How does CBD help with sleep?
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to CBD and sleep. The first is something we just touched on and that is consistency. Just like it’s important to try and get yourself into a consistent nightly routine, CBD is often most effective when it’s taken regularly.
Start by taking it at the same time each day and work on including it as a daily part of your routine. The first month is especially important, as studies on CBD for sleep have shown that this is when CBD has proven to be most impactful for sleep.
Daily stress can also be a primary contributor to your lack of sleep. Do you often find yourself lying awake in bed at night with your mind racing? Perhaps your issue isn’t just with sleep itself. CBD has been known to help support a sense of calm for focus as well, so if a daily supplement seems to better fit your schedule, CBD capsules and oils can also play a part in your routine. In support of that last point, studies show that CBD does not change your sleep architecture, so if you’re already a good sleeper, taking CBD during the day won’t negatively impact your internal schedule around sleep. Everyone is different, however, and CBD has a tendency to support the body’s overall balance according to need.
HOW CAN CBD HELP WITH SLEEP DISORDERS?
Research on the effects CBD has on sleep disorders is still preliminary. Some people who use CBD for chronic pain report sleeping better. Currently, it is unclear whether these patients sleep better because of the pain relief or because CBD directly affects their sleep.
Other initial studies of CBD and sleep disorders suggest positive outcomes. However, not everyone experiences the same sleep benefits with CBD use, and different doses might lead to different effects. Research suggests that low doses of CBD are stimulating, while high doses of CBD are sedating. Discrepancies in experience can also be attributed to the method of CBD administration and dose. Additional research is needed to deepen our understanding of CBD as an intervention for sleep disorders.
ANXIETY AND CBD
While not a sleep disorder itself, anxiety can contribute to poor quality sleep, insufficient sleep, and sleep disorders. Because CBD calms the nervous system, early research indicates that CBD can be used to treat anxiety-related disorders. One study showed that nearly 80% of participants who used CBD to treat their anxiety reported lower anxiety levels within a month. Sleep initially improved in more than 65% percent of participants, followed by fluctuating results.
INSOMNIA AND CBD
People who suffer from insomnia experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night. This disorder affects daytime wakefulness, ability to concentrate, and mood. Because of their history of poor sleep, people with insomnia may suffer from anxiety about getting inadequate sleep, which can then increase sleeplessness at night.
Given the potential positive outcomes of CBD treating anxiety, it is speculated that CBD may also help reduce the anxiety associated with insomnia. Additionally, a new pilot study of CBD and THC use in humans with physician-diagnosed insomnia is underway. The results of the study will offer more insight into the effects CBD has on insomnia.
REM SLEEP BEHAVIOR DISORDER AND CBD
In REM sleep behavior disorder, patients verbalize and make aggressive movements during their rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. The disorder is most common in older patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
In a limited study of four patients with Parkinson’s disease, CBD helped manage the REM sleep behavior disorder symptoms. Before taking CBD, the patients experienced disorder symptoms 2–7 times per week. After taking CBD, the symptoms occurred 0–1 times in a week. Further studies are necessary, but these initial results suggest CBD as a possible treatment for REM sleep behavior disorder.
EXCESSIVE DAYTIME SLEEPINESS DISORDER AND CBD
Those who have excessive daytime sleepiness disorder struggle to stay awake during typical daytime hours. One solution for waking up on time and staying wake may be CBD. Initial research on animals shows that CBD functions as a wake-inducing drug. However, other studies suggest CBD functions as a sedating drug. Further research is needed to determine what doses and methods of CBD use affect wakefulness and sleepiness. Before using any CBD product, consult your doctor. Let your doctor know of any medications, herbs, or supplements you are taking, so they can assess if CBD might cause a negative interaction. Your doctor will be able to inform you if CBD is a viable option to meet your health goals.