CBD as a Sleep Aid
More than 80 million Americans overall suffer from some form of a sleeping problem, whether it be chronic or intermittent. [Source] Therefore, if you’re struggling with your nightly shuteye, you’re far from the only one. Sleeping issues come in many forms and have a large number of culprits, but the bottom line is that sleep is a crucial component of our overall health, which is why we must do what we can to get things back on track.
Today, a wide range of sleeping medications exist, but some experts argue that they’re overprescribed. If the sleeping issue is caused by something that can be addressed using less intensive means, experts say, medications should be a last resort, as many of them lead to dependency, and long-term use can lead to health conditions, especially dealing with cognitive function.
So, how can a person maintain healthy sleep in a way that’s natural, holistic and overall safe? Well, there are plenty of natural options currently on the market. One that’s being explored in particular right now is CBD, the leading compound in hemp. Thanks to the fascinating way in which cannabidiol works in the brain, it may be a promising option if you’re trying to get more sleep each night.
Most Common Sleeping Problems
When we say that 80 million Americans struggle with some form of a sleeping problem, we’re covering a wide range of sleep-related disorders, ranging from relatively minor to severe. Sleeping problems can occur a few times a year or every single night, depending on the specific issue at work, and the overall health of the sufferer. One of the most common sleeping problems is insomnia, which refers to a disorder in which a person cannot fall asleep. This can mean that it takes the person an abnormally long time to fall asleep, that they wake up periodically throughout the night or that they wake up abnormally early each morning.
Other sleeping problems exist as well, including:
- Sleep Apnea: Relates to breathing disruptions while sleeping.
- Sleep Paralysis: A potentially frightening condition in which a person is semi-conscious but paralyzed physically.
What Causes Sleeping Problems
Well, there’s a large number of causes but we’ll simply cover the most common ones.
Cause #1: Stress
Perhaps unsurprisingly, stress is the most common culprit behind sleeping troubles. When we are stressed, especially on a chronic scale, our body produces too much cortisol, which keeps us physically energized. Cortisol also depletes melatonin when secreted in high amounts, and melatonin is the hormone that’s necessary for us to fall asleep. Many people aren’t even aware that they’re chronically stressed until sleep problems start occurring, which forces them to take better care of their psychological wellbeing.
Cause #2: Hormonal Imbalances
Our hormones determine many of the process that take place in our body, with sleep being one of them. For instance, women who suffer from abnormally high estrogen levels may struggle with sleeping problems, as estrogen competes with progesterone, a calming hormone. This is why women tend to have worse sleep during their periods and during menopause. But other hormonal balances can lead to similar issues that interfere with melatonin production.
Cause #3: Nutritional Deficiencies
There are many nutrients that contribute to a healthy sleep cycle, including magnesium, vitamins B and D and calcium. If you’re struggling with getting enough sleep each night, you should consider asking your doctor for a full analysis of your nutrient levels.
Cause #4: Substance Abuse
Many forms of substance abuse interfere with sleep due to the unique effects that they have on brain activity. Alcohol is a common sleep inhibitor due to the way in which it causes abnormal blood sugar levels that peak and crash at various times throughout the day and night. And, of course, many drugs classified as stimulants, including cocaine, can make it essentially impossible to fall asleep at night.
Cause #5: Certain Medications
Some medications may also interfere with sleep. One in particular is Adderall, a drug prescribed to those with attention deficit disorders. Adderall is a stimulant that can cause a person to stay awake and alert during the hours when most people are asleep. [Source]
Cause #6: Underlying Issues
A variety of underlying issues can cause sleeping difficulties, including neurological problems and issues pertaining to the thyroid.
Cause #7: Pain
Those who suffer from chronic pain may struggle with sleep because pain is a sleep inhibitor.
Cause #8: Poor Sleeping Habits
Drinking too much coffee at night, using devices right before bedtime and working well into the evening hours can all cause issues with sleep.
How Sleeping Problems are Commonly Treated
In order to receive treatment for a sleeping problem, you must seek out the help of your medical provider. He or she will try to rule out any underlying conditions before determining what may be the cause. Then, they’ll try to decide what’s best for you in terms of treatment.
Assuming the condition isn’t caused by something physical such as a deficiency or illness, your doctor will likely recommend certain changes to your routine to support a better sleep schedule. He or she may suggest some form of therapy to address any underlying stress that may be inhibiting sleep. Plus, they may prescribe a sleeping medication that should be used with caution.
CBD for Sleep: Could It Help?
It’s now widely accepted that CBD has the potential to help support a healthy sleep cycle thanks to its regulatory effects on neurotransmitters in the brain including cortisol and melatonin. We also know that CBD offers calming properties that can address the stress that keeps many of us up at night.
Further, CBD may be able to play a role in managing pain that interferes with getting a good night’s sleep.
Using CBD for Sleep
To take CBD for sleep, you first must speak to your doctor, and tell them your current symptoms as well as any medications that you may be on. From there, you can choose a CBD product that has enough milligrams per dose to have a strong potential to be effective. We recommend choosing a delivery method based on your specific needs. If you want to fall asleep faster, a tincture or vape may be ideal, while those looking to stay asleep throughout the night may opt for some form of an edible. There are some CBD sleep aid capsules and gummies out there which contain melatonin.
Sleeping Issues May Be a Common Ailment
However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be taken seriously if you wish to maintain good overall health, both physically and mentally. CBD is one of many options for those struggling with getting a good night’s sleep each night. If you want to give cannabidiol a try, again, tell your doctor that you’re interested. From there, choose a high-quality product with the right potency level to be potentially effective.