CBD for sleep is a hot topic. In fact, many people use CBD for sleep with seemingly great success. Of course, the trend is no surprise, given the increased use of herbal therapies and other complementary alternative medicines. Notably, more than half of UK adults suffer from sleep problems, and many wish to avoid the side effects of traditional sleep medications. For example, many prescription and OTC sleep aids include side effects like dizziness, daytime grogginess, nausea, constipation, blurred vision, clumsiness, and headaches.
Fortunately, CBD may help reduce sleep problems without unwanted side effects. As a nonintoxicating cannabinoid, CBD will not make consumers feel “high” or dizzy, nor will it cause grogginess or an inability to focus.
How CBD Affects Sleep
CBD or cannabidiol is a cannabinoid developed in the cannabis plant. CBD is most abundant in hemp-type cannabis, whereas THC is most abundant in intoxicating marijuana-type cannabis.
Like all other cannabinoids, CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (EC System or ECS) to help regulate the flow of information. It mimics internally-produced cannabinoids (called endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids) to help control things like pain, mood, and sleep patterns.
To be clear, many elements contribute to a good night’s sleep. For example, those who hurt — either physically or emotionally — may find it challenging to dull the distraction long enough to fall asleep or stay asleep. However, CBD may help alleviate both of these concerns, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties.
However, CBD also affects sleep in a much more direct manner. Specifically, CBD may help alter cortisol levels during sleep to mitigate a faulty circadian cycle. To explain, we must look at the HPA axis, which is a body system that controls sleep cycles. In healthy people, the HPA axis slowly increases cortisol (a stress hormone) beginning during the second hour after falling asleep. Typically, cortisol levels continue to rise steadily into the early morning hours. When it is time to wake, cortisol levels rise rapidly, maintaining an elevated state for about an hour in a phenomenon called the awakening response.
People with a well-functioning HPA axis generally engage in this process for between seven to nine hours each night. However, those with faulty HPA systems often experience insomnia, sleep fragmentation, decreased deep slow-wave sleep, and significantly shorter overall sleep times. However, research shows that CBD may correct this issue by reducing cortisol production. According to this 1993 study, CBD significantly decreases cortisol production, which contributes to its sedative qualities.
What Happens When We Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
Feeling tired is no fun, and those who get insufficient sleep are always tired. Unfortunately, a lack of sleep can cause many problems well beyond the discomfort of fatigue. Here are just a few things that happen when we don’t get enough sleep.
Altered Mood and Judgement
Insufficient sleep may adversely affect mood and behavior, according to this 2019 research paper. Other concerns include irritability, nervousness, and poor tolerance to frustrations. In severe cases, chronic sleep loss may increase the risk of suicide.
Those who experience chronic sleep restrictions have difficulty making rational decisions. The same paper suggests that sleep-deprived people engage in riskier behavior and arrive at premature conclusions without considering all sides or solutions. These characteristics may evolve over time, beginning as early as preschool.
Delayed Reaction Time
Excessive sleepiness can hinder focus and delay reaction time, which may significantly increase the risk of accidents. This, of course, can be dangerous for the person experiencing sleeping problems, but it’s extremely concerning for those around them, too. According to the Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving is responsible for around 21 percent of car crashes and about 6,000 car crash fatalities each year.
How to Use CBD for Sleep
There are a few things to remember when using CBD for sleep. First, it is best to buy CBD products for sleep instead of CBD products for daytime use. To be clear, many manufacturers use additional ingredients to accentuate the effects of CBD. Some CBD sleep blends contain things like chamomile, melatonin, or other relaxing ingredients, whereas uplifting products may include lemon balm or other uplifting ingredients. When buying CBD for sleep, always choose specially formulated sleep products or all-natural full-spectrum products with no additives.
Next, one must always be mindful of dosing time. Research shows that CBD for sleep is most effective when consumed before bedtime, whereas CBD for anxiety works better with all-day use.
Finally, ensure that all CBD products include top-quality ingredients. There are, unfortunately, many sub-par products on the market sourced from unreliable vendors. As such, shoppers must always ensure that the CBD they buy is from reliable, government-approved suppliers.
Buy the Best CBD for Sleep from Hemplix
Many people use CBD for sleep and for good reason. Research shows that CBD can help people fall asleep easier without unwanted side effects and can help minimize pain and anxiety, which allows for longer, more restful slumber.
Contact us to learn more.