How CBD can Help You Get a Good Night’s Rest…
How many times have you stared at the ceiling, shifted around and flipped the pillow over in an effort to fall asleep, only to find yourself, 3 hours later, thinking about everything you need to do that week and being annoyed at not getting enough rest?
Yes, me too. So here’s how CBD, along with some other small changes, can help you sleep a lot better and defeat insomnia…
Why can’t we sleep?
Insomnia can have a few different causes and triggers. It is believed by the medical community that, generally, insomnia is a result of anxiety and an overactive mind. Those who can’t sleep, often spend hours on end thinking and rethinking their choices, day, month, life… It’s an endless cycle, since we can always find something new to think about.
All this thinking doesn’t allow us to tune out and go to sleep.
However, there are other possible causes for it, like chronic pain, which can cause people to have a really hard time falling asleep when it’s intense enough.
Chronic vs. Acute Insomnia
Insomnia isn’t necessarily a constant. Sometimes people who don’t usually have trouble sleeping, could experience a period of time during which sleep seems impossible. This is usually due to an isolated incident, like a traumatic or emotion-filled event, an illness, or even a heavy meal. Yes, eating too much before bed can cause insomnia.
But for those who suffer from insomnia in a more permanent way, for those who have spent months or years staring at the ceiling, being annoyed, insomnia becomes a debilitating and life altering issue that affects them emotionally and physically.
The Game Plan
Up until a few years ago, I suffered from severe insomnia. It took me hours to fall asleep in the first place, only to end up waking up three or four times during the night. I hardly slept, and I am now aware of the fact that a lot of people have this same issue…
Some opt for the “easy” solution of taking sleeping pills, which is dangerous, and only covers up the problem, rather than helping you solve it.
Sleeping pills don’t help treat anxiety, stress or the overactive mind; they just cause somnolence and knock you out. Of course, it does need to be said, not all sleeping pills knock you out, but still, they don’t tackle the real issue head on.
Perhaps it’s better to try other, more natural methods first…
CBD for Insomnia: can it really help?
It can… But not in the way you might think.
CBD does not have sedative properties like THC does, so it’s not going to knock you out as soon as you swallow a few drops.
Basically, what CBD does is reduce stress, anxiety and tension throughout the day, leaving the mind ready to rest and contributing to the body’s repairing and healing process, helping the brain maintain a deeper sleep throughout the night.
When using CBD for sleep it’s better to take it during the day in regular intervals, stopping 2 hours before you’re planning on going to bed. This way, your body and mind will be relaxed and ready for bed.
Overtime, this routine will be assimilated by your body, until the time comes when you don’t even need help sleeping. Habits are strong, so just like your brain becomes used to insomnia, it can become used to sleeping well. Think of it as training your brain.
What is the CBD dosage for insomnia?
Dosage is something everyone needs to be really careful about when it comes to CBD.
Every person is different physically, mentally and emotionally, so what works for some might not be enough, or might be too much for others. So please don’t assume that the dosage that worked well for someone you know is the one that you have to start with.
As is commonly said in the world of cannabis, you need to “start low, grow slow”, plus pay close attention to your body, in order to find the dosage that’s perfect for you and your unique situation.
CBD is a component that has a very sensitive and noticeable biphasic effect. This means that its effects vary depending on the dosage. If the dosage is too low, it will have no effect, if it’s just right it will significantly help reduce the targeted symptoms and cause a sensation of well-being; however, if the dosage is too high, it will likely worsen the symptoms it was meant to eliminate.
This is why, when it comes to CBD for sleep, we need to be extremely careful with the dosage, or it is likely to cause even more insomnia, particularly if you take large amounts too soon before bedtime.
Does marijuana help you sleep?
Most people think of sleep when they think of marijuana because it’s very common for consumers to fall asleep soon after ingesting it. However, this sedative effect is not due to CBD. Then, how does marijuana affect sleep?
THC is the component in recreational or medicinal marijuana that is responsible for the sedative properties. It has the potential to knock you out in about an hour.
Some people swear by some strains more than others as effective sleep aids, however we need to remember that even within the same strain, the concentration of THC and CBD in plants can vary. So a strain that worked for you in the past might not work today because the particular plant the flowers came from is lower in THC or CBD. It’s almost a lottery, really, so it’s better to stick to supplements if you want to obtain a more accurate dosage of specific components.
And, though some people enjoy the effects of THC, it’s not very functional and doesn’t stimulate the habit forming routine of clearing the mind and going to sleep. Plus, THC also has the risk of causing unpleasant effects, like anxiety and paranoia, at least in some people, which would make sleeping even more difficult than it already was.
Unless THC is a tried-and-approved method for yourself, we don’t recommend using it for the first time with the object in mind of targeting insomnia. It’s not worth the risk. Try CBD first, and go about it slowly and consciously and you will likely find what works and what doesn’t work for you.
What else can I do?
In order to attack insomnia from every possible angle, you could make some small, yet powerful, tweaks to your day. This way, you’re facing the issue from different angles and covering your bases.
Some of these changes can be:
- Stick to a regular sleeping schedule! That way your brain will get used to what is considered “bedtime”.
- Avoid daytime naps until your schedule has normalized. They can throw your sleep cycle off and keep you awake when you’re not supposed to be.
- Develop a specific, relaxing bedtime routine, like washing your face, meditating, or stretching.
- Don’t watch TV, use a computer, tablet, phone, or other electronics (including games) after you’ve gone to bed; this is sure to activate your brain and keep it from going into rest mode.
- Keep your bedroom organized and comfortable; this will cause you to feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed.
- Don’t eat anything right before bed, or drink stimulating drinks after 3pm. Making the body digest something while your trying to sleep is not a good idea.
- Cut down on sugar and heavy food, your stomach could be the one keeping you up at night while trying to process what you put into it.
- Meditate! It’s amazing for clearing your mind and reducing anxious thoughts and stress. I personally believe that a little CBD oil during the day paired with a bedtime meditation session can put you to sleep in a heartbeat. Though it takes a little practice.
Is sleep really important?
In short, YES.
Not sleeping enough, or sleeping badly, can have several negative effects on your health and mood, such as exhaustion, stress, irritability, memory problems, depression, and can even cause you to be more propense to falls or accidents.
When you don’t sleep well, you feel groggy, dizzy and clumsy, not to mention your body didn’t get the chance to fully recover from all the activity, which could cause your immune system to be weakened, so you’ll be more likely to get sick.
And, honestly, it feels horrible when you don’t get enough sleep, so why do we even wonder?
So give CBD and these tips a go! Who knows, you might be taking a step towards leaving insomnia behind. And, believe me, it feels amazing to no longer say “I didn’t sleep well last night” almost every morning.
Remember “start slow, grow slow” and pay attention to what works for you.