Sleep is important for helping to maintain your physical and mental health, yet many people struggle to get enough of it. In fact, around 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. experience sleep disorder symptoms, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And, around 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. population at some point in their lives will experience insomnia.
Because there are so many individuals suffering from sleeping problems, there's been gaining interest in one particular antidote— cannabis. A lot of people in the medical cannabis community advocate cannabis, particularly CBD, as an effective treatment for various sleeping disorders, but with little to no side effects.
Individuals have been using cannabis for a long time for its potential health benefits. For instance, it's ability to help individuals is spoken about in the Atharvaveda Hindu text, dating back to about 1500 B.C. Chinese medical texts described the use of cannabis for inducing sleep in 1200 A.D.
These days, individuals are still using the herb, particularly in its CBD (cannabidiol) form, to help them sleep. CBD is a compound found in hemp and marijuana that doesn't make you "high." It's recently gained much popularity due to its potential in treating various health problems, including anxiety and pain.
What is the Research Behind CBD For Sleep?
A small but increasing body of research offers some support for the use of CBD for sleep problems.
In a survey through Consumer Reports on CBD, 10 percent of respondents reported using CBD to help them sleep. Most of them claimed it worked.
An extensive literature review in 2017 found the two cannabinoids in marijuana most often reported as effective sleep-inducing aids were CBD and THC.
Other research for CBD from Kaiser Permanente shows that CBD is promising as a sleep treatment. Because of the calming effect CBD has on the central nervous system, participants in the study who received CBD were able to alleviate sleep and anxiety during the study's first month.
How Does CBD Help With Sleep?
Cannabinoids attach to cells in the brain, and have a number of effects. The way they affect sleep is that CBD might interact with certain receptors, which will potentially affect the sleep/wake cycle.
Also, CBD could reduce pain and anxiety, both of which interfere with restorative sleep. Because CBD helps to reduce these symptoms, it's quite possible it can help improve sleep.
CBD vs Sleep Medications
But, how does CBD compare to other types of sleep aids like melatonin? While melatonin is a great sleep supplement, it impacts the body and brain differently. CBD seems to help with sleep due to:
- It's ability to promote relaxation
- It's anti-anxiety properties
- It's calming effects
Melatonin signals the body directly that it's time for sleep by increasing the levels of naturally occurring melatonin the body already has.
Many individuals complaining of sleep issues say they've used prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids. However, they also say they didn't get the restorative sleep they were looking for. Often, individuals who take sleep medications don't wake up refreshed. And, many who take sleep medications report experiencing side effects like:
- Feeling confused
- Feeling drowsy
- Feeling forgetful the next day
Some individuals admit to dozing off while driving.
What Symptoms of Insomnia Can CBD Treat?
CBD can help with insomnia symptoms such as:
- Difficulty sleeping: CBD is an effective sleep aid because it helps to restore your natural sleep cycle, and when you're suffering from insomnia, it can definitely make your sleep cycle fall out of sync.
- Lack of concentration: CBD helps with focus and concentration, which you lack when you're not getting enough sleep.
- Daytime sleepiness: When you lack sleep, it can lead to daytime sleepiness. When you think of cannabis, you may imagine it causing relaxation, sleepiness, and giddiness. Not all strains make you tired. Some do the opposite, like sativa strains. They're uplifting and energizing, and therefore will help treat daytime sleepiness insomnia causes.
- Headache: Lacking sleep can cause headaches. CBD can help with headaches.
- Depression or anxiety: Struggling with inadequate sleep or insomnia can lead to depression and anxiety. CBD helps improve these symptoms.
Things to Consider When Trying CBD For Sleep
Here are some things you should think about:
- CBD might help anxiety better than sleep alone. But, CBD's ability to alleviate anxiety and help you to relax can help you fall asleep easier.
- Short-term use could be better. While CBD helps improve sleep, the longer you use it, it could diminish its effect, so you might not want to use it long-term or on a daily basis.
- A higher dose may work better. While there's not a lot of studies on dosing, it is suggested low doses may not be as effective (i.e. 25 mg dose should work better than 15 mg dose).
- Form of use matters. Vaping CBD may work quicker, because vaping gets it into your system quicker. However, oils, pills, and edibles can help you sleep longer since they release the CBD much slower.
- Use quality products. There could be CBD products out there that don't work as they say they do. Some could even be contaminated with harmful substances.
- Use it safely. Always talk with your doctor before you take CBD, since it could interact with other medicines.
Does CBD Cause Daytime Sleepiness?
CBD doesn't cause daytime sleepiness. It calms your mind; it doesn't induce a sleepy state. It also doesn't create an intoxicating effect like THC.
CBD, depending on the strain, can help you be more alert, and focus. CBD works with the natural rhythms of your body. If you're awake, and you're trying to focus on a work assignment, CBD can help you stay focused. However, when it's time for sleep after you've had a long day, CBD will help relax you and calm your mind, promoting a restful night's sleep.
CBD works to reduce anxiety and increase focus by increasing serotonin levels in your brain. Therefore, taking CBD will not make you sleep, but rather help you be more productive and obtain better sleep.
Do You Want a Better Night's Sleep? Of Course You Do!
You're bombarded with noises, lights, a long list of tasks, and other distractions on a daily basis. These stimuli often disrupt your circadian rhythms. Then, when you combine them with higher stress levels, it can make getting a good night's sleep almost impossible.
When you bring technology or work into your bedroom, your brain stops making that link between your bedroom and sleep, and falling asleep becomes harder. If it's too late, and you've fallen into this trap already, but are looking for an answer, one perfect way of letting your body know it's bedtime and time to sleep is to use a CBD-infused pillow.
Our CBD-infused pillows induce relaxation and calmness. When you start using the pillow routinely, it will help you wash away the stress of your day, and relax. Eventually, your pillow with CBD could even become your trigger, letting your body know it's time for bed.
Struggling to obtain quality sleep doesn't have to become routine. It just means you need to normalize your body's circadian rhythms. Once you start experiencing the benefits of improved sleep with your new CBD-infused pillow, you'll notice significantly reduced brain fog, and increased energy throughout the day. Try out our CBD-infused pillow today with our free trial.
If you're struggling with sleep problems like insomnia, you might want to consider trying CBD to help you get more restful sleep each night. Remember, it's always a good idea to speak with your doctor before you try any type of medicine, herb, or supplement, including CBD.