We’re supposed to spend around a third of our lives asleep, but some of us get nowhere near that much! Sleep is essential for good health. The length and quality of your slumber each night has a huge impact on how well your body is able to function. It’s as important as the food you eat, the air you breathe, and everything else you do to maintain a healthy mind and body.
But around 70% of US adults say that they don’t get enough sleep at least one night a month, with 11% reporting poor sleep every night. In fact, around 50–70 million Americans are affected by sleep-related problems. Of course, there are plenty of pharmaceutical drugs that will send you to sleep—but these come with a host of negative side-effects.
Good news! There’s a totally natural way to drop off each night. Let’s dive into why so many people are now taking CBD for sleep.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main compounds present in the cannabis plant. It’s a safe, non-addictive substance and with a huge range of therapeutic benefits—especially when it comes to sleep.
CBD works by interacting with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS plays an important role in regulating many of the processes that keep the body functioning every day: blood pressure, mood, energy production, immune function, glucose metabolism, appetite, pain management, and more.
CBD comprises more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are similar to the cannabinoids your body produces. By mimicking your own cannabinoids, CBD encourages your body to provide relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, and—you guessed it—insomnia. Best of all, CBD won’t make you feel high or intoxicated in the way that THC (the other well-known cannabinoid) does. This is because CBD and THC have different effects on the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain and body.
Does CBD help you sleep?
There are many reasons that people struggle to fall asleep. Mental issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression are common. Diet—especially sugar and caffeine—also affects your ability to sleep, along with poor sleep hygiene and certain medications.
Research suggests that CBD can help alleviate the anxiety that keeps people awake at night. One study investigated the benefits of taking one daily 25mg CBD capsule for a month. Of the 72 patients involved, 79.2% reported that the CBD resulted in lower levels of anxiety, while 66.7% said that CBD helped them to sleep better overall. A similar study involving people with social anxiety disorder also found that CBD provided greater levels of relief from stress and anxiety than a placebo.
Pain can also contribute to sleeplessness. CBD is well known for its benefits in reducing pain and inflammation, which can go a long way in helping you drop off at night. Research published in Frontiers in Pharmacology supports the pain-relieving benefits of CBD, suggesting that it may be a good choice for those kept awake by pain.
Using a CBD sleep aid is a safe and natural alternative to pharmaceutical solutions, which can have harmful effects on your long-term health. In fact, some sleeping pills are even associated with a higher risk of depression and risk of suicide. Ironically, these are also causes of sleep disorders and insomnia!
While CBD does help to relax your body and mind, it won’t necessarily make you feel tired. CBD is actually an anxiolytic, which means it helps to alleviate anxiety and induce a state of calm. In this way, taking CBD at night will reduce the anxiety that may usually keep you awake. Taking CBD during the day will help to minimize stress and nervous tension.
5 tips for using CBD as a sleep aid
1. Take a dose of CBD before bedtime
Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so the way that you respond to CBD will be unique to you. Figure out the time of day that your dose of CBD will help you to relax enough to fall asleep. For some people, this may be right before they go to bed.
2. Take CBD in the morning to manage your stress
Some people may find that a dose of CBD in the morning helps to minimize their stress levels throughout the day so they’re more relaxed and able to doze off at night.
3. Keep CBD oil next to your bed
CBD oil is absorbed sublingually, so its effects can be felt in around 15 minutes. This makes it great for taking if you wake up in the night and can’t get back to sleep.
4. Add CBD to your morning coffee
Caffeine is one of the main causes of sleeplessness—yet many of us can’t imagine skipping our morning coffee. So, try adding a few drops of CBD to your coffee. The combination of CBD and caffeine will give you the alertness you want but without the “coffee jitters” that keep you awake at night.
5. Try a range of CBD products
There’s a huge variety of CBD products available now, and each one can affect you differently. Experiment with different CBD oils, tinctures, edibles, and topical products to discover which provides the most benefits for your sleep.
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