With the popularity of CBD (or cannabidiol) growing by leaps and bounds, medical studies have finally started to catch up. More and more, we’re seeing proponents citing CBD’s many uses, from the management of pain to alleviating symptoms of epilepsy. Today, we’re going to be focusing specifically on the use of CBD for sleep.
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can manifest in a few different ways. Where you might find that you have great difficulty falling asleep in the first place, another person might start snoring as soon as their head hits the pillow, but wake up far earlier than they plan to. Yet another person might manage to fall asleep just fine, but can only sleep in short, fitful spurts. For most people, though, the results are the same, and we wake up feeling unrested and irritable.
There are many potential causes of insomnia. Some are short-term, or situational. Maybe you had a rough day at work and can’t stop thinking about a project you didn’t complete. Maybe you had more coffee than you normally do, or ate a heavy, rich meal right before bed. A simple change in behavior could be the solution. For those of us who find ourselves awake when we really don’t want to be more than occasionally, though? It can be draining, cause a lack of focus, and even trigger depression.
You are not alone.
If you’re suffering from insomnia, whether it’s the inability to fall asleep or intermittent wakefulness during the night, welcome to the very large–and exhausted–club! There are more than sixty million people in the United States alone suffering right along with you. And, if you’re anything like most people afflicted with insomnia, you have tried everything under the sun in your quest for a full night’s sleep.
But with side effects of sleep medications ranging from long-lasting lethargy and nightmares to dizziness and restless legs syndrome, many people still find themselves struggling to find a solution that doesn’t present more problems than it solves. Worse, it seems like many of the options purported to be most effective can be habit-forming.
Let us take some of the guesswork out of the mix and go over what we know about using CBD for sleep so you can determine if a CBD regimen might be right for you.
Could CBD really be the solution to my problem?
In a nutshell? For many people, it can be. A recent study reported on by the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that subjects who used CBD for sleep reported having slept significantly more than those receiving a placebo.
On a more personal, anecdotal level, there are literally hundreds of magazine articles and threads on just about every social media site dedicated to the discussion of how CBD can aid in getting a good night’s sleep. Many people are finding CBD to be the sleep remedy they’ve been looking for without the serious side effects they fear.
It’s important to note that, if your sleeplessness is something you haven’t yet discussed with your general practitioner, you should do so before taking
How does CBD work, anyway?
There are still questions about exactly how CBD affects our brain chemistry, but what we do know is that CBD interacts with our bodies’ cannabinoid receptors and other neurotransmitter receptors in a way that many proponents of using CBD for sleep claim leaves them feeling relaxed and able to fall asleep more quickly.
It also bears mentioning that CBD has been linked with a decrease in anxiety, which, for many of us, could be the key to finally getting some shut-eye.
How many nights have you found yourself exhausted from a busy day, only to wind up staring at the ceiling at midnight, unable to get to sleep because your mind won’t stop racing? Thoughts and worries that seemed to take a back seat in the light of day come rushing in like a wave:
Are the kids okay?
What if I oversleep and miss my morning meeting?
How am I going to pay this bill, or catch up on that chore?
Or, maybe, even:
Where would I go in the event of a zombie apocalypse?
These can be legitimate concerns or anxiety-fueled spirals that drag us down, despite having rational solutions at the ready. In both cases, though, the last thing you want to do is allow anxiety to keep you up at night when a well-rested brain is much more efficient at problem-solving. CBD’s potential effect on our anxiety levels could be exactly what we need to help us mentally disconnect for a while and let the sandman in to do his work.
Another reason CBD might be helpful in reestablishing a normalized sleep pattern could be its effect on our pain receptors. Researchers haven’t yet been able to explain exactly how or why, but more and more studies are showing that CBD can provide pain relief and reduce inflammation. Those who suffer from insomnia or frequent sleep disruption due to nagging headaches or chronic pain might get a two-for-one remedy by finding their optimal CBD dosage.
In a nutshell, because of the varying health benefits early studies have attributed to CBD, you might not even need to pinpoint why you’re not sleeping in order to reap the benefits.
Is CBD habit-forming or addictive?
Available data tells us that it isn’t. This is actually one of the most notable advantages of using CBD for sleep in comparison to other alternatives. Drugabuse.gov reports that preliminary tests show CBD to be safe and have no signs of addictive effects. And, according to a recent study by the World Health Organization, CBD is not associated with abuse potential.
Are there any side effects from taking CBD?
Unlike with many over the counter and prescription sleep-aid alternatives, studies have shown that using CBD for sleep has very few potential side effects, and that most adults tolerate a wide ranges of doses quite well. It’s also important to note that negative reactions to CBD are rare. Researchers have noted that the cannabinoid alone wouldn’t be to blame in the case of negative reactions, explaining that “reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications.”
Of the side effects that can present, tiredness, diarrhea, and change in appetite are the most common. Make sure you check with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that you aren’t taking any medications known to interact with CBD.
Unlike marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive and will not get you high.
How much do I need to take?
Studies have shown measurable results in the 160mg range, but dosage varies from person to person. The best strategy is to start with a low dose, and then increase as needed until an optimal result is achieved.
Hopefully, we’ve managed to answer some of your questions regarding the use of CBD for sleep. As always, when considering a change to your healthcare regimen, it is best to speak to your doctor before making any healthcare changes. He or she can help you determine whether using CBD for sleep is the right path for you.