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CBD Oil for Sleep: Will It Make a Difference?

CBD for Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for:

  • Your mental health,
  • Bodily functions, and
  • Overall wellbeing.

But many people struggle to fall asleep.

And for those who suffer from sleep disorders, the health detriments can be severe. 

So, is using CBD oil for sleep a good idea?

Possibly.

The good news is: 

CBD oil shows a lot of promise as a sleep aid and treatment for sleep disorders.

But the research is still in its early days. 

So, here’s what you need to know about using CBD for sleep. 

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a supplement that people use to support their health and wellbeing.

CBD oil's main ingredient, CBD, is one of over 100 compounds found in the cannabis or hemp plant. (Hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant that contains 0.2% or less THC content).

When ingested, CBD interacts with receptors in your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a vital role in regulating how you feel, sleep, eat, handle pain and even how you remember things.

Research has shown that CBD can induce significant effects against inflammation, pain, mood disorders, and sleep issues

CBD oil is one of the most widely available and versatile forms of CBD.

Research on CBD for Sleep

There are seemingly endless claims about the health benefits of CBD oil. So you rightfully may be a little sceptical.

Yet, recent research shows that CBD’s sleep-improving qualities have great potential: 

A recent retrospective case series published in 2019 in the Permanente Journal investigated the effects of CBD on 72 patients with sleep and anxiety complaints. Patients had their sleep and anxiety scores measured before CBD treatment started. The results of the study found that sleep scores improved in 66.7% of patients within the first month of treatment and that CBD was well tolerated

A review published in the Current Psychiatry Reports journal in 2017 also investigated CBD and sleep, analysing literature involving cannabinoids as a sleep treatment. The review found that CBD may hold promise as a treatment for the sleep conditions excessive daytime sleepiness and REM sleep behaviour disorder

These studies highlight the potential of CBD oil for sleep.

That said, research into CBD and sleep is still in its infancy. Much more research is needed to properly understand exactly how CBD might improve sleep quality and to what level. Controlled clinical cases involving CBD and sleep are especially needed before major conclusions can be drawn. 

How Does CBD Work for Sleep?

CBD oil can induce a range of health benefits, including improving sleep quality.

But how does CBD oil actualy help you sleep?

It's generally accepted that CBD oil doesn't directly make you feel drowsy like conventional sleeping tablets, rather it helps you to get to sleep (and stay asleep) by targeting the cause of your sleep issues.

For example:

Decreases Anxiety 

One way that CBD oil might improve sleep is by reducing anxiety levels. 

There is a clear link between anxiety and reduced sleep quality, and it’s not hard to picture why.

Anxiety is a mood disorder that often manifests as feelings of worry, dread, or fear. Anxiety can drastically limit your ability to complete everyday tasks. It can also result in a reduction in sleep quality, and there may be an underlying relationship between anxiety and insomnia

CBD has demonstrated a significant ability to reduce anxiety levels, which could help to explain how CBD can improve sleep scores.

CBD’s anxiolytic effects are rather impressive, with a 2019 study finding that CBD oil was able to significantly lower anxiety scores in teenage patients with social anxiety disorder

Decreases Pain

CBD oil might also improve your sleep quality by reducing your pain levels. 

CBD may be able to lower your pain levels thanks to its ability to target specific receptors in your brain called serotonin receptors.

When CBD reaches serotonin receptors, it can activate them and lead to an increase in serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is a hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter to impart feelings of happiness and reduce pain perception.  

One meta-review found that cannabinoids, including CBD, resulted in a 30% pain reduction and showed no negative effects on either physical or emotional functioning

Sleep Disorders 

Sleep is an essential biological function.

It allows your brain to function at its best, your cells to rest, repair, and grow. And it's crucial to mental and physical health. 

When you aren’t getting enough sleep or high-quality sleep, it’s easy to see how devastating the consequences can be.

People with sleep disorders can experience constant fatigue, increased anxiety levels, further trouble falling asleep, reduced cognitive functioning, and changes to their breathing patterns. 

Common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy. 

Unfortunately, while current standard treatment options like benzodiazepine sleeping pills can be effective in improving sleep scores, they also come with the risk of serious side effects. There is a risk of addiction and overdose with benzodiazepines

This is why the potential of CBD for sleep is so promising because it’s not addictive like benzodiazepines and other medications used for sleep and has hardly any side effects. 

The Bottom Line 

When it comes to CBD oil for sleep, early research indicates that CBD contains sleep-improving qualities.

CBD has demonstrated an ability to improve sleep scores and reduce the symptoms of sleep disorders, all promising signs that CBD oil may help improve overall sleep quality, and potentially sleep-related conditions, such as insomnia. 

Further research is needed to fully understand CBD’s efficacy and mechanisms of actions when it comes to sleep, but for now, it is certainly an exciting development.

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You can check out our handpicked CBD products for sleep here.