Can CBD Help with Sleep Disorders?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that binds to your central nervous system's receptors, and is commonly used to treat a variety of symptoms. CBD and other cannabinoids are used for different types of medical conditions, like treating anxiety, epilepsy, nausea from chemotherapy and Parkinson's. And, like sleeping aids and melatonin, it might also help treat insomnia, other sleep disorders, and promote a more restful sleep.
Types of Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorder causes vary by case, with no one standalone reason for not being able to sleep. Some common sleep disorders are:
While insomnia often looks like a symptom of other disorders, it's often diagnosed as its own condition when there's no underlying cause. When you have insomnia, you often have problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or obtaining quality sleep. It greatly impacts your day-to-day functioning, and can lead to things like:
- Mood problems
- Heart disease
- Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
RLS can affect you at any time of the day; however, it typically severely interferes with sleep. Fibromyalgia often causes sleeping problems, making it more difficult to deal with associated symptoms.
- Sleep Apnea
This condition occurs when you have something that's obstructing your airways while sleeping. In some cases, your airways collapse while you sleep, or you may have an obstruction such as enlarged tonsils that cause it. This blockage can affect your quality of sleep, and can lead to chronic fatigue during the day.
Everyone has a bad dream here and there. But, when you have nightmares frequently, it can make it hard to sleep well. Anxiety medications and narcotics can cause nightmares.
No matter what your sleep disorder is, it can severely impact your life, interfering with what you need to do. Sleep deprivation makes it hard to focus and concentrate during the day, and in some cases, could put you in danger (sleepy while driving).
Without a good night's sleep, you can't function at peak physical, mental, or emotional levels, and with today's high-stressed world, many individuals can't obtain decent sleep.
How CBD Helps With Sleep
CBD can help with sleep because it manages pain in some people. For others, it helps with their anxiety; however, there is real evidence suggesting it might help with insomnia as well. This is due to its role in endocannabinoid signaling, which helps regulate sleep stability.
A study found when mice were treated with CBD, it increased their NREM sleep time as well as its stability, meaning that its effects aren't simply for treating sleep-related conditions, but could actually help in treating the problem itself. CBD might be able to move the body from the REM sleep stage into a more restful, deeper NREM sleep. And, this is better than taking sleeping aids, which can result in you feeling wiped out the next morning.
While more studies on sleep disorders and CBD need to be conducted, you'll find over 100 articles that cover research on CBD for sleep disorders through the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. CBD and cannabinoids could possibly help:
- Decrease sleep disturbances
- Improve sleep quality
- Reduce how long it takes to fall asleep
Many studies that review CBD evaluate sleep as a secondary outcome of another condition, however. For instance, one 2019 study investigating CBD oil use for children with Autism to treat comorbidities like sleep disturbances found CBD did improve sleep in 71.4 percent of these children. Autistic patients often suffer with sleep disturbances.
CBD can help with sleep in other ways including:
- Anxiety: CBD can help decrease anxiety, which has the quality to limit insomnia, and improve sleep.
- REM behavior disorder: CBD helps reduce REM behavior disorder in individuals with Parkinson's disease. In a healthy individual's sleep, their body is paralyzed during REM sleep, but when individuals have REM behavior disorder, which is a common symptom of Parkinson's, this paralysis doesn't occur, therefore they might move while their sleeping. CBD helps regulate that.
- Circadian rhythm: CBD in smaller doses helps stimulate alertness, and reduce daytime sleepiness, which could help keep your natural body clock for sleep (circadian rhythm) consistent.
- PTSD: CBD might also improve sleep abnormalities for individuals with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
CBD has been reported by some individuals to have either a calming or stimulating effect, which adds to the confusion of the overall equation. And, since there isn't a whole lot of published evidence in regards to dosing, studies to date show CBD has a calming effect at higher doses, and a stimulating effect at lower doses.
In an animal study in 1977, CBD's "hypnotic-like effects" were first studied. After that, there were only a few CBD dosing studies performed; however, the evidence does seem to indicate CBD's effectiveness will depend on if the individual has a normal sleep rhythm, or of the individual has a sleep disorder.
So, as you can see, CBD plays a significant role in helping to ease symptoms of underlying conditions that could be causing your sleep disturbances.
To help further promote better quality sleep, you may want to try a CBD-Infused pillow. You're likely going to lay your head down on a pillow at night when you are trying to fall asleep. Well, now you can benefit from all the healing properties of CBD while doing so. Whether you're struggling with insomnia, anxiety, sleep apnea, or another sleep disorder, CBD-infused pillows can help. Order yours today!