To normally function throughout the day, we need to get proper restorative sleep. In the absence of a proper sleep, a person keeps dozing off during the daytime hours but finds it impossible to sleep at night. This lack of sleep, if regular, also triggers a behavioral change in the person.
If you go to bed at the proper time but still keep tossing because of insomnia during the whole night, don’t worry, you’re not the only one going through this!
Insomnia is the most well-researched sleep disorder marked to have remarkable manifestations of the physical and mental well-being of a person. At present, there is no magic cure-all pill for insomnia, which in most cases is managed by changes in lifestyle or sleeping pills, both of which prove to be futile after a while. However, this apparent absence of a panacea has prompted researchers to investigate the causative agents of insomnia, and helped them to get one step closer to finding a complete remedy for this disorder.
The latest figures report that about 70 million Americans are suffering from a sleep disorder, with insomnia being the most commonly occurring sleeping disorder. This number is even higher for the world population, with some epidemiological studies indicating about 20-30% of the general public reporting insomnia symptoms, and a few reporting even 50-60% population incidence. About one in every seven adults reports having chronic insomnia.
A lack of sleep caused by stress or insomnia has led to various natural remedies for sleep, including CBD which helps individuals to fall asleep, and not wake up.
This article will assess the effectiveness of using CBD for insomnia, where the rest of the medical regimens seem to fail, but before plunging into the clinical studies bracing the use of CBD against insomnia, let’s divulge the particulars of insomnia, its types, and causative agents, and stages of sleep required for normal body function. Having perceived the symptoms and kinds of insomnia, we can better equip ourselves to manage this disease, and then consider CBD as a therapeutic alternative for this disorder.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleeping dysfunction where a person has problems with staying or falling asleep. This disorder might be acute or chronic, depending upon the factors. It could also be relapsing. A type of insomnia that ranges from a single night to a few weeks is acute insomnia. Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, lasts from 3 nights in a week spanning 3 months or more. Major causes of poor sleep are:
- Use of electronic devices, like cell phones or laptops before sleeping
- Hormonal changes
- Smoking before bedtime
- Lack of physical activity
- Calorie-rich food consumption before sleeping
- Caffeine intake in the evening
Traditional Pharmaceutical Drugs for Insomnia
The medications used to help with sleep problems are called sleeping pills. But these medications are helpful in sleep improvement only for short-term use, as these include a variety of side effects. Most sleeping pills are known as sedative-hypnotics, which is a particular variety of medications used to help in sleeping or maintaining its quality. Sedative hypnotics include barbiturates, hypnotics, and benzodiazepines.
Barbiturates are medications that cause sedation by slowing down the nervous system. Barbiturates with limited or prolonged activity periods are prescribed as sleeping pills. These drugs are restricted to usage as anesthetics, as overdose can be deadly.
Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety medicines that work by increasing drowsiness and helping people to sleep. They include Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Librium, and Halcion, the older sedative in this class, which is now replaced by the newer medications. Despite these medications being extremely effective for short-term use, the benzodiazepines can be addictive and interfere with cognitive problems and attention issues and are not prescribed to be used for long-term.
· Sleep-Inducing drugs
Sleep-inducing drugs include Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata and bind to the same receptor as that of benzodiazepines on the brain. These medications work effectively to increase sleep and drowsiness but can increase physical dependence on these drugs.
· Non-addictive Medications
These sleep-inducing medicines are non-addictive and include Rozerem, which works by affecting the hormone, melatonin, Belsomra, which aids in sleeping by working on orexin, a known brain substance, and Silenor, the low-dose anti-depressive drug.
Pharmaceutical Sleep Drugs May Have Effects, but They are Not Devoid of Side Effects
The most usual adverse effects of sleep-inducing pills like Belsmora, Xanax, Sonata, and Rozerem may include,
- Inflaming and tingling sensation in arms, feet, hands, and legs
- Alterations in appetite
- Difficulty in posture maintenance
- Dryness of throat
- Weird dreams
- Mental fog, with problems with attention and memory
What is CBD and Does it Help Overcome Insomnia?
CBD is the abbreviation of cannabidiol. It is the second-highest occurring potent component of the cannabis plant. Even though CBD is an integral part of medical marijuana, it is procured directly from the hemp plant, which is a close relative of the marijuana plant. Even after being a component of marijuana, CBD doesn’t cause intoxication or the feeling of high. CBD hasn’t manifested any indicative effects of abuse or dependence potential in humans, and no data in the public registries claim a link between human health problems and CBD use according to World Health Organization.
It is important to note that CBD can also cause various side effects which include fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, irritability, and mood swings. It can increase the proportions of coumadin, the blood thinner within our bloodstream, and results in an increase in the amounts of various medicines in our blood with the same mechanism of action as that of grapefruit.
A prime safety concern is that CBD is being sold in the market as a supplement instead of a medication. Currently, the FDA doesn’t regulate these products, so we couldn’t know for sure if the product contains the same doses of a particular potent substance as mentioned on the label, unless there is an associated COA (Certificate of Analysis) with the product.
The Science Behind using CBD for Sleep Improvement
Having read all about CBD, insomnia, its types, treatments, and medication side-effects you might be wondering how CBD helps in sleep improvement? Well, the answer to this question is by modulating the receptor systems in our nervous system.
Our body contains a complex cell-signaling system that has a lot of elements and key players involved in the immune, nervous and cardiac function of the body. This system is known as the Endocannabinoid System or ECS. Since this system is responsible for controlling our diet, stress responses, sleep patterns, and physical activity, the researchers believe that controlling this system might serve as a therapeutic approach for sleep disorders like insomnia.
Research to Back these Claims
So do we have any clinical research data to back all these claims made earlier about marked sleep improvement by CBD? Yes, we do!
· CBD and Sleep behavior disorder
Particularly research published in the journal, Current Psychiatry Reports, indicated a potential for CBD to be used in the management of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep behavioral disease, however, results included mixed outcomes and this research is still in its beginning phase.
· Sleep improvement and CBD use
A case study published in Permanente Journal reported an improvement in sleep in more than 60% of the patients taking CBD regularly and anxiety alleviation in more than 50% of the research individuals. These results had altered overtimes, and the improvements were diminished after stopping the supplementation. This retrospective analysis also corroborates another clinical study published in Medicines, which manifested a 4.5-point decrease on the scale of 10 in the sleep symptoms of the total 409 participants.
· Research dynamics and limitations of these research studies
Quite understandably the research concerning CBD and sleep improvement is still in its initial stages, and a lot more research needs to be done to formally introduce CBD as a sleep improvement alternative. All these studies had a small sample size and focused on getting immediate results in shorter periods, which conclusively don’t provide clinical evidence for prescribing CBD for sleep.
How to Use CBD for Sleep Improvement?
There is a wide range of methods to uptake CBD, as it is available in various forms, like
- Oils & tinctures
- Pills and capsules
- Edible CBDs
Usually, the most effective way of consuming CBD is vaping, as it is faster than the other kinds, but much relevant research isn’t available on CBD vaping, and vaping in general poses health risks, like respiratory problems. We don’t recommend vaping.
What time is the Most Appropriate for CBD Uptake?
It depends on various factors, like the symptoms for which you’re consuming CBD, the desired improvement in symptoms or effects that you want to see, and the form in which you are using CBD. Primarily deciding the optimal time will take a few days, and you’d have to consider the hit and trial method. Maximum effects occur after a couple of weeks of usage.
The dose of your CBD uptake depends on various factors. Your BMI, weight, body biochemistry, and nature of sleeping affect the efficacy of CBD. The most effective method is starting with a low dose and then subsequently increasing the dosage with time. Oil tinctures are best used at night, or in the morning with coffee to cancel out caffeine effects. Capsules are generally ideal for low release throughout the night and could be consumed at any suitable time before bedtime.
The three most effective ways of using CBD for sleep improvement are:
- Getting to know your options, and then selecting a product after homework.
- Identifying your sleep problems or insomnia triggers and working to reduce them
- Including CBD into your sleep routine
“Why We Sleep, Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams” by Matthew Walker
In his book, titled “Why We Sleep, Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams”, famous neuroscientist and sleep expert Mathew Walker explicitly states that sleep is the most significant component of our life, which isn’t very well known. A while back, science wasn’t able to answer the questions, like why do we sleep, what is the benefit of sleeping, why does our health suffer in the absence of a sound sleep? When compared to other essential life functions like reproduction, metabolism, eating, and drinking, sleep and its purpose remains largely unknown.
In this extremely enthralling and captivating book, Walker provides a comprehensive investigation of sleep, exploring the effects of sleep on various physical and mental aspects of life. Within our brain, sleep improves a wide variety of functions, like our:
- Learning ability
- Memorizing skills
- Immune system
- Appetite regulation
Walker explains the method to control sleep in learning improvement, hormonal regulation, cancer prevention, modulating energy and mood levels, slowing the effects of aging, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, and increasing longevity. He has also provided practical steps to get better sleep for each night. This book is recommended for the night-table reading in the most realistic way.
Future Need for more Research
There is an immense need for more clinical data and research detecting the specific way in which CBD could affect sleep, the ECS system, its interference with the other medications, and its effects following long-term use. Conclusively, with CBD being an organic dietary substance, several brands have pounced on the opportunity and introduced their products in the market, however, identifying the one gold-standard product remains a challenge. Stick with us, and we will help you find the ultimate superior quality CBD product which does help with your insomnia.
Product Review – CBD REM Relief
These sleep-supporting tablets contain CBD (600mg), chamomile, and melatonin which will succor you in getting a sound sleep and staying asleep throughout the night. You can consume 1 capsule before going to bed each night. This product costs $72 each for the new customers, and $45 each if you are a member and have availed their membership discount.
You can easily fall, and stay asleep, with a restorative deep sleep and achieve the REM, and get up completely in refreshing form. This product supports and maintains all 4 stages of sleep, due to the presence of calming herb extracts, amino acids, and sleep hormone supports, which help you in getting better sleep for better life activities.
Formulated by various medical experts, and nutritionists, REM relief is the singular sleep improving formulation that helps the patient with non-addictive components to help with the four phases of sleep, namely NREM-1, 2, 3, and REM (the restorative sleep of the brain). Microgel helps in the total absorption of vital constituents, comprising BD, Chamomile, and melatonin, which help in restoring sleep.