People who live with insomnia get short sleep on a regular basis. As a result, the symptoms of sleep deprivation persist for a period of days to years. These symptoms are disruptive to all aspects of daily life, and worsen with time.
On a cognitive level, the sleep deprivation caused by insomnia can negatively impact school or work performance, and increase one’s risk of developing other medical conditions. From an emotional health perspective, the severe mood changes and lack of motivation may develop into depression and substance abuse. Finally, chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to serious physical health problems like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Short-term, occasional insomnia lasts anywhere from a few days to a few months. It affects about one in five people. When these symptoms persist for a period of six months or more, it’s diagnosed as chronic insomnia.
Often, insomnia is actually a symptom of another, comorbid condition like a mental health condition, a chronic health issue, or even another sleep disorder. In these cases, treating the underlying condition often results in improved sleep. Insomnia could also be treated directly using a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy, lifestyle changes, and sleep aids. Sleep seekers have turned to meditation, yoga, hot baths, and herbal supplements in the quest to attain a good night’s sleep.
And now, another option has entered the sleep space: CBD.
There is a large body of research that suggests CBD can be beneficial for rest. CBD may increase the overall amounts of sleep and reduce insomnia. CBD has also been shown to improve sleep in people who suffer from chronic pain.
- CBD is helpful for sleep because it can alleviate conditions that complicate sleep, namely, anxiety, stress, and pain. Calming the central nervous system can have a relaxing effect, allowing people to let go of stress and anxiety, and even calming painful inflammation from conditions such as arthritis or back pain.
- Using CBD may be helpful for improving sleep directly, even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, stress, or chronic pain. CBD is believed to interact with receptors in the body, including receptors that govern the body’s sleep and wake cycles.
- Use CBD as a supplement to healthy sleep habits. CBD can be a tool for good sleep, but it shouldn’t be a crutch. An overall healthy lifestyle with physical activity and a good diet can be helpful for sleep.
- Don’t overdo it. While a too small of a dose might not be effective, using CBD could prove to be too much of a commitment if you regularly take a large dose for sleep. Start with a low dose and increase as needed.
- Plan your delivery method. Edibles and oils can offer sustained delivery of CBD that might help you stay asleep later into the night, but vaping could offer faster relief, even if it wears off more quickly. Consider your needs and whether you need help falling asleep, or staying asleep, when choosing which way to consume CBD as a sleep aid.
- Only use CBD when you need it.
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early
- Not feeling well-rested after a night's sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Irritability, depression, or anxiety
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks, or remembering
- Increased errors or accidents
- Ongoing worries about sleep
Taking CBD for Insomnia
CBD interacts with many different receptors, proteins, and other chemicals in the brain. These interactions create changes in the activity of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other cells throughout the brain and body. Through these interactions, CBD appears to be able to affect many of the body’s functions, including sleep-wake cycles.
CBD has demonstrated the ability to reduce anxiety, which can be helpful in reducing sleep difficulties and improving sleep quality. According to research, CBD may increase overall sleep amounts, and improve insomnia. CBD has been shown to reduce insomnia in people who suffer from chronic pain.
In smaller doses, CBD stimulates alertness and reduces daytime sleepiness, which is important for daytime performance and for the strength and consistency of the sleep-wake cycle.
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