CBD For Insomnia: Does CBD Help with Sleep?
Shakespeare once described sleep as the main course in life’s feast. Human bodies and brains repair themselves during sleep. Therefore, getting sufficient sleep is essential for good health, well-being, and productivity.
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects a significant portion of the global population. A meta-analysis of 27 studies involving over 300,000 participants found that the overall prevalence of insomnia in the general population was around 30%. The study also found that insomnia was more common among women, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions. Another survey conducted in 13 countries found that 20-30% of adults reported difficulty falling or staying asleep at least once a week. The study also found that insomnia was associated with impaired functioning, decreased quality of life, and increased healthcare utilization.
In addition, a research of over 60,000 people in the United States found that the prevalence of insomnia increased with age, with 23% of adults aged 18-29 reporting symptoms compared to 35% of adults aged 30-64 and 42% of adults aged 65 and older.
Various studies have shown that 10%-30% of the population worldwide suffers from insomnia. These studies suggest that insomnia is a significant public health problem that affects a substantial proportion of the global population. Insomnia is associated with impaired functioning, decreased quality of life, and increased healthcare utilization, highlighting the need for effective interventions to prevent and treat this sleep disorder.
What Causes Insomnia
Before diving into CBD for insomnia, let’s take a closer look at what causes insomnia.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early and not being able to go back to sleep. There are several factors that can contribute to the development of insomnia, including:
- Psychological factors: Stress, anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues can cause or exacerbate insomnia.
- Medical conditions: Insomnia can be a symptom of underlying medical conditions such as chronic pain, respiratory problems, neurological disorders, or gastrointestinal problems.
- Lifestyle factors: Poor sleep habits like irregular sleep schedules, consuming caffeine or alcohol before bed, or using electronic devices before bed can interfere with sleep.
- Medications: Some medications, such as certain antidepressants, stimulants, or blood pressure medications, can disrupt sleep patterns.
- Environmental factors: Noise, light, temperature, or other environmental factors can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
It’s important to note that insomnia can have multiple causes and may be a combination of factors that contribute to its development. In some cases, there may not be an identifiable cause for insomnia, and it may be considered a primary sleep disorder. Proper diagnosis and treatment of underlying conditions are important in addressing insomnia.
What does insomnia do to a person?
Insomnia can have several physical and mental health consequences if left untreated. Here are some of the potential damages of insomnia:
- Impaired cognitive function: Lack of sleep can lead to difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and decreased alertness, which can impact performance at work or school.
- Mood disturbances: Insomnia is often associated with increased levels of anxiety, depression, irritability, and mood swings.
- Cardiovascular problems: Chronic insomnia has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.
- Weakened immune system: Sleep plays a critical role in immune function, and chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of infections and other immune-related disorders.
- Chronic pain: Insomnia can exacerbate pain conditions, making them more difficult to manage.
- Increased risk of accidents: Sleep deprivation can impair reaction time, attention, and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents while driving or operating heavy machinery.
- Reduced quality of life: Insomnia can impact daily functioning and lead to decreased quality of life, decreased work productivity, and reduced social interactions.
It’s important to address insomnia and seek appropriate treatment, as it can have significant negative impacts on physical and mental health if left untreated.
How to Relieve Insomnia Without Medication
There are several natural ways to relieve insomnia without medication, including:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Create a calming bedtime routine: Develop a relaxing bedtime routine that helps you wind down before sleep. This can include reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises.
- Avoid stimulating activities before bed: Avoid using electronic devices or doing any stimulating activities before bedtime, such as watching TV or playing video games.
- Design a comfortable sleep environment: Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake: Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, as they can disrupt sleep.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help improve sleep quality, but avoid exercising too close to bedtime as it can have the opposite effect.
- Consider relaxation techniques: Techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, or yoga can help promote relaxation and improve sleep.
By incorporating these natural remedies into your daily routine, you may be able to improve your sleep without medication. However, if you continue to have difficulty sleeping, it’s important to talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing your insomnia.
Can I use CBD for Insomnia?
What is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol — also known as CBD— is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another compound found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive and does not cause a “high” feeling. CBD has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits, including its ability to reduce anxiety, relieve pain, and improve sleep. It is often used as an alternative treatment for various medical conditions, such as epilepsy, chronic pain, and anxiety disorders.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that help regulate various bodily functions, including mood, pain, sleep, and immune system response. CBD interacts with the ECS by binding to cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body, including the CB1 and CB2 receptors. By binding to these receptors, CBD can help regulate various bodily functions and promote balance and homeostasis. CBD also increases the levels of endocannabinoids in the body, which help to reduce inflammation and pain.
CBD can be found in various forms, including oils, capsules, gummies, topicals, and even in food and drinks. It is important to note that while CBD is generally considered safe, it can interact with certain medications, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before using it, especially if you are taking any prescription medications.
CBD for Insomnia
Babson ＆ Bonn-Miller published a study in 2014 that discovered approximately 50% of over-ten-years cannabis consumers using it as a sleeping aid. The same report also revealed that 93% of people with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression have the highest sleeping benefits from CBD.
Several types of research have shown that CBD for insomnia can be effective in some people. CBD may help promote sleep by reducing anxiety, which can significantly contribute to insomnia. CBD can also interact with receptors in the brain that regulate sleep and wakefulness, helping to regulate sleep patterns.
1. Enhance Sleep Cycle:
The University of São Paulo, Brazil researchers concluded that CBD dramatically improved REM sleep behavior disorder symptoms (RBD) associated with response to dreams and poor sleep. In line with RBD’s study, another research published in Springer Nature suggested that CBD increases daytime wakefulness and alertness. In other words, CBD helps the body regulate the sleep-wake cycle, which could improve performance during the day and nighttime sleep.
CBD for insomnia is different from common sleeping pills. For example, melatonin can help you fall asleep faster, but it is not suitable to consume during the day due to drowsiness. CBD is a natural and effective alternative to enhance the sleep cycle and eliminate unpleasant side effects associated with over-the-counter and prescription sleep medications.
Related Article: CBD and Dreams: Does CBD Affect Your Dreams?
2. Reduce Pain:
Pain, in any form, is another significant factor contributing to sleeplessness. Chronic pain makes it hard to sleep and prevents individuals from getting enough rest. The role of CBD in pain management is evolving, it is increasingly studied for its potential to help with pain relief, which can be particularly beneficial for those struggling with insomnia.
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system that plays a role in regulating pain, mood, and other bodily functions. Some studies have suggested that CBD may help to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, making it a natural option for those dealing with chronic pain conditions that interfere with sleep. By reducing pain and promoting relaxation, individuals fall asleep more easily and stay asleep longer, improving overall sleep quality. Evidence indicates that the potential benefits of CBD for insomnia can be effective for some individuals.
3. Reduce anxiety and stress
In some episodes of insomnia are due to anxiety and stress. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 13 people worldwide experiences anxiety, which is among the most common mental disorders worldwide. Furthermore, most medication for anxiety triggers side effects like drowsiness, insomnia, agitation, headache, and pain.
Though the research on CBD is still in its infancy, growing evidence suggests CBD can treat anxiety. The study involved 72 patients, with 47 people having anxiety and 25 experiencing a difficult time sleeping. Each patient was given 25 milligrams (mg) of CBD in capsule form daily. Nearly 80% of the patients reported lower levels of anxiety, and 66.7% confirmed getting better sleep after taking CBD.
CBD for Insomnia
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution targeting insomnia. Changing to a healthier diet, exercising regularly, and creating a balanced life are vital. CBD for insomnia is one of the many healthy and natural ways to improve sleeping quality. Talk to your doctor before using CBD for insomnia if you are taking any prescription medications, as CBD can interact with certain medications. Additionally, it’s important to choose a high-quality CBD product from a reputable source and to follow the recommended dosages.
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