If you ask ten random people if they’ve ever experienced insomnia, chances are high that more than a few of them have. Turns out, one in three people experience mild insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep, night after night. This is not at all surprising, since, the CDC found that 70% of adults in the US have sleep problems at least once a month.
CBD has emerged as an all-natural option to potentially treat a variety of common afflictions, so it follows to wonder if there might be a connection between CBD and insomnia. Today we’re exploring that connection, sharing some of the causes of insomnia, and topping it all off with our tips for slaying the insomnia dragon, once and for all.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is defined by WebMD as a “sleep disorder in which you have trouble falling and/or staying asleep.” It can be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). It can happen every other night, or it can happen twice a year. To qualify as chronic insomnia, you must have trouble falling asleep three nights a week for three months or longer.
Did you know there are actually two types of insomnia? With primary insomnia, sleep issues are not connected to other health conditions, while secondary insomnia links the inability to sleep to health conditions, pain, interaction with medications, or substance use.
In other words, primary causes usually have to do with the environment around you (noise, comfort level, jetlag), big or stressful life changes, and genes (yes, insomnia can run in the family). Secondary causes include depression and anxiety, certain medications, hyperthyroidism and endocrine issues, other sleep disorders, and even PMS and menopause.
Beyond the inability to fall asleep at night, common symptoms of insomnia include daytime sleepiness, fatigue, grumpiness, grogginess, and problems concentrating.
How to Treat Insomnia
Acute insomnia likely doesn’t require treatment, but still – it’s annoying. You might think sleeping pills and other over-the-counter medications could help, but those tend not to be ideal for insomnia. For serious cases, we always recommend getting the opinion of a doctor, who might even suggest treatments that go beyond meds, such as behavioral therapy to help understand the root of your insomnia and make concrete changes to your behavior to better promote sleep.
But what other options do you have if your case isn’t serious? First of all, you can follow good sleep habits such as:
- Stick to a consistent wake/sleep routine
- Put cell phones and computers away at least an hour before bed
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol past noon
- Skip daytime naps
- Get regular exercise, whether it’s five minutes of yoga or five miles of jogging
- Make your bedroom as comfortable and conducive to sleep as possible
But there’s a third option, which falls somewhere in the middle. It shouldn’t replace proper sleep hygiene, but it may just help by targeting some of the secondary causes we mentioned earlier, such as anxiety. Of course, we’re talking about CBD and insomnia.
CBD and Insomnia: Can It Help?
According to the Sleep Foundation and Healthline, preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD may be able to help anyone in search of a good night’s sleep. One study published in 2019 took a look at CBD’s potential to improve sleep or reduce anxiety. Among 72 subjects, 47 had anxiety and 25 had lackluster sleep. After one month of 25mg of CBD in capsule form each day, nearly 80% reported lower anxiety, while nearly 67% reported improved sleep.
Healthline notes that even studies which have concluded that CBD can help with sleep aren’t necessarily exactly sure why this is the case. One speculation may have to do with how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, the part of the human body which fires off neurotransmitters to ensure all body systems are running smoothly. Our bodies contain an abundance of natural receptor points (CB1 and CB2), located on the surface of cells, which interact with cannabinoids like CBD. As such, it stands to reason that the ECS, which helps to control many systems in our body, may be involved here as well.
CBD may be able to help with sleep, but we’ll need to do a lot more research on CBD and insomnia to learn more about why and how. For now, many researchers are content to point out that CBD improves sleep because it overcomes the core causes of insomnia, such as anxiety or pain.
Our CBD Picks
Tackle sleep with: our CBD Night Gummies, which contain 10mg of CBD and 5mg of Melatonin, the naturally occurring hormone most closely associated with sleep regulation and maintenance of your sleep-wake cycle. By combining CBD’s potential to help with root causes of insomnia with Melatonin’s sleep-cycle-specific effects, you get the benefits of both in one handy dose. Prefer your CBD and Melatonin in oil form? Check out our CBD Night Oil.
Face anxiousness with: our Anytime CBD Gummies. With 10mg of all-natural, hemp-derived CBD, these gummies can help promote a sense of calm, enabling easier management of daily stresses – also available as CBD Oil, of course.
Soothe pain with: our CBD Body Cream, which helps restore tired muscles and joints and relieve soreness after exercise, providing freshly scented and soothing comfort wherever your body needs it.
We all know the value of a good night’s sleep, but sometimes that rest is just a little too far out of reach. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be! By adjusting your sleep hygiene habits, tackling root causes, and maybe even adding CBD to your night routine, say hello to your soft, silk pillow as you wave goodbye to insomnia.