How did you sleep last night? Are you supposed to be sleeping right now? Poor sleep is a frustrating, and unfortunately common ailment. No wonder there are so many different remedies out there. Insomnia is a particularly tricky condition to both diagnose and treat. It often occurs concurrently with other conditions that range in severity from stress to sleep apnea or chronic diseases. Can CBD help insomnia? We did the research.
How Common is Insomnia?
According to research by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 1 in 4 Americans develop acute insomnia each year. This may seem like a lofty statistic; however, 75% of these individuals will only experience insomnia for a limited time, which is why it’s considered “acute.” The remaining estimated 25% develop “chronic” insomnia, meaning they continuously struggle with symptoms.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Symptoms of insomnia, according to the Mayo Clinic include:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early
- Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Irritability, depression, or anxiety
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks, or remembering
- Increased errors or accidents
- Ongoing worries about sleep
Causes of Insomnia
Causes of insomnia vary, and can include the following:
- Stress or anxiety
- Poor sleep hygiene: Such as not going to bed in a cool, quiet, dark room, or using electronics
- An irregular schedule
- Mental health issues
- Medication side effects
- Eating or exercising right before bed
- Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
- Other sleep disorders: Such as sleep apnea
- Other chronic conditions: Such as cancer or neurodegenerative diseases
In other words, unless your doctor diagnoses you with insomnia, you may not have insomnia at all. You may be experiencing symptoms of insomnia due to another medical condition or simply poor lifestyle habits. To receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for insomnia, be sure to consult your physician. He or she may refer you to a sleep clinic for expert advice and analysis.
Research on CBD for Insomnia
The American Sleep Association cited several studies in an attempt to answer whether or not CBD can help insomnia. The studies did show that sleep improved among participants, for the most part. There are also other variables to consider, such as what other factors (either controllable or uncontrollable) changed in participants’ lives. For example, starting a new job, having relationship issues, etc.
A common result in the studies was that anxiety levels — often studied concurrently — improved among participants. CBD also earned recognition for being a sleep aid that, in most cases, doesn’t result in grogginess the next morning.
When combined with other sleep-promoting ingredients, such as melatonin, CBD is an even more powerful option. CBD and melatonin combos are increasing in popularity, as well as other sleep formulations, incorporating lavender and other soothing ingredients.
Can You Take CBD Every Night Before Bed?
In a word — absolutely! CBD has not shown a risk of dependency or negative side effects in most cases, although, research is still being completed. If you’re experiencing a crappy (for lack of a better term) night’s sleep, night after night, taking CBD about 30 minutes before bed might just do the trick. There are plenty of tinctures, topicals, and more formulated for optimal sleep.
How to promote good sleep hygiene
Do yourself a few favors beyond the CBD treats. Make your bed or bedroom a sanctuary:
- Try not to keep the TV on too loud late at night, or even on at all in your bedroom as you wind down for the evening
- Allow yourself a few hours to settle back in after exercising or enjoying dinner
- Don’t consume alcohol or caffeine for several hours before bed
- Read a book or listen to some relaxing music
- Make sure your bed linens are breathable and comforting
- Consider turning on a fan or taking the temperature down a few notches
- Try to limit the amount of light in your room as much as possible
- Resist the urge to respond to notifications on your phone and put it on silent
- Try to go to bed and rise at the same time each day
Have you tried the above tips and nightly CBD to no avail? Consider visiting your physician. You may be on a medication that is resulting in poor sleep, or you may have another condition your doctor needs to evaluate for.
With your doctor’s OK, you can also try to up the strength of your serving of CBD before bed as well, as long as it is not with the risk of interacting with other medications. Sleep allows your body and mind to repair and recuperate from your busiest or even most mundane days — take the quality of it seriously, and make it a priority.