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Does CBD Help With Insomnia? (Pros and Cons)

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People use CBD products every day to help treat various health conditions. One of the most common conditions that can be treated with CBD is insomnia. Those who struggle with insomnia may have trouble falling asleep or experience very poor sleep throughout the night. Although this sleeping condition may be short-term or long-term, it can lower your productivity and overall wellbeing if not treated or taken seriously. This article will cover the benefit and drawbacks of using CBD for insomnia.

Effects of Poor Sleep

Sleep is extremely important for the human body for many reasons. People who experience insomnia may not get sufficient amounts of sleep.

Without a proper sleeping schedule, you may notice a lack of energy and motivation during the day. Sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours per night can help prevent sickness, and contribute to better memory formation and higher energy levels. 

Insomnia is a fairly common, yet treatable sleep condition that most people will experience at some time in their life. Common causes of insomnia may be stress, anxiety, medications, habits, or other large life events that may be taking place at the time.

Throughout years of research, it’s been found that Cannabidiol (CBD) can help with insomnia, poor sleep, and other health issues by offering relaxation and pain relief.

Although further medically reviewed research is still being conducted, studies have shown that CBD products may be able to aid or improve sleep and decrease anxiety.

Plus CBD sleep gummies
Plus CBD sleep gummies

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which you have difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or falling back asleep after waking up during the night.

While you should always check with your health care provider to get a proper diagnosis, this condition is typically self-diagnosable.

Insomnia can be treated or prevented by identifying underlying causes and making changes to your daily habits and routines. 

Most adults will deal with short-term, or acute, insomnia at some point in life, most likely due to stress or other causes of trauma. However, some will deal with long-term, or chronic, insomnia as well, which may be caused by certain medications or other health issues. 

Insomnia can cause you to feel lethargic and less motivated than you would with a full night’s rest. People who experience this condition may be less focused and find it hard to concentrate during the day due to poor sleep or a lack of sleep in general.

Symptoms of insomnia shouldn’t go ignored for long and should be treated appropriately to avoid worsening conditions. 

Most insomnia patients have one or more of these sleep complaints or symptoms: 

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Waking up at night and staying awake
  • Still feeling tired in the morning after sleeping
  • Increased anxiety, depression, and irritability
  • Difficulty staying on task and focusing
  • Waking up too early and staying awake
  • Feeling fatigued or extremely low energy 
  • Slower reaction time

If you are suffering from any of these signs or symptoms, it’s possible that you may have insomnia or another similar sleep condition. It’s best to get this checked out by your doctor to find an accurate diagnosis and to provide medical advice. 

Whether it’s prescription sleep medications or an alternative such as CBD oil, it’s important to create the best medically reviewed treatment plan for you.

What Causes Insomnia?

There are many factors that may cause you to have trouble sleeping. Big life events, certain medications, and stress are some common causes of insomnia. However, there are lots of causes for this sleeping condition.

Typically, insomnia lasts for only a few weeks or months. However, if the condition goes untreated, it can go on several months or even years. 

Some of the most common causes of insomnia include:

  • Stress – Worries or concerns that occur in everyday life may cause you to stay up thinking or stressing during the night. Tragic life events such as divorce, death, or job loss may also contribute to stress and insomnia. 
  • Sleeping habits – People who work midnight shifts or irregular work hours may find it hard to adapt to a normal sleep schedule. Sticking to a regular bedtime schedule will help reduce the chances of insomnia and improve your sleep quality. 
  • Caffeine – When caffeine is consumed late in the day, it may stimulate your brain and cause you to stay awake during the night. 
  • Eating large meals before bed – Eating too much before you lay down for bed may cause stomach discomfort, acid reflux, or heartburn, making it difficult to fall asleep. 
  • Environmental factors – Factors like an uncomfortable sleeping space, a loud environment, or general discomfort may make it extremely difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. 
  • Mental health conditions – Anxiety, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are common causes of insomnia. 
  • Other sleep disorders – Other related sleep disorders may have an impact on insomnia as well. For example, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, or REM sleep behavior disorder may contribute to regular insomnia. 
  • Certain medications – Medications such as antidepressants, anti-asthma, or blood pressure medications may cause disturbances in the sleep cycle. 
  • Nicotine or alcohol – Nicotine is another stimulant that may cause you to stay awake during the night. On the other hand, alcohol may help you fall asleep but may cause you to wake multiple times during the night, contributing to insomnia. 
  • Aging – As you age, insomnia becomes more common. Changes in health, activity, and sleep patterns may contribute to insomnia in older people. 

There are many ways to treat this sleep condition. One of the most popular ways to help anxiety and sleep issues as well as other health conditions is by ingesting CBD either through CBD oil, edibles, tinctures, and more. 

CBD oil on tray

How To Prevent Insomnia

Unfortunately, there is no cure for insomnia. However, it’s extremely preventable and treatable. The best way to improve sleep and avoid insomnia is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Commonly referred to as “Sleep Hygiene”, creating healthy sleeping habits and implementing strategies to help get a good night’s sleep is the first step in preventing insomnia. 

Some steps you can take to help prevent insomnia include:

  • Create a night and morning routine – Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day to create a routine and keep your body on a consistent sleep schedule. 
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine before bed – Both of these stimulants may cause you to have trouble sleeping at night. 
  • Create a comfortable space – Keeping a comfortable space that’s used strictly for sleeping is a great way to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Implement a sleep aid – Sleep aids such as CBD oil can be taken before bed to relax and relieve anxieties that may cause insomnia. 

What Is CBD?

The cannabis Sativa plant has been used by people for various reasons for thousands of years. Only recently, however, has some of the constituents been discovered. Cannabidiol (CBD), is one of the main cannabinoids of the cannabis plant.

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that react with receptors in the central nervous system that are part of the endocannabinoid system. This system is associated with maintaining a constant state of balance, also known as homeostasis.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is a cannabis Sativa constituent that reacts with different receptors in the brain and creates a change of perception, or a feeling of being “high”.

Unlike THC, the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) are not psychoactive and do not change one’s perception. Instead, it creates a feeling of relaxation or pain relief without altering your mind state or offering psychoactive effects.

Although over-the-counter products that contain CBD are not yet regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, you can find it just about anywhere.

CBD products are appealing to people who struggle with sleep issues, chronic pain, and mental health conditions like anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Benefits of CBD

While still being thoroughly researched, CBD is proven to have health benefits to the human brain and body. For example, it’s proven to be a great treatment option for patients with epilepsy.

Research is also showing the benefits of CBD products to those with certain anxiety and sleep disorders. 

Along with treatment for epilepsy, CBD is also known for reducing or relieving pain. Although more research is still required, other benefits of CBD products may include: 

  • Arthritis relief
  • Chronic pain
  • Treatment for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders
  • Treatment for sleep disorders like insomnia 
  • Treatment for high blood pressure
  • Nausea relief
  • Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease patients
  • Treatments for people with Glaucoma

With CBD research and trials consistently taking place, clinical data is sure to uncover more and more benefits that will be discovered over time. 

Person taking CBD oil via a dropper
CBG oil is a popular alternative to CBD

Treating Insomnia or Other Sleep Disorders With CBD

Studies show that CBD may be beneficial to those who struggle with insomnia or poor sleep habits.

However, it’s important to read the packaging labels to learn about the safety and side effects of CBD before taking anything for the first time. Similarly, it’s always best to take the correct CBD dosage for your body in order to achieve the best results. 

CBD can be infused in just about anything, and nowadays, it is. There are many different forms on the market today, ranging from edibles to CBD pill capsules to medicated lotions, CBD extracts, and CBD oil.

Some of the most popular forms of CBD include: 

  • Edibles – One of the most common ways to ingest CBD is by taking edibles. They can come in different forms such as gummies, cookies, and more. Along with this, there are also drinks such as coffee that can be infused with CBD as well. 
  • Vape oil – CBD oil can be used with a vape pen to create a vapor that is then inhaled. This is a quick and efficient way to ingest CBD. 
  • Topical solutions – Topical solutions like CBD-infused lotions, ointments, or balms can be applied directly to the skin to help treat muscle or joint pain. 
  • Pills or capsules – Pills and capsules are another way to take in CBD. However, the pill method does often take some time to dissolve and start working.
  • CBD Oil or Tinctures – Oils or tinctures can be used with a dropper and placed under the tongue for best results. This is a good option for those who want a fast-acting method and have a hard time taking pills. 
  • Oral spray – Oral sprays are similar to tinctures and oils and can be sprayed under the tongue for fast-acting CBD effects. 

Safety and Side Effects

Typically, CBD is tolerated well by users of all ages. However, that doesn’t mean side effects fail to pop up from time to time.

Although uncommon for most users, some side effects that may be noted after using CBD may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Changes in mood or appetite
  • Dry mouth

With that said, in order to avoid any possible side effects, you should take the correct dosage and avoid taking CBD with certain medications. Typically measured in milligrams (mg) of CBD, the right dosage may be different for everyone.

As of right now, there are no products that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that contain CBD. Similarly, CBD products are not regulated by the FDA in the same way that dietary supplements or other medications are.

When it comes down to it, you should do your own research before starting any new CBD products or medications.

As further research unfolds in the upcoming years, we will be able to better understand the effectiveness and reveal more of the benefits that CBD has to offer.

When it comes to choosing the right option for you, there are several methods to safely take CBD for better sleep. However, it’s best to have your doctor provide medical advice before starting any nonprescription CBD products or other medications.

If you are unsure of the right method to take your CBD product of choice and want to learn about the safety and side effects, check with your doctor or another health care provider. 

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