Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night, but while duration of sleep is important, so is the quality of sleep. People with trouble sleeping can face a variety of challenges, they could struggle to fall asleep or have difficulty in staying asleep, or have long periods of wakefulness in the night and struggle to feel fully rested during the day. Some people who experience insomnia, whether short-term due to specific factors (such as a period of stress), or a chronic longer-term issue, may wish to consider natural sleep aids before they ask a doctor about prescription medication. Some people believe CBD to be an effective sleep aid. The American Sleep Association lists CBD as a potential sleep treatment.
To understand whether CBD could help a specific person’s sleep, it’s important to try to identify what is causing their sleep problems in the first place. There are several reasons why people have trouble sleeping, including but not limited to:
1. Mental health disorders such as stress, anxiety, and depression
2. Medication (some can disturb your natural sleep cycle)
3. Physical discomfort such as chronic pain or restless leg syndrome
4. Caffeine (especially when consumed late in the day)
5. Environmental factors such as loud noise or too much light
Obviously CBD can’t fix your uncomfortable bed or stop you reaching for that afternoon cup of coffee, but there has been research to suggest CBD could have a positive effect on sleep. Anxiety and stress, which can cause sleep problems, could be helped by CBD.
Researchers discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in maintaining certain body functions, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and regulating circadian rhythms. Within the endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. The two primary receptors identified are CB1 and CB2.
Cannabinoids attach to these cells and have various effects. As far as how they may affect sleep, some research indicates that the cannabinoid CBD may interact with specific receptors, potentially affecting the sleep/wake cycle.
Additionally, CBD may also decrease anxiety and pain, which can both interfere with restful sleep. By reducing certain symptoms, it’s also possible that sleep may improve.
The authors of this 2015 review, found evidence to suggest that CBD could be an effective treatment for numerous types of anxiety disorders. If anxiety is the main cause of insomnia then this research is promising. Research published in 2019 looked at whether CBD could improve sleep and/or reduce anxiety. In the first month of this research, 79.2 percent of the patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 percent reported better sleep. This same study also found that some people had lowered cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone which usually peaks in the morning, having elevated cortisol at night can increase wakefulness and impact sleep quality.
Pain, which may also cause sleep problems, could potentially be helped by CBD as well. A 2018 report noted that there is evidence to support the claim that CBD soothes pain. In the review the authors note that by reducing chronic pain, CBD could improve sleep. It is worth noting that in several of the studies referenced here, the patients involved in the trials didn’t notice an immediate improvement to sleep. Improved sleep was more likely after up to a month of regular CBD. Remember to be patient when trying CBD, if you need help figuring out how much to take, why not take a look at our dosage information?