Will CBD Help Me Sleep? What Is Insomnia?
After talking with a friend about his experience with CBD, it made me wonder if CBD will help me sleep as well? Insomnia is defined by the American Sleep Association as “difficulty falling or staying asleep…even when a person has the chance to do so.” There are two categories of insomnia: Acute and Chronic. Acute Insomnia is brief and often triggered by stressful life circumstances (i.e., not being able to sleep the night before a major exam or presentation). Acute Insomnia tends to resolve itself without the need for sleep aids or other forms of treatment. Chronic Insomnia is a disruption in sleep patterns occurring as often as three nights per week and persisting for up to three months. Common Chronic Insomnia triggers include environmental changes, shift work, prescription medications, or other clinical disorders. If left untreated, chronic insomnia can wreak havoc on our physical and mental well-being.
What Makes Insomnia So Detrimental?
Insomnia wrings the life out of you, metaphorically and literally. While that may seem like hyperbole, it’s actually a massive understatement. The detrimental effects of insomnia are so numerous, they have to be broken up into the following categories:
- Increased Risk of Medical Conditions
- Increased Risk of Accidents and Mental Health Disorders
- Shortened Life Expectancy
Increased Risk of Medical Conditions
In addition to weakening the immune system and increasing inflammation, insomnia increases your risk of the following:
- Asthma Attacks
- Diabetes Mellitus
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
Any one of those maladies can cause your quality of life to deteriorate rapidly. Unfortunately, the list doesn’t end there, as insomnia effects both the body and the mind.
Increased Risk of Accidents and Mental Health Disorders
Anyone who’s struggled with insomnia has woken up with that feeling. The feeling of a mass of cotton inside of your skull where your brain should be, but isn’t right now. The feeling that not only makes thinking as laborious as cutting through fog, but over the course of the day, it literally becomes a headache!
This feeling is an appropriate metaphor for the cognitive impairment aspects of insomnia, which include:
- Impaired memory
- Impaired judgment
- Decreased reaction time
- Impaired performance at work or school…and beyond
Unfortunately, the cognitive impairment aspects of chronic insomnia don’t end with impaired cognitive performance and dulled physical reflexes. In fact, the feelings of confusion and frustration caused by these aspects of insomnia can cause feelings of anxiety and spiral into depression! (Related Note: Insomnia has been linked to impaired sex drive. While not a direct mental disorder-as anxiety and depression are-a subpar sex life has been linked to increased risk of depression.)
Shortened Life Expectancy
Sleeping for less than 8 hours a night can literally kill you. “An analysis of 16 studies that covered over 1 million participants and 112,566 deaths looked at the correlation between sleep duration and mortality. They found that sleeping less increased risk for death by 12 percent, compared to those who slept seven to eight hours per night.”
How can CBD help alleviate/eliminate insomnia and its effects?
Preliminary research into cannabidiol (CBD) and insomnia has shown promise in alleviating the symptoms of daytime sleepiness without the unpleasant side effects of over-the-counter sleep medications (such as grogginess or brain fog).
How is this possible? Unlike over-the-counter medications, which induce an aggressive sedative effect, CBD combats insomnia at its source: by regulating our body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a group of receptors throughout our nervous system that regulate several functions in our bodies, including how we respond to stress and/or anxiety, our body temperature and our mood levels. When CBD interacts with our ECS, it aids in restoring these functions to their equilibrium, alleviating the common causes of insomnia-namely, stress, anxiety, and chemical imbalances.
Bonus: The Author uses Himself as a Guinea Pig
While writing this article, I became curious as to how effectively CBD worked as a sleep aid. Even though I do my best to maintain a regular sleep schedule, I don’t always fall asleep quickly. Even when I do, my sleep is often less than optimal; I usually wake up feeling tired and sluggish and tend to rely on coffee or preworkout supplements to get myself jumpstarted. The research in the article motivated me to try a minor experiment on myself: I went to bed at my regular time and took 30 mg of ZMA (Zinc Magnesium Aspartate), which has been noted to improve sleep. However, I supplemented my usual sleep regimen with a 16.6 mg dose of CBD. I had less trouble trying to relax, and as far as drifting off to sleep, it just…happened. I don’t recall feeling a sudden, overwhelming bout of drowsiness beforehand.
When I did wake up, I assumed I did so in the middle of the night (as I’ve often done in the past) and would have to struggle to get in a few more hours rest. Something told me to check the time, so I tapped the Wake button on my phone. I’d naturally woken up three minutes before my alarm was set to go off! Not only that, but I wasn’t as sluggish as usual; after a few minutes of moving around (in the form of preparing for the day), I was awake. Not particularly energetic, but definitely alert and focused with no signs of grogginess or brain fog. So the question was will CBD help me sleep? Absolutely!
Relief is in Your Grasp
If you’re being plagued by insomnia, CBD can be an extremely useful tool in combatting its deleterious effects and getting a good night’s rest. (You’ll need it after all…especially if the reason you can’t sleep is because you’ve got a big day tomorrow.) That’s where Arete Hemp CBD comes in! Our Broad Spectrum CBD (THC Free) is the highest quality CBD on the market, which will help you get the most refreshing sleep possible. Visit our store and invest in a good night’s rest.
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- Insomnia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment. https://www.sleepassociation.org/sleep-disorders/insomnia/Fernandez-Mendoza, Julio.
- Insomnia and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3972485/