One of the most common reasons people are looking to phytocannabinoids is for the sleep benefits. Sleep – both the quality and quantity of it — has received a lot of media attention lately, and rightly so; insomnia affects 10-20% of Americans. This lack of sleep is associated with a plethora of issues ranging from weight gain to an increased risk of heart disease. But, many people don’t actively do anything to help improve their sleep. Why? Some people don’t know where to start, others are afraid of nasty side-effects (and with good reason). Some of you may have already heard about how CBD can benefit sleep, but for those who haven’t, here is why CBD needs to be the newest addition to your sleep routine:
Sleep Habits are Paramount
Before you start adding supplements to your sleep regimen, you should examine your sleep habits to see if any changes to these could help. Are you going to bed at a consistent time (I found this to be my single greatest lifestyle shift for sleep improvement)? Are you taking your phone to bed with you? Are you consuming stimulating content, such as reading the news or watching scary movies or tv shows before bed? Are you eating clean, nutritious, nutrient-dense foods that give you the nutritional support to relax into sleep every night? The list goes on. But, if you’ve tried these tactics without success, you may need extra help.
In addition to lifestyle adjustments, supplementation can be very helpful in re-training your body to calm down in the evening and settle into a deeper sleep. After all, when your brain is firing all day, you may feel tired yet wired at night, desperately needing sleep but being unable to shut down.
The Endocannabinoid System
While there are many posts on our blog that explain how endocannabinoids work within your body, here is a refresher. Your body’s natural endocannabinoid system produces several endocannabinoids, such as 2-AG and anandamide, that bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body and affect and monitor a wide variety of bodily processes to keep everything in harmonious balance. While many lifestyle factors can throw the endocannabinoid system off track, phytocannabinoids help ‘re-set’ the system by mildly stimulating CB receptors, increasing the number of phytocannabinoids, and slowing the breakdown of endocannabinoids. By regulating the body’s endocannabinoid system, it will promote tranquility and a sense of calm, to help you get to sleep faster and improve sleep onset.
CBD and Sleep
The question remains: if I take CBD, will I feel sleepy throughout the day? Working for Twinlab, I get this question all the time from concerned moms with a million things to do throughout the day. The answer is no. If you’re taking something like Melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles, then it is more than likely that you’ll feel the dulling and habit-forming effects throughout the day. Ironically, since CBD is a natural plant cannabinoid, it does not work as a sedative – so you won’t feel tired all day. Instead, it calms and relaxes you to promote sleep onset. This makes it the best alternative to current habit and symptom-forming alternatives. In fact, the truth is that most people don’t have severe sleep conditions; the trouble isn’t staying asleep, it’s getting to sleep. If you’re anything like me, it’s the million things that are running through your head that keep you from getting those precious Z’s. CBD is perfect for this. CBD will help calm your mind, promote relaxation and a sense of calm, so you can get to sleep faster – and that’s the name of the game: faster sleep onset = more sleep.