CBD and sleep wellness
Has it been hard to fall asleep, stay asleep or wake too early during a segment of time? You’re not alone.
Irregular sleep patterns and insomnia are often triggered by stress or a sudden change in quality of life, aches and pains, spending little time outside or limited exercise and changes in body temperature. Hello hormones! Does this sound familiar?
The repercussions of disrupted sleep can bring on both physical and mental health problems. Introduce a pandemic, and this number has snowballed.
Did you know you spend about one-third of your life asleep? Getting enough sleep is essential to your existence; it is important to brain functions including how nerve cells communicate with each other. Your brain and body stay remarkably active while you sleep.
Sleep is essential for life- we must take it seriously. It affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body. Research shows that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and obesity.
Let’s take some time to really understand how the sleep really works. There are 5 stages that repeat every night: wake, falling asleep, light sleep, deep sleep, REM, and repeat.
Stage 1 falling asleep: During this short period of relatively light sleep, your heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements are slow, and your muscles relax with occasional twitches.
Stage 2 light sleep: It is a period of light sleep before you enter deeper sleep. Your heartbeat and breathing slow, and muscles are relaxed. Your body temperature drops and eye movements stop.
Stage 3 deep sleep: It is the period of deep sleep occurring in longer periods during the first half of the night. Your heartbeat and breathing slow to their lowest levels during sleep. Your muscles are relaxed and it may be difficult to awaken you.
Stage 4 REM sleep: It first occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep. This is the dreamy time! Your eyes move rapidly from side to side behind closed eyelids. Your breathing becomes faster and irregular, and your heart rate and blood pressure increase to near waking levels.
These four stages repeat four to five times per night. Your body spends the majority of the night in light sleep but the deep sleep and the REM sleep is essential to feeling rested in the morning.
Did you know that recent research indicates that REM sleep is necessary for processing new information, i.e. learning. This is why infants spend twice as much time in REM sleep than adults due to their developing minds.
Insomia and trouble returning to sleep can be an issue for many adults. Maybe you can relate to this… a recent study reported that 69% of men and 76% of women over the age of 40 get up to go to the bathroom at least once per night. These visits can disturb a good nights sleep, so stay well hydrated during the day so you can keep your drinking habits low after dinner!
Tips on how to improve sleep:
1. Try a sleep application
These tools can analyze your sounds, movement, and behaviors as you sleep to give you a clear snapshot of the duration and quality of your sleep. They can also help you determine how much time you spend in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and how many times you are disturbed throughout the night.
We recommend that you start with truly understanding your sleep and these apps are great start. If you have not heard about them yet, here is a list of the best rated ones to consider: Sleep Score, Sleep Cycle, Garmin, Fitbit, Sleep Genius, Pillow, Sleep as Android. At ebb + flow we use and are happy with the Garmin and Sleep Score apps!
2. Put your screens away at least a half hour before bed and leave the TV out of your room
3. Skip the late afternoon and after dinner caffeine. Choose decaf options if you love an evening tea
4. Get fresh air and exercise every day
5. Incorporate CBD into your sleep wellness routine
How CBD can help you sleep better?
We can relate to all of the above. There are periods in our lives that make sleep balance challenging. Thankfully, a natural plant-based solution is here to the rescue. CBD is not addictive, does not contribute to psychoactive effect (like THC does) and when used by humans basically it mimics the natural functioning of our body.
We recommend taking a few drops of 10% CBD oil half an hour before going to bed. This will relax and balance your body to naturally feel sleepy and ready to go to bed.
How CBD affect sleep?
We have looked into scientific studies for you to help to understand the working of CBD and sleep.
A review on cannabinoids, sleep and anxiety summarized six early stage clinical studies that suggest that CBD may help reduce the signs of stress like muscle tightness, uneasiness and feelings of fear by blocking the action of certain chemicals in the nervous system. Very often the tension in your body does not allow it to relax enough to actually fall asleep.
Additionally, stress and not being able to turn off your mind, keep us awake. This was confirmed by a 2017 study on cortisol hormone which is the stress induced alarm hormone. When 11 healthy patients were given placebo (fake pill), their cortisol decreased at night, as expected. The cortisol concentrations dropped even more when given CBD supplements indicating CBD possibly effecting the secretion of this hormone, feelings of stress and allowing people to feel calmer. Feeling calm can be the first step to a good night’s sleep.
Adding to the understanding of why CBD may help sleep, studies are showing improved sleep in people with diagnosed sleep issues. A long-term study of sleep quality in 72 patients reported improved sleep scores in almost 67% of participants after one month of using CBD. These results are promising especially considering that the study participants were medically diagnosed with sleep issues.
Long term studies on cannabinoids and sleep are ongoing and critical to advance our understanding of CBD and how it can help both healthy individuals as well as those with clinically diagnosed sleep issues.
What is the take home message for you on CBD and sleep? The science is promising and CBD veterans love CBD as part of their sleep wellness routine to get back to the natural ebb + flow. It’s plant based, hangover free safe + non-addictive.
These statements are summarized from peer reviewed published scientific literature; however, have not been evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. Always consult your personal care physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD products should never be used by anyone under the age of 18, those that are pregnant or nursing. The contents of this blog are not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.
Photos by Andrea Piacquadio, Ketut Subiyanto, Ketut Subiyanto, Ketut Subiyanto, Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels