A good night’s sleep is essential for your health and wellbeing. However, there are plenty of reasons why people have trouble sleeping. Stress and anxiety, pain, dietary and digestive problems, addiction issues and side effects from medication can all make sleeping difficult. And over time, poor quality sleep can contribute to a range of physical and mental health problems.
From meditation and improved sleep hygiene to herbal supplements and pharmaceutical sleeping pills, there are numerous options for improving sleep. However, sleeping pills can come with significant side effects and things like meditation and herbal supplements will have varying results depending on the individual and their sleep problems.
A growing body of research is demonstrating the potential of CBD oil to help manage sleep problems. In fact, CBD oil and other CBD products are becoming more widely used to help to reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation and help with sleep issues. So let’s have a look at how CBD can help with sleep.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of many cannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid and the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, CBD does not produce the high associated with THC. CBD does, however, interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, affecting the release of neurotransmitters in your brain, which play a role in managing pain, anxiety and stress. Research shows that CBD also has a calming effect on the nervous system and, since it interacts with the serotonin system, it can also lift the mood.
How can CBD help with sleep disorders?
There are a wide range of diagnosable sleep disorders, as well as other issues that may lead to sleep problems, like anxiety and addiction. While CBD has yet to be proven useful for treating neurological sleep disorders, it can be helpful for managing other sleep problems. Here are some of the ways CBD can help with sleep problems.
People who are dealing with chronic pain problems often report having trouble sleeping. Whether it’s due to the pain keeping them awake or the pain medication disrupting natural sleep patterns, chronic pain can wreak havoc on a sufferer’s sleep. CBD oil is often used to help manage chronic pain problems including arthritis and other inflammation pain, joint and muscle problems and nerve pain. By lessening the pain without the use of chemical medication, CBD can give the sufferer relief, allowing them to get a night’s sleep.
Reduce anxiety and stress
Anxiety and stress are common causes of insomnia and major contributors to poor quality sleep. CBD is commonly used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and stress without the need for prescription pharmaceuticals. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system receptors that regulate fear and anxiety. It has been shown to have anti-anxiety properties, help reduce compulsion and addiction, and decrease autonomic arousal, fear expression and the effects of stress. This reduction in stress and anxiety can lead to a better night’s sleep.
Lower cortisol levels
Cortisol is a natural stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. While cortisol levels are generally highest in the morning, people with insomnia can have higher cortisol levels at night. Some studies have found that CBD can help to decrease cortisol levels, thereby having a sedative effect and helping insomnia sufferers to sleep better.
Help with REM behaviour disorder
REM behaviour disorder is a condition that leads to physically acting out during deep REM sleep when the body should be largely immobilised. This immobilisation keeps people from reacting physically to their dreams. People with REM behaviour disorder are free to move during deep sleep, which can lead to extremely disruptive sleep patterns and potential injury to themselves or their sleeping partners.
The disorder is particularly common among people with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Limited research suggests that CBD products may be able to help people with REM behaviour disorder, especially those suffering from it as a result of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
To find out if CBD oil may be useful in helping with your sleep problems, consult your GP. In many cases, CBD products may not be useful on their own, but can be beneficial when used in conjunction with meditation or other sleep treatments.