: by interacting with receptors in the brain, CBD may have therapeutic potential for insomnia.
How Do CBD and Sleep Come Together?
Outside of its potential direct relationship to sleep cycles, CBD may help improve sleep by addressing issues of physical pain and anxiety disorders that are often associated with insomnia.
CBD may offer an alternative for people who suffer from physical pain but don’t want to risk taking medication that could be habit-forming or come with severe side effects. Based on its reactions with receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), some scientists believe that CBD creates anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that help manage discomfort.
Early research on the benefits of CBD for addressing anxiety disorders is also up-and-coming. By reacting with receptors in your cells, CBD may be able to alter serotonin signals that, when low, are associated with depression. The National Institute for Drug Abuse says that CBD showed a reduction in behavioral signs of anxiety in rats, such as an increased heart rate. Additionally, CBD has not been associated with severe side effects that are often found in some prescription drugs.
Finding the Right CBD Oil for Sleep
While research on CBD oil for sleep remedies is only beginning to provide results, some early evidence suggests that there could be an association between CBD and REM sleep. If not direct, the association could be linked to CBD as a solution for chronic pain and anxiety that affects sleep.
If you find yourself suffering from sleeplessness regularly, consider trying a small amount of CBD oil for sleep to see if it is right for you. Make sure you talk to your doctor before trying CBD on your own to ensure that it is done safely and effectively!