CBD and Its Effects on the Quality of Sleep
Everyone suffers from sleep deprivation once in a while. A lack of sleep usually results from sleep disorders. Some sleep disorders may resolve independently, especially in the absence of triggers. However, others can persist for months or even years, affecting the overall quality of life.
Many people resort to conventional over-the-counter sleep pills when grappling with sleep deprivation. Unknown to them, numerous alternative herbal extracts could be just as valuable (perhaps even more effective) than regular sleep medications. One such extract is CBD, and in this post, we look at the role of the compound in aiding sleep quality.
What Is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the over 130 naturally occurring, active chemicals in the cannabis plant that are marketed for their powerful healing properties. These compounds are technically known as cannabinoids.
Cannabidiol, as with other widely-studied cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has demonstrated a potential for improving sleep quality. The substance is available in several forms, all of which can provide immense sleep-aiding benefits. You can find CBD in inhalable products like vape juices, topical products like creams, and edible products like gummies.
Gummies have recently emerged as one of the most popular ways to consume cannabidiol. Besides providing CBD’s therapeutic benefits, gummies are more accessible to dose since they come with pre-measured CBD amounts. These products are also famous among CBD users looking for maximum discretion.
And the best part is that there are multiple online and physical retail outlets where you can get the best CBD gummies for sleep. You only need to perform some due diligence to ensure you’re purchasing the products from reputable vendors. That includes, among other things, checking for customer reviews.
Types of Sleep Disorders
According to the Sleep Foundation, sleep disorders can take many forms. Common ones include:
- Insomnia – Recurring difficulty falling or remaining asleep.
- Sleep apnea – A sleep-related breathing disorder that results from the temporary obstruction of the upper airway.
- Restless leg syndrome – A movement disorder marked by involuntary leg movements during sleep.
- Narcolepsy – A disorder characterized by extreme daytime fatigue despite getting adequate sleep at night.
- REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) – A sleep disorder where a person dramatizes their dreams.
Causes of Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders can result from one or more of the following causes;
- Excessive pain and/or inflammation
- Excessive stress and anxiety
- Hormonal changes
- Physical inactivity
- Certain chronic diseases, especially those that present pain as their primary symptoms
- Certain digestive problems, such as gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD)
- Specific prescription and recreational drugs
- Stimulating foods and drinks, such as chocolate and coffee
- Smoking and alcohol
- Jet lag
- Switching work shifts
- Uncomfortable sleeping bed or environment, such as the room being too cold, hot, or noisy
Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
- Trouble falling asleep
- Trouble remaining asleep
- Sleepiness during the day
- Reduced alertness and situational awareness
- Reduced concentration and attention span
- Slow reaction time
- Poor memory and decision-making skills
How CBD Might Improve Sleep Quality
1. CBD May Increase Sleep Latency
Sleep latency, also known as sleep onset time, refers to the average duration it takes to move from wakefulness to deep sleep. Sleep onset time varies from one person to another. But if the duration is too long, it will reduce sleep quality.
Cannabidiol is a sedative. The compound can shorten sleep latency when consumed around bedtime, improving sleep quality.
2. CBD May Prolong Sleep Duration
Not only might cannabidiol help you fall asleep faster. The compound can also keep you asleep much longer. That’s mainly due to its ability to reduce the time taken at rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
REM sleep is a phase during sleep marked by rapid, involuntary eye movements within the sockets. It’s during this stage that much of the dreaming takes place.
Dreams can potentially disrupt sleep, especially if they involve nightmares. So, by reducing the time taken at REM sleep, CBD ensures dreamless and more restful sleep.
3. CBD May Treat RBD
REM sleep behavior disorder is associated with additional risks besides affecting sleep quality. That’s because the condition can cause you to engage in potentially dangerous activities.
You can only imagine what would happen if you were to unconsciously attempt to cook a meal, take a bath, or repair electrical fixtures in the dead of night.
Not only has cannabidiol proven effective at reducing the duration of REM sleep. Studies indicate that the compound might also address RBD.
4. CBD May Relieve PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder marked by the recurrence of events from past traumatic experiences. The disorder produces a host of symptoms, most notably flashbacks and nightmares.
We’ve already pointed out how administering cannabidiol before sleep might help combat nightmares by shortening REM sleep. It turns out that CBD may also treat post-traumatic stress disorder, further reducing the occurrence of nightmares.
5. CBD May Treat Grogginess
Grogginess is another common sleep problem that you can address using cannabidiol.
Although CBD is famous for its sedating properties, a 2014 review established that the compound might promote wakefulness in humans and animals during the day.
Therefore, taking CBD as part of your breakfast may go a long way in mediating the symptoms of grogginess.
Cannabidiol’s sleep-aiding benefits are well-documented. But to maximize CBD’s benefits for sleep, remember to consume the compound in moderation. Note that CBD is mainly ineffective if overdosed. Besides, consuming more than your fair share of the substance might induce adverse effects.