Adequate sleep is not important only to wake up rested and energetic, but it plays a major role in your physical health. Without it, the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease and even stroke increases.
The stresses and strains of the modern world have caused a lot of people to lose sleep. Literally. Things like a loss of job security and the 24-hour business cycle have people lying awake at night, tossing and turning. It’s not good. Dealing with sleeplessness can be tricky, however. It’s not wise to rely on prescription sedatives or frequent nightcaps to help you relax. But doing nothing is even worse. Enter CBD oil for sleep. CBD (cannabidiol) oil is known to have a calming effect on the brain, to bolster the immune system and to provide a wealth of other benefits. We wanted to know if that calming effect can actually help one sleep better, as recent media reports suggest. Or if CBD oil for sleep is just another popular myth.
Getting to the Bottom of the CBD Oil for Sleep Stories
As it turns out, the notion of using CBD oil for sleep is not a new one. As far back as 3,000+ years ago, Hindu scribes were writing about the effectiveness of CBD for sleep. Except of course, they didn’t call it CBD oil. In more recent times, the placement of hemp on the list of the US government’s Schedule 1 controlled substances had a chilling effect on research and put the question “Will CBD oil make you sleep better?” on the back burner for nearly a century.
Thankfully, a few years ago the government passed legislation that removed hemp and hemp byproducts from that list of prohibited substances, and since then the number of CBD related products has skyrocketed. At the same time, research into using CBD oil for sleep has also gained steam and we now have a growing mountain of evidence that it does indeed help. But what exactly is CBD oil?
What is it and Why Does CBD Work for Sleep?
Cannabidiol oil, as we mentioned above, is derived from hemp. But while hemp is technically a member of the cannabis family, CBD oil contains virtually no THC, the psychoactive compound in weed that gets you high. As such, those fearing (or hoping) to cop a buzz off CBD oil will have their fears alleviated or their hopes dashed. And those who think that using CBD oil for sleep is a matter of getting so high you drift off to dreamland with a big goofy grin on your face are also mistaken.
Still, the medicinal properties of CBD oil are numerous and include its ability to help young people gain some measure of control over epileptic seizures. More recent studies have also confirmed that using CBD oil for sleep and CBD for insomnia is also a good idea, and for largely the same reasons: its calmative effect on the central nervous system. Other benefits of CBD oil that have recently been discovered or confirmed include:
- The ability to address anxiety – CBD has been shown to regulate cortisol. Cortisol is one of the so-called “stress hormones” that also include adrenalin. This ability of CBD to regulate cortisol and counteract its effects is one reason so many people are using CBD oil for sleep.
- The ability to provide pain relief – Those struggling to sleep due to acute or chronic pain will find that using CBD for pain and sleep is a good idea. CBD has been proven effective in alleviating pain-induced insomnia and seems to do so by addressing the causes of the pain, rather than just casting a blanket of sedatives over it.
- The ability to help treat Parkinson’s – As of this writing, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. The best we can hope for is to get a handle on its various manifestations. CBD oil provides Parkinson’s sufferers with help sleeping at night, which in and of itself provides a host of cascading benefits.
- Relief from nightmares – Believe it or not, people who use CBD oil for sleep are also reporting that they have fewer nightmares. It’s not entirely clear yet exactly why that is, but it’s suspected that the ability of CBD to regulate stress hormones may have something to do with it.
- Regulation of sleep cycles – A connection between CBD oil and sleep cycles has long been suspected. But recent research indicates that not only is CBD for sleep a viable course of action, but that CBD may in fact actually help regulate the body’s wake/sleep cycle. If confirmed by further research, this would go a long way toward explaining why CBD oil for sleep works as well as it does.
- Relief of PTSD symptoms – PTSD is a vexing condition that manifests itself in a number of ways, including disruption of a person’s ability to sleep normally. While studying the use of CBD oil for insomnia, researchers discovered it can also be used to alleviate certain PTSD symptoms.
- Relief of pregnancy complications – A woman’s body undergoes myriad and profound changes when she becomes pregnant. Many find it difficult to get enough satisfying sleep. This pregnancy related insomnia is due to a number of factors including aches and pains, nausea and stress. Using CBD oil for sleep can help alleviate these symptoms.
Other studies are also casting light on the effectiveness of CBD oil in reducing inflammation and thereby relieving symptoms of arthritis.
What’s the Right Way to Use CBD for Sleep?
Now that its ability to promote restfulness is confirmed by research, the next question becomes “Is there a right way to use CBD for sleep?” And if there is, then can CBD make insomnia worse if you use it the “wrong” way?
Fortunately, you can’t really say there’s a wrong way to use CBD oil for sleep. Rather, it comes down to which is the absolute best way for you. The fact is everyone is different. So what works best is often a matter of employing trial and error until you find the method that is most effective for your particular case. The good news is that you have myriad delivery systems available today and so it’s likely you’ll find one that dovetails with your temperament and physiology.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind When Using CBD to Sleep
While CBD is thought to be generally safe and non-addictive, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind when using CBD oil for sleep.
- The long term effects have not been well researched – Because CBD oil was only recently removed from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances, research into its various possible long term side effects is still in its infancy. Therefore, although there are no obvious reasons to fear using CBD for sleep disorders one still can’t be absolutely certain something won’t surface in future research.
- The more the better, maybe – Although research into dosing is also in its beginning stages, preliminary studies suggest that the more CBD for sleep you use, the more satisfying the results will be. In fact, some studies suggest that low doses of CBD oil for sleep may do next to nothing. So again, when trying to determine the right dosage for you, trial and error should be your MO.
- Different strokes for different folks – There are myriad delivery methods available today for those who wish to use CBD oil for sleep. Vaping typically produces a fast result, but tinctures can also be effective. At the same time, CBD gummy bears may work best for you because they tend to release the CBD more gradually. Which could help you sleep longer.
The Bottom Line
The job of the CBD marketer is the same as that of any other marketer: to drive sales, not win ethics awards. Therefore take any claims you read about CBD being able to cure cancer or Parkinson’s with a grain of salt. At the same time, however, there is more than enough evidence to conclude that CBD oil for sleep is an idea with real legs. And that if you’re lying in bed asking yourself “How can I sleep better?” the answer may well be CBD oil.
Author: C. H.