In a world where we are facing an increasing level of stress to tend with on a daily basis, it is no surprise that a lot of people experience sleep problems. Whether it is worrying about work, money, exams, relationships or family problems, we have all experienced anxieties linked to these very human themes.
Especially in the current Covid-19 climate, where many of us are living in a very different world to only 8 months ago, our worries can easily take over our health and dictate our sleep patterns that in turn make everything a lot harder to deal with. A lack of sleep can warp reality, affect your appetite, and weight, concentration, memory and emotions. Overall, it is not rocket science to conclude that a lack of sleep is incredibly bad for your metal health and wellbeing.
You are not alone
In a sense it can be reassuring to know, whilst you are staring at the ceiling trying to get to sleep at night, that you are not alone. According to a report funded by Aviva as many as 16 Million UK adults suffer from sleep problems.
Top takes from the Wellbeing Report found that:
- 67% of UK adults suffer from disrupted sleep and 23% only manage an average of 5 hours sleep a night.
- 48% of UK adults admit that they do not feel that they get enough sleep. Women (54%) are more likely to agree opposed to men (41%).
- 13% of UK adults use sleeping tablets or drink alcohol to help them sleep
Common sleep remedies and their unwanted side effects
There are numerous ‘cures’ to sleep related issues. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and some remedies or knacks will always work better for some more than others. However, many of the products currently on the market will come with adverse and unwanted side effects. Whether you have been prescribed medication such as benzodiazepine type drugs, commonly described as Valium (diazepam), Ambien (zolpidem) and zopiclone or just the behind the counter sleeping pills, they will all come with side effects. The majority of medication will leave you feeling groggy headed in the morning. Not the ideal for those wanting to wake up feeling rested and energized after a long sleep.
Sleeping pills can also be highly addictive, giving them the potential to be very harmful. Drugs such as Valium have also been linked to side effects such as dependence, with people who use them often experiencing dangerous withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop.
Alcohol is not a good alternative either. Waking up hungover, dehydrated and tired can feel the same, if not worse, than bad night’s sleep. Research has shown that sleepers who consume large amounts of alcohol before going to sleep are often prone to problems with delayed sleep onset. This means that they often need more time to fall asleep.
One of the reasons is due to the liver enzymes metabolizing the alcohol during the night and the blood alcohol level decreasing. Individuals are also more likely to experience sleep disruptions and a decreased level in sleep quality throughout the night.
1) CBD can reduce anxiety
Many find that that CBD can alleviate anxiety and depression. By working with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in self-regulation, CBD is able to affect changes in our mood and state of relaxation.
What is the endocannabinoid system? Our bodies produce endocannabinoids every day. These endocannabinoids bind to receptors (CB1 and CB2) all over our bodies. Many scientists believe that taking CBD allows our bodies’ naturally produced cannabinoids to hand around for longer , prolonging a calming effect.
Another well regarded theory is that the interactions between CBD oil and CB1 alter serotonin signals. The core problem at the heart of anxiety disorders is low serotonin—a neurotransmitter related to mood and well-being.
In summary the less anxious we are, the more likely we are to get a good night’s sleep. By reducing our anxiety it allows the body to relax which means it is not only easier to get to sleep but to stay asleep throughout the night. Even if you do not suffer from Insomnia and just need a little help subsiding the nerves the night before a big day, CBD will assist you in reducing those worries and aiding a good night’s sleep.
2) CBD and Pain management
For many people experiencing chronic pain, cannabidiol (CBD) oil is steadily gaining popularity as a natural and holistic approach to pain relief. The use of cannabis for pain management can even be traced back as far as ancient China.
As we have discussed before, Cannabidiol oil has direct effects on the endocannabinoid system in the brain and our bodies receptors. CBD also affects other chemicals in our brain, such as serotonin and anandamide. These chemicals are a powerful tool in reducing the body’s perception of pain. CBD is generally considered a full-body treatment, which means that it does not target back pain specifically, except in the case of topical products, but contributes to an overall feeling of relaxation and pain relief.
CBD is also a powerful antioxidant which suppresses inflammation. Inflammation occurs as a natural protective response when the human body is harmed or agitated. There are two types of inflammation: chronic and acute:
Chronic inflammation refers to a prolonged inflammatory response in the body. When inflammation persists, it can have a detrimental impact on tissues and organs in the body due to the increased production of free radicals. This results in oxidative stress, an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals.
Acute inflammation occurs following an illness, infection, or injury. The immune system releases immune cells to the affected area to protect it. This results in redness and swelling.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics make it a useful tool in aiding the body’s recovery. CBD is also handedly available in many forms, not just oils and capsules. Topical creams and gels which make it a good option for targeting isolated aches such as back and neck pain and arthritis.
3) CBD and Somnolence
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary ‘ Somnolence’ means “ A feeling of wanting to sleep, or the state of almost sleeping”. Somnolence is an incredibly important factor in ensuring a good nights sleep and beating insomnia. Day times sleepiness can leave us feeling weak and with a lack of mental concentration and agility. This state of mental lethargy also directly effects our ability to sleep at night. It is a dangerous cycle.
CBD has a dual effect depending on the individual and time of day it is administered. This is because it regulates the body’s sleep/wake cycles, helping to promote wakefulness during daytime and relaxation at night. Insomnia, daytime sleepiness, or somnolence, can impact both daytime productivity and the ability to fall asleep at night.
CBD can actually help you focus and be more alert: Another way to look at CBD, is to see it as an adaptogen. It works with your body’s natural rhythms. Administration of CBD during daylight hours helps promote alertness, leading to more restful sleep at night.
CBD has been shown to be a great alternative to traditional medication for insomnia and sleep related problems. Commonly prescribed drugs too often run the risk of abuse, addiction, overdose and often come with a plethora of negative and unwanted side-effects.
Cannabinoids, on the other hand, work by acting on the Endocannabinoid system and can help to reduce anxiety and stress levels. CBD produce a natural sedative and calming effect that promotes quality and quantity sleep.
However, it is important to stress that everybody reacts differently, regardless of how natural they are. If you are new to CBD start with a small dosage and work your way up. Less is always better at the begging, as you get to understand your bodies tolerance. Another important point is that you must always only buy certified CBD. All CBD products in the UK contain less than 0.2% CBD. Most brands will make their THC lab tests available to view, this is a good sign of a trusted CBD supplier.
CBD is sold as a food supplement, and as a result, It’s illegal to claim it treats, prevents, or helps cure an illness or disease. No health claims have been made in this article.