One of the most commonly reported uses for CBD is to help improve sleep. Many people report CBD helping them to fall asleep at night, experience less restlessness during the night, and waking up feeling more refreshed. But this raises a few questions for people who haven’t tried CBD for sleep: why does it have this effect? Will using CBD make me sleepy during the day? In this article, we will be aiming to answer these questions, and provide a little more clarity before you invest in a CBD oil.
Can CBD Help You Sleep?
There are many different reasons why people experience low quality sleep, or a general lack of sleep. This can include: stress; mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD; daytime lethargy, which can cause you to not feel tired during the night; issues with pain; sleep disorders such as RBD; and more.
It is thought that CBD can promote sleep by helping to tackle these root causes of insomnia.
Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD
It is widely thought that, when we take CBD, it interacts with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), and regulates its functioning. This system is responsible for regulating many bodily functions, including feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. If CBD does help to restore balance to this system, then it would explain why many people find CBD helps to manage symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It may therefore help to improve sleep in those who suffer from insomnia as a result of these core issues.
A scientific study(1) was conducted into the effects of CBD on anxiety and sleep. 72 adults who reported suffering from an anxiety disorder were given doses of CBD, and were monitored over the course of 3 months. The anxiety levels decreased in the first month for 57 of the patients, and remained decreased throughout the duration of the study. Sleep also improved within the first month for 48 of the patients. It was concluded that CBD may hold benefits for anxiety related disorders, and therefore improve sleep problems caused by these disorders.
Similarly to the way that CBD may help to improve symptoms of mood disorders, it may also help to relieve pain; both chronic and regular. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating our pain sensation. Additionally, CBD is thought to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Both of these factors combined may mean that CBD can help to promote pain relieving effects. This may help to improve sleep quality for people who suffer as a result of chronic pain disorders, or frequent regular pain.
RBD (REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder)
REM (rapid eye movement) Sleep Behaviour disorder is a condition that causes you to act out vivid dreams whilst you sleep. These episodes occur during REM sleep, which takes up about 20-25% of an average sleep cycle. This disorder can be extremely disruptive to sleep, and can actually become quite dangerous. The sufferer risks injuring themselves or others.
A study(2) looked into giving CBD to patients suffering with Parkinsons and RBD. The researchers found that this caused a prompt and substantial reduction in the frequency of RBD related events, without any reported side effects. They concluded that CBD may be effective in helping to control symptoms of RBD, and therefore improve sleep. It is difficult to pinpoint why exactly this may be, but the researchers provided a theory. CB1 receptors (part of the endocannabinoid system) are located in areas of the brain related to sleep, and are expressed in cholinergic neurons. CBD may activate these receptors, which would increase the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is thought to cause symptom improvement in those with RBD.
People who experience sleepiness and lethargy during the day may find it difficult to fall asleep at night due to a lack of tiredness. The anti-anxiety properties of CBD that we discussed above are thought to help improve alertness and wakefulness during the day. This could cause you to feel more tired when the evening comes around, which could make it easier to fall asleep. Additionally, this could help to reset and refresh your circadian rhythm – or sleep-wake cycle.
What About CBD for Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep Apnoea is a serious sleep disorder whereby the sufferer experiences breathing problems during sleep. Symptoms include stopping and starting breathing, snoring, waking up often throughout the night, and feeling tired and unrested throughout the day. It has been suggested that CBD may be able to help people with this condition by relaxing the muscles. This could help to keep the airways clear which could improve breathing. However, there is not enough research available to say whether or not this is potentially a direct effect of CBD.
Will CBD Make You Tired During the Day?
When told that CBD can help improve sleep, some people worry that CBD will make you sleepy during the day too. However, this is not believed to be true. As we mentioned earlier, CBD may actually help to improve alertness and wakefulness throughout the day. This may be due to its potential anti-anxiety effects, or due to it helping to refresh the circadian rhythm.
What CBD Product is Best For Sleep?
When it comes to choosing a CBD product for a specific condition, you should be aware that it is more down to the strength of the product rather than the product type. We would recommend choosing a product infused with broad-spectrum CBD extract. This extract contains CBD alongside a combination of other cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant, but without any THC. This blend of compounds can cause what is known as the entourage effect. This may mean that the therapeutic effects of the product are enhanced, and could be more effective. Products containing full-spectrum extract will contain THC, which is probably not the best idea. Products containing CBD isolate will only contain CBD; no other cannabinoids or plant terpenes. This can still be effective, but will not provide any entourage effect.
Our strongest CBD oil contains 3000mg (30%) of broad-spectrum CBD extract from organic hemp plants. Alternatively, you can choose another strength, starting from 500mg (5%). Our CBD capsules come in 2 strength options: 10mg per capsule, or 25mg per capsule.
We recommend starting with about 20mg of CBD per day, and slowly increasing this each week until you find a dose that works for you. Check out our article on CBD dosing here for more personalised and in-depth information.