Did you know that as many as 70 million adults in America have some form of sleep disorder? A sleep disorder means that you have a condition that chronically prevents you from getting enough sleep. Even worse than that, according to the CDC an estimated one third of adults do not get enough sleep on a regular basis.
What many people do not realize is that sleep deprivation can have serious long-term consequences for your health and well being. It can be something relatively minor such as memory issues, increased stress or anxiety, decreased focus and concentration, and a decline in your sex drive. However, it can be more serious as well, including a weakened immune system, higher blood pressure, weight gain, and a higher risk of heart disease or diabetes.
This is why it is so important to improve your ability to get a regular, restful sleep. There are a variety of tips you can follow that you may have already heard, from cutting down on caffeine, reducing screen time, and using white noise machines, but one tip you may have never heard of before is to try using CBD.
CBD is a natural supplement that is growing in popularity. It is a chemical compound that can be extracted from hemp, and by itself has no psychoactive properties. That makes it safer and legal to take, compared to THC that is found in marijuana. You can take it in oil drops, vape oil, edibles, and you can even smoke CBD flower similar to marijuana but without getting high.
CBD is relatively new, and there is still a lot of research and clinical trials coming out with new information about how it works. One of the newly discovered benefits of CBD is that it may be able to help people get a better night’s sleep, including for people who have a sleep disorder.
#1) Corrects Your Circadian Rhythm
Everyone has a natural 24 hour cycle called a circadian rhythm that regulates a lot of our habitual bodily functions. It is what makes you feel hungry at rough times of the day, it is what helps you wake up and feel more alert during the day, and what makes you feel tired around your usual bedtime.
However, it is possible for your circadian rhythm to become disrupted. Most sleep disorders occur because your body produces certain chemicals that throw off your natural sleep-wake cycle. One example is cortisol, a stress hormone that peaks in the morning for most people, then declines through the day. Someone who is very stressed will typically find that their cortisol levels are still high at night. Another example is someone who works a graveyard shift, when they have to try and stay up all night then sleep during the day.
This is one of the ways that CBD has been found to help people with sleep disorders is by reducing cortisol levels. This helps restore a better balance to your natural circadian rhythm, helping you feel sleepy and fall asleep at night.
#2) Treats Sleep Disorders
Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, where you not only have a hard time falling asleep, but have difficulty staying asleep. When you wake up, you will still typically feel tired all the time. There are two kinds of insomnia: chronic insomnia as the primary issue preventing you from sleep, or conditional insomnia where an underlying issue is the cause.
When insomnia is a chronic issue with no other underlying cause, the issue is usually hormonal. Hormones and the chemicals our body produces have a big impact on our circadian rhythm. People who have insomnia typically have too much or too little of different hormones that can negatively impact your sleep-wake cycle. CBD helps with this by moderating the production of some of those chemicals, and helping reinforce a more natural circadian rhythm so you can actually get a better night’s sleep.
#3) Reduces Common Interrupting Factors
There are sleep disorders that are characterized by underlying or situational reasons that interrupt someone’s sleep, either by preventing them from falling asleep as easily, or making them wake up in the middle of the night. Stress and anxiety is one reason, but it can also be due to an unrelated issue, such as pain, discomfort, hunger, too much light, or too much noise.
Another way that CBD has been found to help people get a better sleep is by addressing some of these kinds of issues. Specifically, it helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can keep you up at night with worry. Feeling more calm and relaxed can speed up the time it takes you to fall asleep. CBD also reduces pain that can come from an injury, workout, or chronic health issue.
If you are chronically sleep deprived, it’s a good time to talk to a doctor. They may not advise that you try CBD, but as a natural supplement it can be something that you try on top of whatever other tips or prescription they prescribe. In the end, you can get the best possible outcome: more sleep.