If you've ever struggled with insomnia or other sleep issues, you know how frustrating it can be to lay awake at night, unable to drift off. Not only does a lack of sleep affect your mood and cognitive function, but it can also put your physical health at risk. That's where CBD comes in.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in the hemp plant that has been gaining popularity for its potential health benefits, including improving sleep. In this article, we'll take a closer look at how CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS) to promote healthy sleep patterns and reduce anxiety, and we'll explore some tips for better sleep.
The Endocannabinoid System and Sleep
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of receptors and molecules that helps regulate many physiological processes, including sleep. When the ECS is functioning properly, it can help promote healthy sleep patterns and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety that can interfere with sleep.
The ECS is made up of three main components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced naturally by the body, while receptors are located throughout the body and are responsible for receiving signals from the endocannabinoids. Enzymes are responsible for breaking down the endocannabinoids once they've fulfilled their function.
When it comes to sleep, the ECS plays a key role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. The sleep-wake cycle is controlled by two main processes: the circadian rhythm and the sleep homeostat. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that regulates many physiological processes, including sleep, while the sleep homeostat is responsible for keeping track of how much sleep a person has had and signalling when it's time to sleep.
How Can CBD Benefit Sleep?
Research has shown that cannabinoids from hemp can interact with the ECS, and a recent study found that it helped improve sleep in over 66% of the study's participants. These results were achieved even with low doses of 20-25 mg 30 minutes before going to bed. A survey among CBD users reported that 42.5% of them use it to improve their sleep or even treat insomnia.
So there are strong indications that CBD could positively affect sleep quality, which means it could help people with insomnia, circadian rhythm disorders, anxiety and even restless leg syndrome.
CBD has been shown to have several potential benefits for sleep, including:
- Reducing anxiety: CBD has been shown to have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects, which can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety that could interfere with sleep.
- Promoting relaxation: CBD can help promote relaxation, which can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Reducing pain and inflammation: CBD has been shown to have analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory effects, which could be helpful for people who have trouble sleeping due to pain or inflammation.
Should You Use CBD for Sleep?
CBD is a safe alternative to prescription sleep medications if you want to try a plant-based option or seek an alternative to conventional treatments that haven’t been effective. As with any new supplement, you should talk to your healthcare provider first, especially if you have an underlying disease or are already on prescription medication, as CBD can interact with some of them.
Also, keep in mind that the perfect dose of CBD for sleep can be very individual and taking more doesn’t always mean you get a bigger effect. We advise getting started with a single dose of 20-25 mg before going to bed and increasing or decreasing the dose accordingly to achieve your best night’s sleep.
How to Sleep Better: Tips and Tricks
While CBD can help improve your sleep quality, it's also important to establish healthy habits that promote good sleep hygiene. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to get a better night's rest:
- Get some sunlight and movement during the day: Your body has an internal clock that aligns itself with natural daylight hours, and exercise can offer more benefits than most drugs. It will help you fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and enjoy more profound sleep. Even getting your daily steps in, ideally during daylight hours, should do the trick.
- Try to sleep at the same time every night: Our body naturally produces a hormone called melatonin that signals the brain to go to sleep at night. Being consistent with your bedtime pattern and habitually going to bed and getting up at the same time, including on weekends, can significantly improve your sleep quality.
- Unwind before bedtime: Relaxing before going to bed can increase your sleep quality and shorten the time it takes you to fall asleep. Switch off bright screens, caffeine, and alcohol, and instead, listen to soothing music, read a book, or try breathing and meditation exercises.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Why not combine all of the above in your personal nighttime routine? You can start your routine anywhere from 30-60 minutes before going to bed. We suggest pouring a cup of herbal tea, switching off all screens (yes, including your phone!) and getting cozy with a good book and the CBD product of your choice. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine that works for you can signal to your body that it's time to wind down and get ready for sleep.
In addition to the tips mentioned above, it's important to create a sleep-conducive environment. This means keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. You may want to invest in blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine to block out any unwanted noise or light.
Finally, if you're struggling with sleep and haven't found relief from lifestyle changes or natural remedies like CBD, it may be worth speaking to a healthcare provider. They can help determine if there's an underlying issue contributing to your sleep troubles and provide guidance on how to address it.
In conclusion, getting a good night's sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. While there are many factors that can impact sleep quality, CBD may offer a natural and safe solution for those struggling with sleep issues. By creating healthy sleep habits and incorporating CBD into your bedtime routine, you can improve your sleep quality and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.