Hemp-derived CBD products can promote relaxation and sleep.
From chronic pain to inflammation to depression, CBD is being considered as a safe, non-addictive treatment alternative for a growing range of medical conditions and symptoms. Touted for its antipsychotic, anti-anxiety effects, this compound is also receiving more scientific attention due to its ability to reduce anxiety, which could lead to improving sleep quality and reducing insomnia, including in people with chronic pain. So, what does research show regarding using CBD for sleep disorders?
Sleep Disorders Are Common in the U.S.
There’s a huge need for safe, effective, non-habit-forming treatments for sleep disorders. According to the CDC, adults who sleep less than seven hours per 24 hours are more likely to report a staggering 10 chronic health conditions compared to those who get enough sleep. And the sleep disorder numbers, as reported by the American Sleep Association, show just how widespread those are in the U.S. Consider this, for instance:
- An estimated 50 million to 70 million adults have a sleep disorder.
- 38% report unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month.
- 7% report doing that while driving.
- Drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 non-fatal injuries annually.
- Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, with a reported 30% suffering from short-term insomnia, and about 10% from the chronic condition.
- 25 million adults have obstructive sleep apnea (up to 21% women and up to 31% men).
- 3% to 5% of the overall proportion of obesity in adults could be attributable to not getting enough sleep.
Sleeping Pills’ Prevalence, and Risk
According to the CDC’s data up to 2010, one in six adults with a diagnosed sleep disorder and one in eight adults with trouble sleeping reported using sleep aids. Sleeping disorders such as insomnia can be successfully kept at bay with sleeping pills, but even in the short term people can get dependent on them because they’re addictive.
Sleeping pills fall into a category of drugs known as sedative-hypnotics (which also includes barbiturates and benzodiazepines such as Xanax). Despite their different molecular makeup, they bind to the same receptors in the brain and can cause dependency over time. Addiction can sneak in long before the telltale signs manifest themselves. Once the withdrawal symptoms show up, it’s too late, and people often up their doses without consulting their doctor, deepening their addiction.
That’s one of the important reasons why CBD is an attractive alternative, as it’s not habit-forming and users have not been shown to build up tolerance. Prescription sleeping aids also have some unpleasant side effects, including lack of coordination, dizziness, and even hallucinations. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t have any known adverse effects.
Alerting and Sleep-Promoting Qualities of CBD
Scientific reviews, like the one done in 2014 on the state of research of CBD and sleep, have suggested that CBD may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of:
- Sleep apnea
- REM sleep behavior disorder
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Sleep issues caused by chronic pain
- PTSD (specifically, reducing the associated nightmares).
Studies also show that besides having calming, sedating properties, CBD can be alerting (in reportedly small doses). The mild activating effect is attributed to the fact that CBD activates the same adenosine receptors as stimulants such as caffeine. One study also shows that CBD can counteract the “residual sedative activity” of THC by inducing wakefulness.
CBD and Insomnia
The biggest causes of insomnia are anxiety and stress. By relieving the symptoms associated with those, CBD can help your brain shut down and get much-needed rest in a non-addictive way (compared with prescription sleeping aids). And because you won’t be building a tolerance for CBD, you won’t have to increase the dosage and can effectively use it long-term.
CBD and Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea and the resulting breathing issues can severely deprive you of sleep. Although there aren’t many studies available to date on this, the existing research does show sleep apnea reduction in patients who used CBD.
CBD and Chronic Pain Relief
Pain, especially chronic pain, can make your nervous system go haywire, depriving you of restorative deep sleep. Studies of CBD’s potential in pain management hold a lot of promise. Because of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties and the way it stimulates the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, CBD can benefit people living with chronic pain by relieving some of the symptoms and therefore helping them sleep better.
CBD and REM
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) is a recurring sleep cycle that takes 25% of the whole sleep process. It’s associated with vivid dreaming and reduced muscle activity. People with REM behavior disorder physically act out their dreams by moving limbs, talking, etc., as their muscles stay active. Studies have shown that CBD intake has promoted motionless REM sleep in some patients, reducing sleep disruption.
CBD and PTSD
One of the symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep due to nightmares. CBD has been shown to calm brain activity, relieving the associated stress and anxiety.
While more research results are coming in, the existing data shows CBD’s promise in positively affecting sleep patterns. At Simply CBD, we are actively following scientific developments and are always available to answer any questions you have. We’re also more than happy to show you how to use any of our products and discuss the dosage that might work best for you.
Stop by any of our Simply CBD dispensaries across New Orleans to learn more about CBD and to check out our huge selection of hemp-derived CBD products.