Reduced cognitive functioning, faster aging, and increased risk of heart disease, to name a few. One of the most critical aspects of health is sleep. A restful night allows for your body to repair fully, and healthy sleeping habits can prevent heart disease, improve your memory, and much more. Using CBD for sleep could change EVERYTHING, and there is research to back it up.
Cannabidiol, CBD, is a compound derived from the hemp plant, and it is making waves in the health/wellness industry. Hemp-derived CBD contains no psychoactive compounds and has been indicated to improve a variety of health ailments.
Healspire is dedicated to helping people live their best lives. Getting restful sleep allows you to start every day in your most optimal state. Whether you have a sleep disorder like insomnia or not, using CBD for sleep could help improve your overall health.
Why is sleep important?
Restful sleep is as important to your health as regular exercise and a healthy diet. It is the face of wellness that is often overlooked. Sleep is the only time that our bodies can fully recover from the day. The human brain uses an enormous amount of energy and good quality sleep is the only way we can keep it fully functioning.
One bad night of sleep can make a difference in how you feel for the whole week. You will likely be more irritable and less able to focus on your daily tasks. When we don’t get adequate sleep, we are putting our health at risk. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain, increased rates of illness, increased risk of heart disease, and more.
There are many ways to improve your sleep and the first steps are usually behavioral adjustments. Things like going to bed at the same time every night, avoiding caffeine before bed, and spending more time outside instead of in front of screens, are all things you can do to improve your sleep.
Getting relaxed before bed is another thing that can help you get to sleep quicker and stay asleep. This is where using CBD for sleep can help. But before we get any further, let’s look at the components of sleep so that we can understand what it means to get restful sleep.
Stages of sleep
There are four stages of sleep, but for simplicity sake we will break sleep down into 2 stages: REM and Deep sleep.
REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. This stage of sleep is where dreams occur and are important for restoring the brain’s normal cognitive functions. REM sleep helps with learning and memory. REM sleep gets its name because we literally roll our eyes during this stage. It looks a little creepy, but it is part of a good night’s sleep.
The other stage of sleep is deep sleep. Deep sleep allows the body to physically recover. It is important for growth and hormonal regulation. Without it, you are more likely to get sick, feel depressed, and gain weight.
Deep sleep deals with physical restoration whereas REM sleep deals with cognitive restoration. Both are very important for healthy sleep patterns. Using CBD for sleep will affect both stages of the sleep cycle as well as the duration of each stage.
The amount of time you spend in each stage can make or break a good night’s sleep. Too much or too little of each stage can lead to an unhealthy sleep cycle, which means a groggier and more irritable you. So, what is research saying about using CBD for sleep?
In the following section, we will describe what the research is saying about how CBD could improve the quality of your sleep and subsequently, your health.
How does using CBD for sleep work?
You go to lay down in your room to retire for the day. After laying down and closing your eyes you start to feel your heart thumping and your thoughts moving at the speed of light. This is something we all experience, especially if we are particularly stressed about something.
Stress and anxiety are acute for some people and chronic for others. Regardless of where you lie on this spectrum, using CBD for sleep could be the thing you need to allow you to tranquility drift to off to sleep.
The core of how CBD can help you get better sleep is focused around the ability CBD has to invoke calm and peaceful feelings. An article published in January of 2019, reviewed several case studies that tracked people before and after ingesting CBD over a period of a few weeks.
After taking CBD for a few weeks, most people scored higher on sleep quality scores and less on anxiety scores. Scores are a way for researchers to probe a specific trait or quality that is being studied. Essentially researchers come up with a validated questionnaire and have people complete it before and after they take a certain compound.
On average, two-thirds of people who took CBD said their sleep improved. TWO THRIDS. There must be something amazing at work if two-thirds of the people who use CBD for sleep in these studies report that their sleep quality improved.
At this point, no studies have been able to conclusively uncover the exact mechanism for these findings. The findings are there but no one understands how… Yet.
What the results say
Surely as more research is conducted the mechanisms for these miraculous effects will be discovered. But until then we must rely on anecdotal evidence to understand how using CBD for sleep can help.
So according to the study referenced above, we know that CBD can potentially help improve sleep quality, but can it help with sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea? The following sections will review studies on whether CBD can address sleep disorders in addition to improving sleep quality.
CBD for insomnia
Each year, one in four Americans suffer from acute insomnia. While 75% of these people go on the return to normal sleeping patterns, the other 25% develop chronic insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes the inability to fall and/or stay asleep.
There have been no studies to look at insomnia specifically, but the study referenced earlier in this article had some interesting results. While the study did not look at insomnia specifically, it did shed light on the efficacy of CBD for sleep disorders.
The results of the surveys in the study were clear: Using CBD improved sleep quality and decreased the anxiety most participants were experiencing. One could hypothesize that using CBD for insomnia may be effective. Based on these results, a study could certainly be designed to look at how CBD specifically affects the symptoms of insomnia.
Healspire believes in the power of CBD and the ability it possesses to improve your sleep. We know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep, and this is especially true for people with sleep disorders. And while insomnia is a prevalent sleep disorder, it is not the only one.
CBD for sleep apnea
Sleep apnea affects around 20 million people in the United States. It is estimated that 80% of Americans with sleep apnea go undiagnosed and untreated. This is a staggering statistic since sleep apnea greatly hinders the quality of sleep the affected person gets.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder caused by the obstruction of the airways, which makes it very difficult to breathe. Combine that with an irregular heartbeat and poor sleep quality, and the risk of death is nearly quadrupled.
There have been no studies conducted to address using CBD for sleep apnea, however, there have been studies on CBD as a muscle relaxer. But why does that matter?
If the muscles around the airways are more relaxed, they are less likely to become obstructed. It would be worthwhile to conduct a study to look at the effectiveness of CBD for sleep apnea based on its muscle-relaxing properties. Hopefully soon a study will be designed to look at the efficacy of CBD for sleep apnea.
Finding your dose
Now that you have your CBD product and you are ready to see if it can help you sleep, you may be asking: How much should I take?
The answer completely depends on how your body reacts to CBD. Most servings are based around 20-35 mg of CBD, but this may not work for you. 35 mg may be too much for some and too little for others. The best advice we can give is to try a specific dose for about a week and take note of how your sleep is improving.
We recommend using a journal to track your sleep each night. All you need to do is simply describe how you are sleeping each night. Did you spring right out of bed? Were you groggy? How did your day go? Did you have enough energy?
These are all questions you should answer throughout the entire course of your CBD for sleep journey until you find the dose that gives you more consistent, high quality sleep. Healspire would love to hear about your CBD journey, look us up on Facebook and Instagram, and let us know!
Short term vs. long term use
Using CBD for sleep has the potential to be both a long term and short term solution. Unfortunately, the studies examining CBD for sleep improvement have all focused on it being a short-term solution.
We simply do not know if CBD is effective in the long term and that needs to change. The only thing we can go off is studies that have looked at subjects that are relatable. Some studies have looked at whether CBD is habit-forming or not, most of them point to the answer being no.
This gives us a clue as to whether CBD is a safe, long term solution for sleep improvement. Most sleep aid medications are habit-forming and are usually not recommended for long term use unless directed by a doctor. If this logic is true for CBD, then it may be a good long-term solution.
Keep in mind that this line of reasoning is pure speculation, more research needs to be conducted to examine CBD as a long-term sleep aid. Anecdotal evidence is limited to the long-term use of CBD for sleep since it is relatively new to the public eye.
In previous years, before the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, CBD was illegal under federal law. As a result, not many people had tried it or admitted to trying it. In the short-term, however, the evidence appears to support the idea that CBD can improve the quality of your sleep.
The short-term results for CBD being used as a sleep aid are very promising. In a short period of time, people have reported very positive results. Surely a long-term study will uncover similar results and hopefully a better understanding of how CBD improves sleep quality.
We invite you to visit our store and try our CBD tincture. See for yourself the difference it can make on your sleep quality. On a personal note, I have tried the products and they WORK. After consuming the CBD oil tincture for a few weeks my sleep quality improved and I felt noticeably calmer and happier. Healspire is 100% dedicated to hemp-based health and wellness. It is truly amazing, and I welcome you to try it for yourself, you will see a difference.
It is our dearest hope that one day CBD will get the credit it deserves as a truly miraculous compound. We hope you enjoyed this article and wish you a good night’s sleep.