Insomnia is a fairly common sleep disorder. It has increased over recent years because of our busy lifestyles, increases in device screen time (which is known to interfere with us feeling sleepy), and perhaps most significantly, the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many people struggling to fall asleep, an effective solution is needed. Research has indicated that CBD may well be a fantastic way to help us wind down at night and fall into a restful sleep. But what precisely is CBD, and how is it alleged to help stop insomnia?
What Is CBD?
Also known as Cannabidiol, CBD is a natural remedy that is used for many common illnesses as well as for general health. It is also one of more than 100 chemical compounds (known as cannabinoids) that are found in the cannabis plant. However, this is not to be confused with the infamous THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, which is what makes us feel ‘high’. CBD, however, is not psychoactive. This makes CBD attractive to those who are looking for relief from pain or other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of cannabis. Over recent years, it has started to gain momentum in the wellness sphere as scientific studies are starting to present impressive benefits associated with the use of CBD, including helping to control symptoms of epilepsy and arthritis. It is also claimed to be beneficial to our general health and is an effective natural supplement.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder. Sufferers find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both. This can lead to feeling groggy when awake and consequently can cause fatigue and other symptoms. Unfortunately, the current climate (COVID-19 and the stress associated with it) has led to an increase in insomnia cases. In fact, it is so widespread that it is being dubbed ‘coronasomnia’. A Chinese study undertaken to investigate the effects on coronavirus and insomnia proves worrying reading. The data collected suggested a 37% increase in the rates of clinical insomnia (from 14.6% to 20%) from before the peak of the COVID pandemic.
Whilst there are treatments available for insomnia already, such as sleeping pills, many people see these as insufficient. Sleeping pills, whilst fairly popular, often come with a range of unwanted side effects such as grogginess the next morning and reliance on the medication. Individuals are keen to find a solution that is natural and that doesn’t make you feel grouchy the next morning. Therefore CBD is being considered an attractive alternative.
Let’s take a look now at five ways that CBD may be able to help with insomnia:
1. It Can Help To Decrease Stress and Anxiety
Stress is something that, unfortunately, many of us can relate to. Unsurprisingly, stress and insomnia are intricately linked. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, chances are you will struggle to get off to sleep at night, at least on occasion. Several studies, however, have shown that CBD is able to reduce anxiety in people. CBD interacts with different receptors in the body and aids in the reduction of anxiety. CBD also alters the serotonin signals, which is a hormone as well as a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in sustaining good mental health.
2. It Can Help In Treating Pain And Inflammation
Another factor that can affect our sleep cycle is pain and inflammation. If we are sore and in pain, it can be very hard to turn off and embrace sleep. Luckily for us, CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. How does it do this? It can interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a vast network of receptors that helps to manage various bodily functions, including that pain and inflammation. The CBD, therefore, interacts with the ECS to reduce pain and inflammation in the body. Furthermore, CBD is able to ease inflammation because it can reduce the prevalence of inflammatory cells, which in turn helps us to sleep soundly.
3. It Can Help In Treating REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder
Rapid Eye Movement (AKA REM) is a stage of sleep that we all go through each night. However, REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder (RBD) is a state where a person behaves unpredictably during REM sleep. This can mean extreme restlessness, abrupt movements, loud noises and enacting dreams for those who suffer from RBD. Unsurprisingly, this condition can prevent people from getting a restful night’s sleep. Luckily, CBD may be an effective solution because it assists in relaxing the mind as well as encouraging peaceful sleep.
4. It Can Help You To Give Up Other Medications
Whether in the format of CBD gummies, capsules or tinctures, CBD is becoming increasingly popular, partly because it is alleged to be able to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Plus, it is an entirely natural treatment as opposed to the common alternative, which is strong doses of pharmaceutical drugs, which are often accompanied by a range of unwanted side effects. One key example is ADHD medications. These drugs are fantastic in stimulating focus and alertness. However, side effects such as insomnia are consequently very common. With the use of CBD, these unwanted side effects can be virtually eradicated.
5. CBD Can Help To Regulate The Body’s Circadian Rhythm
In a nutshell, circadian rhythm is both mental and physical changes in the body that respond to light and dark in the external environment, such as our sleep-wake cycle. If this rhythm is disrupted, then serious issues can arise, such as weight gain and slower thinking. Luckily, CBD can affect the ECS, which plays a role in regulating circadian rhythm. Therefore, CBD might help to control the sleep-wake cycle and thereby improves the condition of insomnia. Clever stuff!
Insomnia is an issue for many of us. In fact, there is almost an insomnia pandemic within the current pandemic. There are various medications available to help, but these often are accompanied by unpleasant and unwanted side effects. CBD is fast becoming a very popular alternative to many people, partly because it is natural and partly because of its myriad of acclaimed benefits with few side effects. We have had a look at five ways that CBD can help with insomnia and why people are starting to turn their heads. Hopefully, in time, research will reveal its true potential, and it may even become the leading approach to tackling insomnia and assist you in getting a restful night, every night.