Insomnia affects nearly 1 in 3 people, often resulting in the use of over the counter and prescription drugs to find relief. And this figure doesn’t account for those individuals who experience disrupted sleep or inconsistent sleep patterns. Getting adequate rest at night is essential for proper function during the day and overall health. Without it, people are left feeling irritable, disoriented, and fatigued. But what if there was a more natural way to find relief? CBD can help those suffering from insomnia achieve a quality night’s sleep, leaving them feeling rested, energized, and more focused. Read on to discover how CBD can put you in the right frame of mind for sleep and may help cure insomnia.
Is CBD Legal?
One of the first questions many people ask when they’re told CBD can help with a long list of medical conditions from pain and anxiety for relief from some cancers and diseases such as Parkinson’s, is, is CBD is legal? Unlike medical marijuana which is currently only legal in 30 of the 50 states, CBD, or cannabidiol, is legal for purchase and use in all 50 states. CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant and extracted for use. THC is a similar compound and the one found in marijuana that delivers the “high” most people associate with the drug. CBD doesn’t cause this “high” and is sometimes used to combat the mind-altering effects associated with marijuana use. So, now that you know the use of CBD is completely legal for its medicinal benefits, let’s discuss exactly how this compound can help you achieve the quality sleep you’re lacking.
CBD and Sleep
For many people, insomnia is caused by an underlying condition that makes it difficult to fall asleep and nearly impossible to stay asleep. Some of these conditions include anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and chronic pain. In some cases, it’s these ailments that CBD treats, making it easier for the person to achieve sleep.
It’s no secret that CBD offers calming effects to users. But how is it done? Research shows that CBD interacts with chemicals, receptors, and proteins in the brain responsible for mood. This interaction creates positive changes in the user’s hormones and neurotransmitters. It’s these interactions that help elicit a feeling of relaxation and calm, reducing anxiety and allowing people to fall asleep faster.
Stress and anxiety are often linked to insomnia. Sufferers describe their condition as the inability to fully relax or “turn their minds off” at night long enough to achieve sleep. Stress can negatively affect your body in countless ways, causing high blood pressure, heart disease, and even diabetes. When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, your body’s nervous system is on high alert and may remain activated long into the evening hours. CBD has the potential to calm these feelings of anxiety and alertness, making it easier for you to enter a state of relaxation, where you can then fall asleep.
Chronic pain is another reason some people cannot achieve a quality night’s sleep. In fact, some intense pain can actually create sleep disorders in some individuals. Pain keeps many people awake, making it impossible for them to focus on anything else. Researchers are still investigating and learning about the interaction between CBD and brain function, but studies show that this chemical may positively affect your body’s reaction to pain and inflammation. By helping the body and brain regulate the emotional response to these factors, CBD can combat insomnia for pain sufferers. Additionally, CBD may help relax muscles, offering relief from pain associated with spasms and some forms of arthritis.
The benefits of CBD and sleep aren’t primarily for the relief of external factors. CBD helps support a healthy awake-sleep cycle and may even improve your REM cycle when asleep. The REM cycle of sleep, also known as rapid eye movement, occurs approximately 60 to 90 minutes after falling asleep and is most notably marked by rapid movements and flutters of the eye, as well as the state of physical paralysis. This state of paralysis keeps individuals from reacting physically in their sleep. This is especially important since it’s during your body’s REM cycle that your mind is free to dream. Memories and a balanced mood are also associated with this part of your sleep cycle. Some individuals suffer from REM behavior disorder where the brain and body fail to enter this state of immobility. This means that people can physically react to their dreams, resulting in potential injury to themselves and others, as well as disrupted sleep. CBD promotes a healthier REM cycle and may combat the effects of REM behavior disorder.
But the benefits of CBD and sleep don’t stop when you wake up. In fact, when used properly, certain doses of CBD can actually combat daytime fatigue and leave users feeling more alert and focused during the day. This shift may help insomnia sufferers feel more awake during daytime hours and in need of rest at night, leaving them more prepared and mentally receptive to their body’s cues for sleep.
Types of CBD for Sleep and Dosage
It’s important to consult with a doctor before ingesting any form of CBD for sleep. This is recommended for several reasons. First, depending on the dosage and type of CBD you choose, this medicinal component may actually have the opposite desired effect, leaving users feeling more alert and awake. Although some people use CBD in this way to feel more energized by day and tired by night, this isn’t the ideal way to use CBD for sleep. Most users opt for a dosage that will help calm their mind and body prior to sleep.
Users can consume CBD in a variety of ways from ingesting edibles or pills, using sprays, inhalers, topical patches, or smoking it. The correct dosage is important to avoid excessive sleepiness which may affect your ability to function during daytime hours. But prescribing a certain dosage is difficult for medical professionals. In fact, doctors can’t really prescribe CBD to patients at all but instead recommend its use based on the person’s condition and symptoms. This is primarily due to the fact that there is no recommended, approved dosage of CBD for treating any specific medical conditions, including insomnia. Essentially, doctors don’t have a foundation to work from. CBD doses can range anywhere from 5 mg all the way up to 1,000 mg and there’s really no telling which dose is right for which patient. Another hurdle for medical professionals is the fact that CBD for medical relief is still in the infancy stages in terms of research, side effects, and benefits. Most medical professionals were never properly educated in its use, making it difficult for them to make a recommendation. Every person will react differently to CBD, which is why it’s recommended to start with the lowest dosage possible and slowly work your way up until you reach the desired effect. Again, this is often done under the supervision and recommendation of a medical professional but is not officially prescribed by them.
The research of how CBD can positively impact insomnia sufferers is ongoing. While there is no “one size fits all” dosage or blueprint for using CBD for sleep, potential users can do their own research to determine whether or not this is a practical option for them.
About the Author
Kim Taylor is a wife, mother, freelance writer, and lover of all things holistic and natural. When she’s not writing she’s enjoying yoga, meditation, spending time with family, and experiencing nature.