Sleep deprivation is a significant health concern affecting millions of people worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 70 million Americans suffer from one form of chronic sleep problem. Common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), and sleep paralysis.
There are numerous conventional treatments for sleep deprivation, including sleep pills. However, some of these treatment options trigger a slew of adverse effects. That explains the growing interest in alternative medicine interventions, such as cannabidiol.
Commonly abbreviated as CBD, cannabidiol is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid in hemp touted for its therapeutic abilities, including the potential for treating various sleep disorders. This article looks at the role of CBD in boosting sleep quality.
CBD May Stabilize the Circadian Rhythm
The circadian rhythm is a term for the changes in the body that respond to alternating light and darkness.
The circadian rhythm regulates our sleep-wake cycles in various ways. For instance, the rhythm raises our core body temperature while lowering melatonin levels in the morning, signaling the body that it’s time to stay awake. And late in the evening, the core body temperature drops while melatonin levels rise, indicating that it’s bedtime.
A disruption of the circadian rhythm can trigger several health problems, including unintentional weight changes, irritability, impaired cognitive functioning, and sleep deprivation.
Cannabidiol impacts the body by enhancing the performance of the endocannabinoid system, a system containing an extensive network of receptors and neurotransmitters. One of the core functions of the endocannabinoid system is regulating circadian rhythms. So, by boosting the functioning of the endocannabinoid system, CBD gummies directly supports circadian rhythms.
CBD May Shorten Sleep Latency
Sleep latency refers to the average duration it takes to transition from a complete state of wakefulness to deep sleep. The duration differs from one person to another. It also depends on the nature of activities you’ve been engaging in before bedtime.
For instance, participating in light physical exercises late in the evening may help shorten sleep onset time. On the other hand, mentally-stimulating activities like playing video games could prolong your sleep latency.
Cannabidiol is a renowned sedative. The compound can soothe both the body and the mind. CBD’s mind-calming properties may come in handy in helping you fall asleep fast.
When looking for the best CBD goods for reduced sleep latency, it’s best to insist on full spectrum CBD products. Such products contain cannabidiol and significant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the principal psychotropic chemical in cannabis. THC is generally stimulating at small doses but sedating at large doses. Therefore, the compound can complement CBD’s soothing properties, allowing you to fall asleep fast.
CBD May Treat Pain
Pain is a leading cause of sleep deprivation. Not only does pain prolong sleep onset time. It also makes it difficult to remain asleep for longer hour blocks.
Numerous studies have shown that cannabidiol may have immense analgesic properties. A 2018 review appearing in Frontiers in Pharmacology observed sufficient evidence supporting CBD’s analgesic claims. The authors of this review noted that cannabidiol could soothe chronic pain, subsequently improving sleep.
CBD treats pain-induced sleeplessness in various ways. Most notably, the compound desensitizes nociceptors, affecting how effectively the brain interprets pain signals.
CBD May Relieve Anxiety
Anxiety is another major cause of sleep deprivation that you can manage using cannabidiol. At the same time, several anxiety disorders may interfere with your sleep, most instances of stress-induced sleeplessness resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Studies have shown that cannabidiol may mitigate the core symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. They include flashbacks, nightmares, and restlessness.
But PTSD isn’t the only anxiety disorder you can treat using cannabidiol. CBD has also proven helpful against generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder (PD).
Cannabidiol relieves stress and anxiety mainly by inhibiting the stress hormone cortisol while increasing the production of bliss chemicals like serotonin and anandamide.
CBD May Reduce the Duration of REM Sleep
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is a stage during sleep characterized by involuntary movements of the eyeballs within the sockets. It’s also the sleep phase, where mental activity tends to be at its peak. That explains why most dreams happen during REM sleep.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming. But dreams can easily present as sleep-disrupting nightmares if you already have post-traumatic stress disorder; dreams can easily present as sleep-disrupting nightmares.
Studies have shown that cannabidiol may reduce the period of REM sleep. Fewer and less intense dreams translate to more restful sleep.
CBD May Combat RBD
REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a sleep problem where a person unconsciously acts out their dreams. As you might expect, the condition mainly occurs during REM sleep.
People with RBD may leave their beds and wander across the house unconsciously. They may also engage in everyday activities like taking a shower, fixing faulty bulbs, chopping vegetables, etc. You can only imagine how dangerous some of these activities can be if undertaken unconsciously. Fortunately, cannabidiol has demonstrated efficacy against RBD. That’s mainly due to the compound’s ability to shorten REM sleep.
Cannabidiol has proven remarkably effective against various sleep disorders. Ensure you’re not using the compound alongside conventional sleep pills to make the most of CBD for sleep. At least not before consulting your physician.