CBD Oil For Sleep: Does CBD Oil Really Help You Sleep?

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The conventional methods of treating sleep disorders include using relaxants and sleeping pills. These methods come with a considerable amount of side effects and limitations. CBD oil has emerged as a safe and effective method of treating different sleep disorders. This article will explore the current research surrounding the use of CBD Oil For Sleep disorders, its mechanism of action, effects on sleep, benefits over conventional methods, and methods of use.  

Let’s get to it.

How Does CBD Oil Help With Sleep?

A good night’s sleep is extremely important for your overall health. In fact, having a quality sleep is just as important as eating, drinking or exercising.

How does CBD oil help improve sleep? Here are some important points based on the research that might explain the effects of CBD oil on sleep.

# 1: CBD Oil Promotes Sleep By Relaxing Muscles

Stress, fatigue, anxiety, and pain can lead to an immense increase in muscle spasticity. Muscle spasms are extremely uncomfortable and can hinder you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Researchers have noticed that techniques that aid in relieving muscle spasms and induce muscle relaxation are quite successful in improving sleep quality and quantity as well.

CBD oil has a potent anti-spasmodic effect. It can reduce muscle tension and help your muscles relax. CBD oil has been found to be quite effective in the most severe cases of muscle spasms, such as in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) [5].

As a result, once your muscles are relaxed, your body becomes relaxed overall. This can help you get quality sleep.

# 2: CBD Oil Improves Sleep Quality and Quantity By Relieving Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the biggest risk factors that can trigger insomnia.

Research has shown that individuals who have clinically significant insomnia are more likely to have clinically significant anxiety as well.

In one study, researchers noticed the prevalence of insomnia and day time sleepiness (a marker of insomnia) among individuals with anxiety.

They found that 16 percent of the participants with clinically significant insomnia has severe anxiety as well.

This was in comparison to only 8 percent of individuals who were found to have clinically significant insomnia but no significant anxiety (6).

Furthermore, they also noticed that 51 percent of the participants who were noticed to have excessive day time sleepiness had significant anxiety as well.

This is in comparison to the 31 percent participants with day time sleepiness but had no significant anxiety [6].

CBD oil is an effective and scientifically proven way to relieve anxiety. Researchers have found that CBD oil acts on the cannabinoid receptors on the brain.

These receptors then lead to a reduction in the release of inflammatory chemicals and increase the amount of neurotransmitters that promote calmness and relaxation, such as dopamine [7].

It is through the anti-anxiety mechanisms that the use of CBD oil can help improve sleep quantity and quality as well.

# 3: CBD Oil For Sleep Helps Improve Circadian Rhythm

Circadian rhythm is also termed as the ‘biological clock.’ In simple terms, it is a natural clock that is linked to the natural cues. Here is what this means.

Our bodies are naturally designed in a way that they get synchronized with the environment.

For instance, it is natural for human beings to wake up in the morning and sleep at night time after the sun sets.

Have you ever thought why and how this happens? The answer to this is ‘circadian rhythms.’

The areas of the brain that control the circadian rhythm are located in an area of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus.

When there is sunlight, these brain areas give your body a signal to ‘wake up.’

When the sun sets, and there is dark outside, this area causes a change in the signals and makes your body go into a ‘sleep mode.’

Several sleep disorders are associated with problems with the circadian rhythm.

In simple words, in most of these disorders, the body does not go to sleep at night and does not wake up in the morning.

CBD oil can help restore the circadian rhythm and can help improve sleep quality and quantity as well.

Researchers have noticed that brain regions involved in the regulation of circadian rhythms, such as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, express an abundance of endocannabinoid receptors and represent a part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) [8].

Scientists have also noticed that the use of CBD can lead to the activation of the suprachiasmatic nucleus.

This can lead to the restoration of the circadian rhythms.

As a result, it can help improve several sleep disorders as well (8).

# 4: CBD Oil Triggers Sleep By Reducing Pain

Another factor that severely comprises your sleep quality and quantity is the presence of pain. The prevalence of insomnia among the sufferers of pain disorders is staggering.

British researchers studied the prevalence of insomnia among individuals with chronic back pain. To their surprise, no less than 47 percent of participants with chronic back pain had insomnia [9].

There is an extensive amount of research done on the use of CBD oil for relieving pain in different disorders. All of the research has consistently proven that the use of CBD oil can help improve pain [10].

Once you are pain-free, you are more likely to enjoy good quality sleep.

What are the Effects of CBD Oil For Sleep?

We still do not completely understand as to why human beings really need to sleep. Several mechanisms have been proposed.

Researchers believe that sleep time acts as a reset clock for our bodies where our bodies recover their strength and repair themselves [1]. An average adult should get 7-8 hours of sleep every day.

When it comes to sleep, several variables are quite important. It is important that you get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day. Also, the quality of sleep is equally important.

Based on the research, the following are some of the sleep-related variables that the use of CBD oil help with (8).

  • Sleep Quality:CBD oil improves the quality of sleep. With the use of CBD oil, you are more likely to have an uninterrupted sleep through the night.
  • The quantity of Sleep: Since CBD oil helps correct your circadian rhythm, it can help you go to sleep early and can help you get up in the morning as well. As a result, it can aid you in getting the right hours of sleep as well.
  • The onset of Sleep: Another factor that most of the insomnia sufferers struggle with it the sleep onset. In other words, at times, it gets increasingly difficult to get to sleep. CBD oil can help you as it gives you that ‘kick,’ which can help you go to sleep faster.
  • Amount of Deep Sleep: An ordinary sleep has got several stages- some of which represent deeper stages of sleep. CBD oil can help you remain in those deeper stages of sleep for longer.

How Effective Is CBD Oil For Sleep Disorders?

In addition to insomnia, the use of CBD oil has been found effective in a number of other sleep-related disorders. Following are some sleep-related disorders where the use of CBD oil has been found effective (8).

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a type of sleeping disorder that is seen in certain individuals with breathing problems. The main problem in obstructive sleep apnea is that the sufferers go through spells of not breathing so well (apnea spells) during their sleep. As a result, they have to wake up in the middle of the night to catch their breath, and this interrupts the sleep and leads to daytime drowsiness.

Researchers have found that CBD oil is quite effective for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea. What the scientists have noticed is that CBD leads to a significant reduction in the number of apnea spells. This lead to an improved quality of sleep and a reduction in the daytime drowsiness.

REM Behavior Disorders

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) is a part of a normal sleep cycle in which you are in a deep sleep, and you are actively dreaming. In REM disorders, your body does not go into deep sleep, and you wake up quite easily on disturbance.

As mentioned before, CBD oil promotes REM sleep or deep sleep. This prevents you from getting disturbed on interruptions.

What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil For Sleep Over Conventional Treatments?

The conventional methods of treating insomnia and other sleeping disorders include the use of pharmacological treatments such as sleeping pills such and diazepam, Xanax or other drugs that could help you relax.

These drugs come with a multitude of side effects. These drugs can lead to excessive sedation, can lead to dependence, and lead to several other side effects.

CBD oil, on the other hand, has a far better safety profile.

Following are some of the benefits of CBD oil over conventional methods used for the treatment of insomnia.

1. No Addiction:

CBD oil, unlike the conventional treatments, isn’t addictive. The dopamine levels in the body are the source of addictions. Addictive drugs increase dopamine levels. However, CBD oil doesn’t influence dopamine levels too much. It also doesn’t contain any THC in it.  

On the other hand, anti-depressants are addictive because they increase the dopamine and serotonin levels in the body. 

In fact, CBD oil helps relieve addiction of different addictive substances like cocaine, cigarette, opioid, alcohol, and marijuana.

2. No Withdrawal Symptoms:

Anti-depressants and anti-pain killers can cause withdrawal symptoms.

The reasons being they change the chemistry of the brain, and when you suddenly stop them, the brain reacts in different ways, which make you dependent on the medication.

Researchers haven’t found a single study yet which shows that CBD oil causes withdrawal symptoms.

Again, CBD oil can actually be useful for treating the withdrawal symptoms of a number of drugs, like morphine, cigarette, and THC cannabis.

3. Minor Side effects:

Although CBD oil has some side effects, they are minor to cause any serious damage. In 2017, a review in the Journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research examined the effect of CBD oil with epilepsy and psychotic disorders. CBD oil showed only minor side effects like tiredness, fatigue, and loss in weight and appetite. These side effects are also quite rare.

4. Limited Drug Interactions:

CBD oil interacts with some drugs. However, these interactions are quite limited and don’t have dangerous effects, unlike conventional medications.

Some common drugs with which CBD oil interacts with, are anti-depressants, antipsychotics, antihistamines, steroids, beta blockers, sulfonylureas, anti-epileptics, and calcium channel blockers.

Drug interactions either multiply the dose or have the opposite effect. Therefore, if you are taking CBD oil, you need to avoid the drugs with which it interacts.

5. Low toxicity:

CBD oil is safe and doesn’t cause toxicity. Studies have shown that the intake of CBD oil every day for six weeks doesn’t cause any toxicity.

This means that the daily consumption of CBD oil is also quite safe.

On the other hand, anti-depressants can be toxic, and they can cause neurological damage, along with other adverse effects.

6. Benefits on Multiple Fronts:

Here are some other benefits of CBD oil over conventional treatments: 

  • CBD oil can relieve stress and anxiety because it directly affects both the limbic and paralimbic brain areas.
  • A number of studies have shown that CBD oil can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity. It also regulates insulin levels. Excess of insulin in the body causes weight gain and obesity. 
  • CBD oil also helps in alleviating inflammation and pain caused by conditions, like arthritis, Multiple sclerosis, and joint pain.
  • CBD oil is quite effective against sleep disorders. It treats the conditions associated with sleeping disorders, like anxiety, general imbalance, and restlessness, which helps in better sleep.
  • CBD oil is helpful against neurodegenerative disorders. Two studies done in 2014 and 2015 showed that CBD oil significantly reduces the agitation and aggression associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

7. No Sedation

Another major side effect of the usual antidepressants and sleeping tablets is that they cause excessive sedation. This can lead to day time sedation as well.

This can make you uncomfortable throughout the whole day. Also, it can have serious consequences as well. For instance, it is certainly not safe to drive under the effect of such pills.

CBD oil, on the other hand, does not come with this side. While it helps you relax but it does not lead to sedation.

Also, it does not lead to daytime sedation. In fact, it helps relieve day time sedation.

How to Use CBD Oil For Sleep?

Let’s now discuss different methods of using CBD oil for promoting sleep. Here are some suggestions on how you can CBD oil for a better sleeping experience.

1. Tincture Method:

A CBD tincture is a dietary supplement that comes in liquid form and has a large amount of cannabidiol content in it.

The best way to make this tincture is by steeping CBD oil in alcohol and then cooking over low heat for several minutes. After, insert this mixture in an mL dropper.

You can either directly swallow the drops of mL dropper or take it as an eyedropper. Some people are allergic to the bitter after-taste of CBD oil.

Therefore, they can just add the drops in their food, like drinks, salad dressings, chicken, etc.

The main advantage of using this method for sleep is that it is quite easy. It also facilitates fast absorption. However, it contains a less potent form of CBD oil.

2. CBD Edibles:

With CBD edibles, you just have to follow three simple steps: buy, eat and enjoy. Hemp and marijuana are the main sources of CBD edibles.

The most popular CBD edibles are in honey and chocolate form.

However, the most comfortable one is in the form of chewing gums, which are quite tasty and effective.

The main benefit of CBD edible is that it has a long-lasting effect.

Therefore, the effect will go on for the whole night, and you can sleep without any worries. It also causes less irritation in the lungs, unlike some methods.

However, these edibles take some time to kick in.

3. CBD Capsules:

CBD capsules are an effective way to use CBD oil for sleep because you just have to intake them like any other capsule.

The capsules are generally available in the market in a 30-count jar.

You can intake CBD capsules after taking your dinner.

You should take the precaution to intake it half an hour before sleeping.

The main advantage of this method that it is quite easy and quick. In addition, it’s also flavor free, so you don’t have to worry about the after-taste.

However, it is a bit expensive. The capsule also takes a few hours to take effect.

4. CBD Vape Method:

The Vape method for CBD intake is quite effective as it has a sudden effect.

You just have to buy a vape and CBD in crushed crystalline form.

Add the crushed crystals into the vape juice, and you are good to go.

To intake CBD Vape, just inhale and exhale as you do with a cigarette.

Just exhale air through the lungs.

Then inhale it. Hold for three seconds and exhale again.

The major advantage of this method is that it is cost-effective and helps in substituting the urge to smoke other drugs.

However, people with nausea and lung problems should avoid using the Vape method.

5. CBD Topical:

Using Topical CBD is a great way to get all the benefits of CBD, without orally ingesting it.

It is easily available as an ointment cream in different online markets.

To use CBD ointment cream, just apply it on your skin before going to sleep.

Take the cream out in a small quantity, and gently massage it over different body areas, like neck, feet or elbows.

CBD topical is quite beneficial for pain relief and fighting skin infections.

You also do not have to worry about the bitter aftertaste, as with the oral methods.

However, people with sensitive skin should avoid it, due to the risk of skin irritation.

Conclusion

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A good night’s sleep is so important that sleep deprivation can make you prone to countless health conditions.

We now know that chronic sleep deprivation is one of the biggest risk factors for countless ailments.

These include metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders (like heart attacks), substance abuse, and psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression, etc. [2].

We need to explore alternative methods that can help promote good quality sleep. One such method is the use of CBD oil.

The use of CBD Oil For Sleep is an effective, scientifically proven, and safe way of treating sleep-related disorders. It promotes sleep naturally and does not lead to significant side effects.

However, it is always advisable to consult with your healthcare provider as your sleeping problem might be the result of some of your other health problems.

Research

  1. Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, et al. Neuroscience. 2nd edition. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2001.
  2. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006.
  3. https://www.sleepassociation.org/about-sleep/sleep-statistics/
  4. Nuray Dayapoğlu, et al. Evaluation of the Effect of Progressive Relaxation Exercises on Fatigue and Sleep Quality in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Oct; 18(10): 983–987.
  5. Thorsten Rudroff, et al. Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis. Front Neurol. 2018; 9: 183.
  6. Nour Choueiry, et al. Insomnia and Relationship with Anxiety in University Students: A Cross-Sectional Designed Study. PLoS One. 2016; 11(2): e0149643.
  7. Esther M. Blessing, et al. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015 Oct; 12(4): 825–836.
  8. Kimberly A. Babson. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2017) 19: 23
  9. Purushothaman B, et al. Prevalence of insomnia in patients with chronic back pain. J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2013 Apr;21(1):68-70.
  10. Natalya M. Kogan, et al. Cannabinoids in health and disease. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2007 Dec; 9(4): 413–430.

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