Does CBD Oil Help You Sleep Better?

by | Dec 5, 2022 | Latest News | 0 comments

Every once in a while, we all have a problem sleeping.  Whether the noise keeps us awake or feelings of stress or anxiety, it is a pretty standard thing. But how do you know when the occasional sleep disruption turns into something that could cause a health problem?

Sleep is not a luxury; it is essential to maintain good health.  And clinical studies show that there is a link between lack of sleep and life-threatening chronic diseases. Many of these can be caused by or exacerbated by chronic insomnia. 

Understanding why sleep disruptions occur is an essential first step.  Because when you identify what may be causing your sleep problems, you work on fixing them.  And restoring the healthy, deep sleep, your body relies on for good health. 


What Causes Short or Long-Term Insomnia?

Certain health conditions can contribute to short-term sleep problems.  For example, some symptoms can make sleeping harder to sleep if you have a cold or influenza.  This is why many over-the-counter cold medications have a nighttime formulation to promote rest. 

Long-term or chronic insomnia, however, can be caused by persistent symptoms like stress or lifestyle factors.  If you are having problems sleeping over a more extended period of time (more than a month), you should consult with your doctor. 

Some of the most common causes of insomnia can be resolved when you can identify what is causing your sleep problems. 


Stress and Anxiety 

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the United States.  An estimated forty million (40M) Americans have reported chronic anxiety.  While everyone experiences stress and anxiety intermittently, clinical anxiety is persistent.  With daily symptoms for many patients. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the most commonly diagnosed mental health condition.  Physicians and psychologists can diagnose anxiety with an inventory or scale, a series of questions.  The anxiety test helps a practitioner confirm anxiety as a clinical diagnosis and determine the severity of anxiety symptoms for the patient. 

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) symptoms include:

  • Feeling unsettled, uneasy, and on the edge. 
  • Chronic fatigue 
  • Problems with concentration and focus
  • Worrying feelings that are hard to control 
  • Mood variances including sadness and irritability
  • Transient or chronic insomnia 

To fall asleep (and remain sleeping for at least seven hours per night) it takes a degree of calmness.  If your mind is constantly processing stressful or fearful thoughts, it can be very hard to get to sleep.  People with anxiety also experience disrupted sleep, waking up frequently throughout the night.  And that prevents the deep restorative REM sleep the body needs to function correctly.


Disruptive Sleep Environment 

Sometimes, we don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to a quiet sleep environment.  If you live in an urban area, bright lights and noise are two constants that can mess up your sleep.  

Ear plugs, white noise machines, and sound-insulating and light-blocking blinds or curtains are an option if external noise is a problem.  Over time many people get used to urban noise, which may have less of an impact on their sleep.

However, there are some things that you can control when it comes to your sleep environment. Reducing screen time before bed (television, computer, or smartphone) can make a big difference.  The screen relay can trick your body into thinking the light from your device is sunlight.  And disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm. 

Everything from the quality of your mattress and pillows to the bedding you choose can also support healthy sleep or disrupt it.  By making small changes in your bedroom, you might improve your overall quality of sleep. 


Lifestyle Factors 

Being overweight can have many adverse effects on your health.  And when it comes to insomnia, obesity can contribute to sleep problems.  Sleep apnea, for example, is a severe breathing disorder that can also contribute to a heart attack or stroke. 

One study found that men with moderate to severe sleep apnea had three times the risk of experiencing a stroke. Snoring can signal that the brain is not receiving enough oxygen during sleep.  And if an individual stops breathing for more than ten seconds while asleep, they may be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. 

Stimulants are also another lifestyle factor that can create sleep problems.  Consuming a lot of caffeine during the evening can interfere with falling asleep (or staying in a deep sleep). People who vape or smoke nicotine can also have disrupted sleep because nicotine is a stimulant that raises blood pressure. And that, in turn, makes it difficult to fall asleep. 


Prescription Medications 

The list of prescription medications that can mess with your natural sleep cycle is extensive.  It includes common antidepressants like Prozac® and Zoloft®. Clinical studies have shown that SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) can decrease REM sleep overall.  And also increase REM latency or the length of time it takes to achieve deep sleep.

Some of the other classes of prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can disrupt sleep include:

  • Beta agonists (treatment of respiratory disorders)
  • Dopamine agonists (treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia)
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Cold medications 
  • Decongestants 
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Theophylline 
  • Steroids 
  • Amphetamines and psychostimulants 

One of the challenges for patients who take prescription medication is finding a sleep remedy that is not contraindicated. Or a medication that will not conflict with other types of prescription drugs they are taking. 


Health Conditions 

People with chronic pain often experience insomnia.  Neurotransmitters in the body can signal pain symptoms at any time of the day.  And that includes in the middle of the night when you are trying to sleep. 

Thyroid disorders can contribute to insomnia.  Hyperthyroidism is a condition with too much thyroxine hormone secreted by the thyroid gland.  This condition causes the body’s metabolism to speed up and can cause a rapid heart rate. The thyroxine hormone can also increase feelings of anxiety.

Hypothyroidism is when not the thyroid gland produces enough thyroxine.  Instead of generating excessive energy, hypothyroidism contributes to feelings of fatigue.  Even though someone with hypothyroid problems may be tired, chronic insomnia can be a problem.  And that is because symptoms like muscle pain, cold sensitivity, and mood disorders are also common.

Individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma can also struggle with insomnia.  And patients with gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, or diabetes can also experience chronic insomnia. 


Why Do People Take CBD Oil for Insomnia?

Many different types of medications can be prescribed to resolve insomnia.  The problem for some patients is a concern regarding contraindications.  Or a conflict between their sleep medication and other prescription drugs they may be taking.

For most people, cannabidiol does not conflict with other medications.  However, there are some prescriptions that a daily CBD supplement may impact.  That includes blood thinners, some heart medications, the thyroid medication levothyroxine, and certain types of seizure medications, including clobazam and valproate. 

When choosing a CBD supplement for insomnia, you have many options.  Some people prefer to take a tincture or CBD oil through sublingual uptake (oral solution).  It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream when a dose of cannabidiol is held under the tongue for sixty seconds before swallowing. 

Other options for supplementing CBD for insomnia include tablets, capsules, and edibles.  There are many CBD nighttime formulations like our SLEEP gummy. They are easy to store by your bed and take approximately forty-five (45) minutes before you are ready to sleep. 


How Can Cannabidiol (CBD) Help Improve Sleep?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not endorsed cannabidiol (CBD) as an effective treatment for any health condition or symptom.  But global clinical studies have suggested that CBD can help patients with chronic insomnia. 

 The first way that CBD may help is by naturally reducing anxiety.  Falling asleep is hard when you are experiencing anxiety.  Cannabidiol with natural cannabinoids and terpenes can promote relaxation, which may help someone with sleep problems. 

Cannabidiol interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors in the brain’s limbic system. That area controls emotions, memories, our senses (smell, taste, touch), and physical arousal.  And cannabidiol can help suppress upsetting thoughts or memories that can trigger anxiety and insomnia. 

Less stress? More sleep.  And another reason that some people prefer CBD for sleep difficulties is that it does not have unpleasant side effects. Prescription treatments for insomnia can leave you feeling groggy or tired when you wake up.  

But as a natural remedy, cannabidiol does not have the same side effects after use.  And most people report waking up alert and refreshed in the morning, not tired. And that means CBD can be used on weekday nights and weekends to address sleep problems.


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