Hush little baby, don’t say a word …
How you finish those lyrics is up to you. How you end your day should be up to you as well.
A lot of things can impact ZZZs, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD. None of those conditions is anyone's fault, and they leave people feeling helpless to control what should be a normal bodily routine. Other factors, like nighttime exposure to blue light, alcohol intake before bed, and staying up to binge-watch a Netflix series are within our power, and may help you get down for the count.
But let’s say you’ve already tried a lot of things: putting the phone down, meditating, and making your bedroom a sleep-only oasis. Has it worked? If it did, you might not be reading this article.
There’s another possibility that researchers have found may help some people who can't get to sleep, particularly if the issue is related to anxiety.
Studies looking at CBD for poor sleep
Most studies on cannabinoids’ effect on sleep have focused on medical marijuana, which contains THC. THC-free CBD research is less common, but that’s changing since the substance became federally legal in 2018. The American Sleep Association provides a rundown of how CBD may affect sleep:
Researchers discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in maintaining certain body functions, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and regulating circadian rhythms. Within the endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. The two primary receptors identified are CB1 and CB2.
Cannabinoids attach to these cells and have various effects. As far as how they may affect sleep, some research indicates that the cannabinoid CBD may interact with specific receptors, potentially affecting the sleep/wake cycle.
As far as dedicated research, here are some results from study reviews and individual studies:
- “reliminary clinical trials suggest that high-dose oral CBD (150-600 mg/d) may exert a therapeutic effect for social anxiety disorder, insomnia and epilepsy, but also that it may cause mental sedation.”
- "Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson's disease patients."
- “Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time.”
Again, more research on CBD for poor sleep is needed—but this substance has more apparent benefits for tackling excessive worry, racing thoughts, and apprehension. And we all know the impact those things have on getting a good night’s rest.
Show the Sunday Scaries the door—and really do those sleep hygiene steps!
Anxiety is a huge issue for a lot of individuals, and as we open up more and more about mental health, we come to realize just how many people struggle with it to some extent or another.
At night, we’re alone with our mind. And many times, our brain just needs a little nudge to take the edge off those nagging thoughts that aren't productive. Many people find that CBD can help soothe those racing thoughts and show them the door.
And that may help you get some damn sleep, especially if you follow some tried and true sleep hygiene tips:
- Go to bed and get up at consistent times.
- Make sleep a priority!
- Simmer down for about a half-hour before going to bed.
- Shut off the lights—all of them!
- Get some natural light during the day; this helps set the sleep-wake cycle.
- Cut down on alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, and don’t plow through a big meal just before bed.
- Make the bedroom a place for sleep—not work, checking your phone, or watching TV.
Consistent rest and less anxiety go a long way toward improving life
Are you tired of lying awake all night staring at the ceiling and then feeling completely drained all day? Would your brain just make up its mind? Either it wants sleep, or it doesn't. It's enough to give you whiplash.
Adding CBD oil to your nighttime routine may help you chill. And we all need that. Quiet the mind and get some rest so you can greet those suits in the AM and show them who’s boss!
The good news is that most people can do something about insomnia by consistently following sleep hygiene tips. And CBD for poor sleep may help—specifically if your tossing and turning are related to irritability, an inability to stay calm, and negative thoughts that just won't quit.
But for Pete’s sake—if you simply can’t sleep no matter how closely you follow authoritative medical advice on the internet, talk to your doctor. From sleep studies to dedicated medications, a physician may be just what you need.