How CBD Affects Sleep
How’d you sleep last night? Unfortunately, most people don’t have a positive answer to this question. It turns out 10-30 million Americans regularly aren’t getting enough sleep. That explains why “sleep” is one of the top searched subjects on our website. It’s also why we decided to sit down and take a deeper look into the relationship between sleep and CBD.
Why we need sleep
To begin, let’s look at why sleep is so important. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, “Sleepiness affects vigilance, reaction times, learning abilities, alertness, mood, hand-eye coordination, and the accuracy of short-term memory.” Furthermore, “Sleepiness has been identified as the cause of a growing number of on-the-job accidents, automobile crashes and multi-model transportation tragedies.” Although these may be extreme examples of sleep deprivation, even the best case scenario isn't that great; you just don't feel good when you don't get enough sleep.
CBD and sleep
CBD works with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to aid in the maintenance of many body functions, including our circadian rhythm and sleep. The ECS also plays a role in the physiological processes of memory storing, immunity building, and tissue repair; all processes that occur while we sleep. This is why it’s so important to get uninterrupted sleep. Without it, these processes can’t be completed. Thankfully, organizations such as the American Sleep Association take the time to study the process of sleep and find ways we can improve it. After researching CBD’s effect on sleep, they determined that “the use of CBD can potentially decrease your symptoms of insomnia and help you get more quality sleep.”
Natural sleep aids vs prescription
One of the most exciting things about CBD is its ability to decrease the use of, and sometimes even replace, commonly used prescription and OTC drugs. While we don’t recommend stopping the use of any medication without consulting with your doctor, we do recommend having that conversation. Many prescription drugs, especially sleep aids like hypnotics, have substantial side effects that outweigh the potential benefits. For example, hypnotic sleep aids often cause dangerous next day impairment, along with depression. According to Project CBD, they’re also responsible for over 10,000 deaths per year (though that number is probably underreported and in reality much higher.) Many of these issues stem from the fact that these drugs are intended for short term use only. However, physical dependence can develop after only a few days, and addiction can follow.
This is why we suggest taking the natural approach. CBD can be used for extended periods, and you can easily adjust your dose when needed. We also recommend trying some of the following tips until you find a routine that works for you.
Tips for better sleep
Stick to a schedule - go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday
Avoid napping in the afternoon
Get exercise during the day
Avoid caffeine in the afternoon
Avoid food and alcohol right before bed
Try a dose of CBD an hour or two before bed
Massage sore muscles or painful areas with a CBD topical to relax and relieve before falling asleep