CBD for sleep problems

Humans sleep through about 1/3 of their entire lives. Faced with this fact, one could quickly become a little sentimental, as it seems that we are missing out on a lot of lifetime. The fact is, however, that without sleep we would never be able to successfully go about our days and enjoy the benefits of life. This makes it all the more dramatic that many people suffer from sleep problems, which prevent them from getting the full potential out of their "waking hours". We often hear that CBD oil is a proven way to combat sleep problems. In this article we want to clarify what is true about this statement and how you can incorporate CBD into your sleep routine if necessary. 

1 Why sleep is so important 

Sleep scientists have found that, on average, an adult needs about seven to eight hours of sleep to recover effectively during the night's rest. If you fall short of this minimum amount of sleep, it is immediately noticeable - as we all know. A short or restless night is usually followed by an exhausting day, characterised by a leaden listlessness and insufficient ability to concentrate. If we lack sleep over a longer period of time, the consequences can be even more drastic. But why exactly is sleep so important for us?

When we are awake, we continuously need a maximum amount of energy. Brain, cardiovascular system, muscles and digestion run at full speed and directly determine what happens in our body. When we sleep it is different, which does not mean that the body becomes inactive. Rather, priorities change in terms of what physical activity is spent on. During sleep, our heart and breathing rates decrease, our blood pressure and body temperature drop, and our muscles relax. The body uses the capacities freed up to devote itself to regeneration and recovery .

During sleep, for example, cells are renewed, growth hormones are released, or muscle tissue is repaired. The activity of the immune system is also stimulated. So, there is some truth in the old adage that "sleep is the best medicine". In addition, a lot of important processes take place in the brain during the night's rest. For example, significant impressions and experiences of the day are transferred to the long-term memory or harmful substances are broken down. If our night's rest is disturbed, the processes in the body that serve regeneration are also disturbed, which ultimately explains the symptoms of sleep deprivation.

2 The causes of sleep problems 

In order to clarify the causes of sleep problems, two terms should first be distinguished from each other. The general term sleep problems colloquially refers mostly to unspecific impairments of sleep that occur only now and then and also do not follow any particular pattern. This includes, for example, occasional problems falling asleep or sleeping through the night or a temporarily shifted sleep rhythm. In contrast, the term sleep disorder describes sleep problems that meet defined criteria regarding their intensity and regularity and can therefore be diagnosed clinically.

"General" sleep problems - which certainly all of us have had at one time or another - are often triggered situationally by everyday stress. If we are exposed to heavy stress during the day, it is usually difficult for us to switch off in the evening or to fall into the inner peace that is necessary for healthy sleep. Often it is also the brooding in the evening - for example about problems or worries - and the associated emotional agitation that makes it difficult to fall asleep.

Sleep disorders that are based on a medical diagnosis are usually due to specific organic or psychological causes. For example, the presence of chronic pain significantly impairs restful sleep. What is particularly insidious is that there seems to be a reciprocal effect between a lack of sleep and the sensation of pain, which leads those affected into a vicious circle. Psychologically induced sleep disorders are also very common, e.g. triggered by emotional dejection or anxiety.

3 Sleep and CBD? 

CBD is one of over a hundred identified cannabinoids in the female hemp plant and actually has the potential to have a positive effect on our well-being through its interaction with our body's Endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has receptors both in the brain (CB1) and on the cells of our immune system (CB2) and is involved, for example, in the control of hormone balance or the regulation of inflammatory processes in the body.

CBD in commercial quantities and doses is initially particularly interesting for combating common sleep problems that are not based on a clinically diagnosed cause. Many users report that CBD generally has a relaxing effect on them and promotes their tiredness. Taking CBD not only has a positive effect on falling asleep, but also on the depth and length of sleep. In the case of "normal" sleep problems, it is therefore above all the calming effects of CBD that can improve sleep - for example after a strenuous day or before an exciting event.

Whether CBD can also be used in clinical doses for the treatment of organic or psychological complaints is still largely unclear. Often, the cannabinoid is said to have anti-inflammatory, nerve-protecting or hormone-regulating effects. However, it is not yet possible to make concrete statements on the therapeutic benefits of CBD, as the relevant research is still in its infancy.

4 tips for healthy sleep 

Even though CBD can promote our sleep, it should not be assumed that the cannabinoid is a miracle cure. For healthy and restful sleep, favourable conditions must always be created, the absence of which cannot be compensated for even by taking CBD. Therefore, it is recommended to develop a sleep routine in which CBD only plays a supplementary role in order to improve sleep. 

Good sleep hygiene already starts in everyday life. For example, regular exercise or abstaining from excessive consumption of coffee and alcohol are beneficial. In the evening hours, it should generally be ensured that the last meal of the day is not eaten too late and that physical activity is slowly reduced. Immediately before going to bed, it is important to ensure a good sleeping atmosphere. This includes, for example, cooling down the room temperature, reducing noise and light sources or putting away electronic devices.

The CBD drops should be taken about 15-30 minutes before going to bed. While waiting for the cannabinoids to be absorbed by the body, it is advisable to adopt a relaxed posture and prepare for falling asleep soon. At this point, it is suitable to read a book or do a breathing exercise. 

5 Conclusion 

In conclusion, it may be worthwhile to try CBD in combination with other sleep-promoting measures to combat common sleep problems. However, if there is a diagnosed sleep disorder in combination with physical or psychological complaints, we strongly advise against going it alone and recommend consulting your family doctor. The possible interactions between CBD and regularly taken medications should also be clarified with the doctor.