Sleep is one of the crucial functions of the nervous system. It is vital for homeostasis and for restoring energy. A good night's sleep allows our body to work as intended. Unfortunately, so many people have trouble with it. Daily stress and various ailments can completely ruin our ability to rest during the night.
In the last few years, CBD has emerged as a substance that can potentially address the issue. According to numerous studies, this chemical can relax the body and mind allows us to achieve healthy sleep.
This article will analyze how CBD can help inconsistent sleep cycles and what to expect from the substance.
What causes sleeplessness?
There are countless reasons why so many people around the country have trouble sleeping. Some of these are rather obvious, but others will come as a surprise:
Stress is the number one reason why people are unable to sleep properly Unfortunately, this is just one of the many triggers, often coupled with other factors.
The problem with excess stress is not only that it affects our bodies and the brain, but it also causes psychological issues if not addressed head on. In other words, stress-triggered sleeplessness will start a vicious cycle that is hard to break.
In these situations, our bodies will release what we know as cortisol. Cortisol’s secretion is an evolutionary response during survival situations - The hormone gives us a surge of energy, but it also fatigues the body afterward.
While cortisol has its purpose, it’s surge will completely disrupt our sleep cycles. In such cases, the only thing you can do is reduce its levels or prevent initial secretion.Anxiety
People who struggle with anxiety are prone to waking up on numerous occasions throughout the night. Waking up consistently throughout the night is only one of the many issues people experience with sleep. The most common one being, the ability to actually fall asleep each and every night. As if anxiety wasn't bad enough, its prolonged impact can even lead to the development of insomnia.Caffeine
The majority of the global population relies on caffeine to get through the day. The substance is excellent for energy, mood, and it even has some other beneficial properties. Alas, excessive consumption can prevent us from going to sleep. As anything in excess is usually unhealthy.
The chemical causes a strong suppressive action against melatonin. As you probably know, melatonin is necessary for the proper sleep-wake cycle. The only positive thing about caffeine is that you can relatively easily control its levels, unlike other factors on the list.Sleep inconsistency
Our bodies have an optimal biorhythm. We tend to go to sleep at the same time every day, and we wake up at the same exact time. This predictive behavior is ideal as it allows us to get better rest. Inconsistent sleeping and waking can disrupt this cycle, which is why you will get worse results when resting.
Our sleep-inducing hormones control the circadian rhythm. This rhythm governs our sleep cycles, and any changes to hormone levels will directly impact it. As a result, it will become harder to go to sleep at the exact time every day. People who travel a lot and suffer from jet lag are especially susceptible to this problem.
CBD can help restore homeostasis. Most importantly, you can take it at the same time every day to regulate your sleep cycles.
What is CBD and how does it impact our bodies?
CBD products are hemp extracts that are full of beneficial cannabinoids. Depending on which product you're using, you can utilize all the cannabinoids present in hemp or focus on CBD. Besides cannabinoids, the plant has numerous terpenes, minerals, proteins, and vitamins.
According to experts, hemp has more than 100 active ingredients. Furthermore, it is the best source of cannabinoids in nature.
When you introduce these cannabinoids into the body, they will start interacting with the endocannabinoid system. Keep in mind that not all of them will provide the same results. While some chemicals work as agonists (initiate binding with receptors), others will work as antagonists and prevent binding.
On top of that, a lot of people use the product as a relaxant. It can help relax smooth muscle tissue and provide clarity to the brain. CBD is especially great for reducing stress levels after a long day at work.
Regardless of their internal mechanisms, overwhelming user data shows us that the substance has great wellness potential. People use it to restore the natural balance, improve sleep disorders such as chronic insomnia, chronic pain relief, and improve anxiety, among many other things.
How does CBD affect sleep?
Whether we're talking about CBD gummies, CBD capsules, CBD flowers, or some other CBD product, the substance might have a significant impact on our sleep-wake cycles. Numerous studies indicate that the substance can help us achieve deeper, better rest.
While often presented as a sedative, CBD extract doesn't work like some other products on the market. The substance is often used to increase alertness, boost focus and mood. Experts often say that the product will not necessarily make you drowsy, nor will it knock you out. Instead, it should only help you stay asleep for a longer period.
REM phase is very important for our rest. During this time, we are more likely to have vivid dreams or to wake up suddenly. REM is short for rapid eye movement. As the body enters this phase of sleep, the body will be almost paralyzed will the brain will be very active. Data indicates that medical hemp products can reduce the time spent within the REM phase by lowering stress levels.
At this time, most of our knowledge is based on animal studies. One particular research from 2012 relied on the rat model to determine how CBD would affect PTSD-related sleep issues. According to it, the chemical was able to reduce physiological non-REM rest. It also managed to help the rats by decreasing the REM cycle caused by anxiety.
Keep in mind that this data is far from conclusive. This is especially true if we consider that animal model was used, and we don't know if CBD would produce the same effects on humans.
The potential effects are often connected to the CBD strain that you're using and specific cannabis products. Some people argue that medical marijuana (cannabis Indica strain) can also do an excellent job for sleep, but the substance is often illegal and will cause psychoactive effects.
What makes CBD oil better than the other sleep products?
The main reason why people even consider CBD is because the traditional drugs are much more volatile.
Let's take Xanax, for example. This benzodiazepine is commonly used for anxiety and insomnia. It is meant to relax your body completely and put you to sleep. Unfortunately, this comes at a high price. The substance is highly addictive and can cause other side effects.
CBD products are made from organic, pure hemp. These items rely on natural substances to deliver a soothing sensation to the body and mind. Hemp companies don't add artificial ingredients to their formulas, which makes them much safer.
While some safety risks are involved with CBD, the World Health Organization considers it a safe substance. The other organizations, such as European Public Health Association and the US FDA, have a similar stance.
What makes it even better is that these products will not alter your perception. While they do have some trace amounts of psychoactive THC, these quantities are not nearly enough to cause a significant change. If you wish to be extra safe, you can also buy THC-free hemp products such as broad-spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolates.
The main thing to consider regarding psychoactive effects is to find a THC ratio where CBD level is very high and THC level is very low. CBD THC ratio should be 10:1 or more. That is, the CBD percentage should clearly outweigh THC content.
Does CBD have a negative impact on sleep?
Given that the substance can increase your alertness, you're probably worried about its potential negative impact on the sleep cycles.
This is where the plant's complexity shows its true face. While the substance is meant to improve your focus and alertness, it shouldn't actually put you to sleep. Furthermore, it will probably increase your energy levels. However, the product doesn't work like an "upper," nor will it prevent you from going to bed.
It is worth mentioning that drowsiness is one of its typical side effects. So, there is a chance you will get sleepy after consumption. The potential side effects are pervasive if you took excessive quantities. However, high CBD tinctures, edibles, and hemp flowers are much better than sleeping pills in that regard.
Regardless of its effects, it is much better to take the product in the evening before going to bed if you're struggling with sleep. Even if you feel drowsy, this will only help you rest better.
How to dose CBD for sleep?
CBD dosage will vary based on numerous factors:
- A problem that you wish to address
The optimal dose of CBD for sleep will be based on the underlying issue. If you just want to restore homeostasis, you will need a minimal quantity of the product. People who are dealing with lots of stress will require significantly higher quantities of the substance.
Commonly, people will take somewhere between 10 to 40mg per administration. This quantity is usually modified based on your weight. If you used the substance for a while and your tolerance increased, you might need a bit more of it.
If you wish to restore homeostasis, you will have to use CBD for a longer time. But, if it becomes increasingly harder to feel the effects and your tolerance is spiking, you should probably take a break for a month or so.
Kesner, A., Lovinger, D., (2020), Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids and Sleep, Frontiers in molecular neuroscience, Lausanne, Switzerland
Zou, S., Kumar, U., (2018), Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System, International Journal of Molecular Science
Hsiao, Y., T., Yi, P., L., Li, C., L., Chang, F., C., (2012), Effect of cannabidiol on sleep disruption induced by the repeated combination tests consisting of open field and elevated plus-maze in rats, Neuropharmacology, Oxford, the UKOutline: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21867717/