Sleep is an essential part of our healthy lifestyle, yet millions of people in the UK suffer from poor sleep. According to the NHS, one in three people in the UK suffers from poor sleep, which can have a negative impact on their physical and mental health. Insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders can be debilitating, affecting everything from your concentration and mood to your immune system and overall wellbeing.
Fortunately, there are many natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can help improve your sleep, and one of the most promising options is CBD. This natural compound found in the cannabis plant has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration, making it a desirable alternative for people seeking a natural sleep aid. In this article, we'll explore the science behind CBD and sleep, and share tips on how to use CBD for better rest.
What is CBD and How Does it Work?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another compound found in cannabis, CBD is non-intoxicating and does not produce the "high" associated with marijuana use. Instead, CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of receptors and enzymes that help regulate various bodily functions, including sleep.
The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, which is the body's natural process of falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up. CBD interacts with the ECS in several ways, primarily by increasing the levels of the endocannabinoid called anandamide. Anandamide is known as the "bliss molecule" because it produces feelings of relaxation and happiness. By increasing anandamide levels, CBD may help promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.
While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD on sleep, several studies have suggested that it may be beneficial for people with sleep disorders. For example, a 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal found that CBD improved sleep and reduced anxiety in 72 adults with anxiety and poor sleep.
How to Use CBD for Better Sleep
CBD is available in various forms, including oils, capsules, gummies, and topicals. Each form has its advantages and disadvantages, so it's essential to choose the right one for your needs.
Oils: CBD oil is the most common form of CBD. It's easy to use and can be taken sublingually (under the tongue) or added to food or drinks. The effects of CBD oil usually kick in within 30 minutes to an hour.
Capsules: CBD capsules are convenient and easy to take. The effects of CBD capsules can take longer to kick in, usually within one to two hours.
Gummies: CBD gummies are a tasty and fun way to take CBD. They come in various flavours and strengths. The effects of CBD gummies can take one to two hours to kick in.
Topicals: CBD topicals are creams, lotions, and balms that are applied directly to the skin. They are usually used to target specific areas of the body and can help relieve pain and inflammation.
Dosage Guidelines: When to take CBD oil for sleep
The dosage of CBD you should take depends on various factors, including your weight, the severity of your sleep disorder and the form of CBD you're taking. It's essential to start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed.
A good rule of thumb is to start with 5-10mg of CBD per day and increase it by 5-10mg every week until you achieve the desired effect. It's also important to note that CBD can interact with other medications, so talk to a healthcare professional before taking CBD.
Choosing a Reputable CBD Brand
When choosing a CBD brand, it's essential to do your research and choose a reputable brand. Look for brands that use organic, non-GMO hemp, and third-party lab test their products for purity and potency. It's important to check the label for CBD content and ensure that it contains less than 0.2% THC, which is the legal limit for CBD products in the UK.
Other Tips for Better Sleep
While CBD may be helpful for improving sleep, there are other steps you can take to support healthy sleep habits. Here are some tips for better sleep:
◾ Stick to a consistent sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
◾ Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Wind down before bed by taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to calming music.
◾ Limit caffeine and alcohol intake: Caffeine and alcohol can disrupt sleep, so it's best to avoid them before bedtime.
◾ Keep the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet: Create a sleep-conducive environment by having a clean, cosy, and comfortable room that is quiet and dark.
◾ Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can improve sleep quality, but it's best to avoid vigorous exercise before bedtime.
Is CBD Going to Help Me Sleep?
CBD shows promise as a natural aid for improving sleep quality, reducing anxiety, and promoting relaxation. While there is still much to learn about how CBD affects sleep, early research suggests that it can be an effective sleep aid for many people.
In conclusion, poor sleep quality affects a significant number of people in the UK and CBD may be a promising option for those struggling with sleep disorders. By understanding the science behind CBD and sleep, choosing the right dosage and product, and practicing healthy sleep habits, you can take steps towards better rest and a healthier, happier life.