Sleep is important—and you can’t get away from it. Our bodies require sleep to recover, to form memories, to repair muscles and build tissues. Without sleep, humans can’t function correctly. But lately, sleep might be feeling more like a luxury that you can’t afford.
If you are like most people living in the UK, you are probably getting around 5.78-6.83 hours of sleep every night, maybe even a little less, due to the uncertainty of current times . That means that most Brits aren’t getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night needed to ward off health problems like depression, tiredness, stress, lack of focus and poor concentration, and also heightened risks of things like heart disease .
Those who suffer from insomnia have it even worse.
Luckily, cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is available in the UK and has been found to promote a better rest. If you have been struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, then maybe CBD can help.
Can CBD Help You Sleep?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid from the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids come in many forms, making CBD one of hundreds, and each of these chemicals act on the human body in a multitude of ways. CBD happens to interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has an integral role in maintaining homeostasis—or the body’s state of equilibrium.
Although CBD won’t get you high like THC, it does have a way of soothing the body and easing anxiety. CBD can also be used to reduce inflammation, pain, and even reduce the frequency of seizures.
But what about sleep? Since the endocannabinoid system does affect the body’s circadian rhythms, it makes sense that CBD could help with regulating your sleep/wake cycle.
What About Insomnia?
Insomnia is defined as having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night, and it can last for days, weeks, or months, depending on the cause. There are many causes, by the way.
Some of these can be medical, such as pain from a condition or as a side effect of medication. For instance, those with restless legs syndrome or depression may have a more difficult time getting comfortable and having sleep obstructed.
Anxiety is another cause. The excessive worrying and tension and feeling overstimulated will make it more difficult for the body to relax and fall asleep.
Lifestyle, as well, may contribute to insomnia. Those who have irregular work hours or who work at home in the evenings, take naps, or even go to bed at random hours may struggle to fall asleep.
Several studies have found that CBD can be useful in treating anxiety, depression, pain, and insomnia, all through the ECS. However, most of this research is new, and so the mechanisms within the body that allow for this to happen are still being questioned. What we do know is that CBD interacts with GABA and serotonin receptors in the brain, thus decreasing anxiety. In a way, CBD works like prescription anti-anxiety medications.
What Does Science Say?
Although there hasn’t been a lot of research on CBD yet, there is enough to show some promising results.
For example, in 2013, there was a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology that looked at CBD injected into rats . The dosages were 40 mg/ml, 10 mg/ml, and 2.5 mg/ml. The rats were exposed to day/night light cycles for four days. All the rats had longer sleep cycles, especially those who had the highest dose.
An older study from the 1980s gave 15 insomniacs 160 mg of CBD and found that every participant sleep longer through the night .
A 2017 review found that CBD may have therapeutic benefits for people with REM sleep behaviour disorder, but the amount of CBD required was not specified . The following year, another study looked at what happened when individuals consumed a whole cannabis flower. The data concluded that there were significant improvements to sleep .
The most relevant study, though, was one done in 2019 that looked into the relation of anxiety and insomnia . The study was published in Permanente Journal and was conducted over a course of four weeks. 72 participants—25 with sleep difficulties and 47 with anxiety—received 25-175 mg CBD capsules. 66.7 percent reported improved sleep, and 79.2 percent had reduced levels of anxiety. It should be noted that the larger dose improved sleep better than the smaller one.
Should You Try CBD For Insomnia?
So, if you are struggling to sleep, should you try CBD? It depends on the issue. However, since CBD is non-habit forming, safe, and natural, it is certainly one of the things that you can try without having anything to lose.
If you want to try CBD for insomnia, keep the following things in mind:
• CBD may be better for anxiety than sleep. If you believe that your insomnia is caused by anxiety or stress, then CBD could potentially calm your anxious mind and allow for the natural sleep/wake cycle to function.
• CBD is a short-term aid. Although CBD affects everyone differently, you may find that long-term usage will having diminishing returns. Also, depending on the dosage that you take, CBD may even keep you awake.
• Higher doses could be better for sleep. Smaller doses of CBD have been proven to make people more alert, so it is best to take a larger dose (around 160 mg).
• Think about how you want to take CBD. There are many forms of CBD out there, and some work more quickly than others. Vaping is the best way to get immediate effect, but methods with extended release, such as oils, edibles, and capsules, will help you sleep longer. Just take your oil or pills one hour before bed.
• Talk to your GP. While CBD products have a low risk of side effects, they can interact with other medications. Be sure to discuss options with a medical professional.
Can CBD help you sleep? Studies have revealed that CBD can assist with reducing anxiety and make you feel more relaxed, which is beneficial. Everyone is affected by CBD differently, so you may have to experiment before experiencing the best results, but that is one the best things about CBD—it’s safe and natural.
If you want to try CBD for insomnia, be sure to discuss the options with your GP and do some research.
Ready to try CBD? We have plenty of CBD products to help!
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