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Can CBD Oil Improve Poor Sleep?
If you have struggled to sleep and are one of a growing number of insomniacs, then this will come as good news.
With such busy lives and growing stress levels, active minds keep millions of people awake every night.
Some sleeping medication might work, but the drowsiness lingers along with a dry mouth, making them unpleasant for many.
One of the new and emerging sleep aids, CBD oil, is growing in popularity worldwide for the incredible results it is getting while being 100% natural with great health benefits and no adverse side effects.
Can CBD Oil Help For Sleep Aid?
CBD helps control and improve the refreshment of REM sleep and is especially helpful when treating disorders that result in sleep deprivation, such as Parkinson’s Disease.
One of the top reasons for poor sleep or total insomnia is stress and anxiety.
Calming the mind and body to the point where sleep is possible is a challenge for growing numbers of people.
CBD oil is well known for its calming and relaxing properties, and because it is 100% natural is a preferred sleeping “medication” for many people.
What Are The Causes Of Insomnia
As insomnia essentially means sleeping problems, there are multiple different aspects that can cause it. There are many reasons why you can get insomnia; however, the main two causes are high anxiety and chronic pain (pain that lasts for a long time).
Chronic pain can emerge in numerous ways; it can come from a pre-existing injury or as a result of long term illnesses or health conditions.
Some examples of pain from a pre-existing injury include back and neck pain. These can also occur over time as a result of bad posture. The pain felt by these can be enough to cause insomnia.
Multiple illnesses can cause pain that causes insomnia. Some of these illnesses include:
- Dementia: One of the lesser-known symptoms of dementia is it can stress and unsettle patients at night, causing them to sleep less.
- Cancer: The inflammatory pain from cancer can cause significant sleep disruption, vomiting and general sickness.
- Parkinson’s disease: Parkison’s disease patients can often sleep for less time than most people. The condition can also cause patients to wake up more often suddenly because it can block out the brain signalling for sleep and disrupt the REM sleep stage (Rapid Eye Movement). Dreams usually occur during this stage, and your brain activity increases.
- Arthritis: Arthritis causes inflammation of the joints, leading to stiffness, making it very difficult to sleep comfortably.
- Multiple Sclerosis: The muscle spasms that MS causes can happen randomly, including when you’re sleeping. Muscle spasms are very sudden and painful, and are easily enough to wake you up.
While there are many ways to get insomnia from pain, CBD and other cannabinoids from the cannabis Sativa plant can help with pain relief and insomnia. CBD can help by numbing the brain’s responses to inflammatory pain.
Multiple anxiety disorders can cause health conditions like insomnia. They do this by causing very high-stress levels. Some examples of anxiety disorders that can cause insomnia include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD happens because of a previous traumatic experience or injury. PTSD flashbacks can cause constant stress and prevent sleep.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD causes constant compulsive behaviours, such as specific organising and worrying. These compulsive behaviours can disrupt sleep if the patient stresses during the sleep process.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): SAD causes you to worry about social interactions. These worries can stress you out during sleep in severe cases, causing insomnia.
- Panic Disorder: Panic disorder can cause significant sleep disruptions. Panic attacks can happen randomly and cause chest pains, breathing problems, etc. These symptoms heavily disrupt sleep and can cause serious cases of insomnia.
As well as anxiety disorders, mental health disorders such as clinical depression can also cause sleep deprivation.
Thankfully, CBD has calming effects that patients can feel very early. In addition, they are more effective for insomnia than other medications (antidepressants) and have fewer side effects.
CBD can also lower blood pressure, which can improve sleep.
How Does CBD Oil Work for Sleep?
Research into how CBD oil works is still relatively limited, but tests show that CBD oil is an effective solution for insomnia and other sleeping disorders.
Many people are very aware of the mellowing and relaxing properties of cannabis but don’t wish to experience the high that comes along with it. Unlike cannabis, CBD products have none of the THC that creates the high associated with recreational use.
CBD does, however, retain the many relaxing and therapeutic properties of the cannabis plant.
CBD oil works with the human endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in almost all bodily functions. For example, CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to control and regulate the sleep cycle in the body.
CBD is known to have excellent calming properties and reduces anxiety and stress levels in the body.
So while it doesn’t induce drowsiness or encourage immediate sleep, it helps lower stress and anxiety levels in the body and brain and enables you to ‘switch off’ at night.
Unlike conventional sleeping pills that may create a “sleep hangover”, CBD addresses the causes of insomnia rather than the symptoms of insomnia itself. Overall, CBD calms a person down, and when we are calm, sleep comes easier.
When considering using CBD oil for sleep disorders, we recommend that you seek professional medical advice.
If another illness causes a sleep disorder or you take medication, there is a chance of adverse effects.
While CBD is 100% natural, taking CBD oil is best done after medical or professional advice.
I should note that many doctors and professionals are warming to the benefits of CBD.
What Side Effects Are There When Taking CBD For Sleep?
Whilst there are some side effects of CBD, they have more minor side effects than most medications you can get from a doctor or health care professional.
Side effects are also not that common when taking CBD unless you consistently take higher doses. Some side effects you can get include:
- A lack of appetite, which can lead to weight changes
Drowsiness as a side effect isn’t very detrimental if you’re taking CBD oil for insomnia because if you take CBD before you go to sleep, you likely won’t notice drowsiness. You’ll only see it if you take it earlier in the day; if you take CBD a lot during the day, it can cause excessive daytime sleepiness.
Despite the general side effects of CBD being manageable, you need to ensure you are getting the right CBD product to avoid further side effects. Your healthcare professional will likely give you the correct product, but if they need to import a product from an overseas location, it’s best to research that products quality to be safe.
What Are The Best CBD Sleep Products?
If you want to try CBD to combat insomnia, you need to consider which type of CBD to acquire.
The three main types of CBD include:
- Full-spectrum CBD: Contains the cannabidiol CBD and a small amount of THC.
- Broad-spectrum CBD: Contains the cannabidiol CBD and tiny amounts of THC (roughly 0.3% THC)
- CBD Isolate: CBD isolate contains no THC, just CBD.
If you take CBD for an anxiety disorder, you should only take CBD isolate products because the THC in full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD can cause high-stress levels if you take a high dose.
If you are taking CBD for pain-related insomnia, any of the three types can help give you a good night’s sleep. In addition, the calming effect of THC can allow for more extended sleep patterns.
What Forms Of CBD Product Are There?
In terms of the forms of available CBD products, there are many forms you can acquire from a doctor.
The most common CBD product available to you is CBD oil. You use CBD oil by dropping the correct dosage onto the part of your mouth underneath your tongue, holding it there for between thirty and sixty seconds, and swallowing. If you prefer something less time consuming, you can also get CBD oral spray.
You can also get edible CBD products, such as gummies, capsules and lozenges. The exact dosage of each edible product will be made clear on the packaging.
Another alternative to CBD oil is a vaporiser, which is essentially an inhaler that you fill with CBD cartridges.
If you are using CBD to help with insomnia caused by pain such as back pain, you can use CBD creams, gels or patches, and apply them to the area of your body where the pain originates. These work similarly to other CBD products, but they are better for targeting specific pain than covering the whole body.
How Do You Get CBD Products For Sleep In New Zealand?
As of writing in 2022, the only legal method of acquiring CBD products for medical use in New Zealand is to obtain a medical prescription.
You can ask your doctor what types of CBD products they can prescribe to you, and if you need a product that they don’t stock, they can get it imported from an overseas location (if necessary).
Without a prescription, you can’t legally purchase CBD in New Zealand. Therefore, that means that any CBD product you see on store shelves or on an online store is likely not a legal CBD product.
Suppose you need a product that the New Zealand Ministry of Health hasn’t approved. In that case you need to ask your doctor to ask the Ministry for their approval on the product by sending a special recommendation application.
If you want to travel and bring your CBD product with you in your luggage, you have to have a copy of your prescription letter, officially declare the product on the necessary forms, and bring it in its original box. You also can’t carry more than a three month supply in your luggage.
Although recreational CBD products (products with higher levels of THC) can help some people, they are currently not legal in New Zealand.
Can You Use CBD Oil For Other Sleep Disorders?
As well as insomnia, there are multiple other sleep disorders. Some of these sleep disorders include:
- REM sleep behaviour disorder: REM sleep behaviour disorder is a disorder that causes complex sleep related behaviours such as patients acting out their dreams. The REM sleep stage causes dreams to occur more often, so the disorder will come into effect during this stage. The dreams you act out can range from harmless to violent and dangerous dreams.
- Sleep Apnea: A disorder that causes sudden wake-ups after a disruption to your breathing. Sleep Apnea can happen due to your brain not telling you to breathe during sleep, when your muscles block your airway or a combination of the two.
- Narcolepsy: This causes excessive daytime sleepiness. If you suffer from narcolepsy, you will have sudden sleep attacks (similar in concept to a panic attack) during the day.
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS): RLS is a disorder that causes spasms in your legs while you sleep.
CBD can help reduce the sleep problems these disorders cause, as the calming effect will heavily reduce the symptoms. More research needs to happen on CBD’s specific impact on certain sleep disorders like RLS, but the research so far is promising.
Conclusion: Can CBD Oil Improve Poor Sleep?
In conclusion, CBD for sleep is a relatively new but effective method of sleep improvement. It can provide restful sleep and combat sleep problems caused by pain, anxiety disorders and sleep disorders.
Scientists still need to conduct more CBD research to determine its full effects on sleep. Still, the research so far states that the calming effects of CBD oil and other CBD products make it an effective solution to improve sleep.
Side effects are mostly minimal and don’t happen often but can occur if you take higher doses of CBD.
The main form of CBD for a more restful sleep is CBD oil, but you can also get gels, creams, lozenges, tablets, oral sprays, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use CBD Oil If I Have Trouble Sleeping?
Although it is best to determine the reason for your lack of sleep first (get a diagnosis from a doctor), CBD can still help you sleep if you want some extra help.
The calming effects of CBD are enough to aid most people in falling asleep but are especially effective for those suffering from prolonged pain, an anxiety disorder or a sleep disorder.
What CBD Oil Dosage Should I Take To Get To Sleep?
The dosage you take will depend on a few factors, including your body weight and the strength of the CBD oil you get a doctor to prescribe for you.
For example, If your body weighs 150 pounds and have a 1mg bottle of CBD oil, you should take 15 mg per day (dosage goes up by 15mg per 1mg strength)
Can Too Much CBD Oil Keep Me Awake?
If CBD oil keeps you awake, you need to ask your doctor to reassess and re-establish your daily dosage.
A high dosage of CBD can induce sleep in some people but will make others feel the side effects. Therefore, you need the proper dosage for you so that CBD induces sleep.
What Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation Are There?
If you suffer from sleep deprivation, common symptoms can include:
- Daytime sleepiness and general drowsiness.
- A reduction in your concentration levels.
- Slower thought processes.
- A negative change in your mood.
The easiest way to determine if you are sleep deprived is to assess how tired you are during the day. If you are tired all day, you have sleep deprivation.
How Will CBD Put Me To Sleep?
CBD has a well-known calming effect on people who take it, but to be specific, it lowers your cortisol levels when you’re sleeping.
If you have high cortisol levels, it will increase your anxiety levels, often resulting in insomnia. Conversely, CBD lowers cortisol levels, reducing stress and anxiety during sleep.