Every night, millions of Americans struggle to get enough sleep. In some cases, sleeplessness is caused by external factors, like working the graveyard shift or living next to noisy neighbors. In other cases, it may be caused by internal factors, such as stress, worry, or pain. Either way, not getting enough sleep is a serious problem.
After a night of sleeplessness, people will usually feel tired, lethargic, and out of focus. When insomnia continues over many nights, it can lead to serious physical and psychological repercussions. Productivity plummets when workers don’t get enough sleep, costing American businesses over 30 billion dollars a year. And a lack of sleep can even kill you; driving while tired causes over 6,500 deaths in the U.S. annually. Fortunately, CBD, or cannabidiol, derived from the hemp plant, may be the solution to your sleeplessness.
What Causes Insomnia?
For many people, insomnia is simply a fact of life. This is especially true for people who work multiple jobs, or who work overnight. When your schedule is in conflict with the natural sleep schedule for the human body, you are bound to have problems.
Insomnia can also be a side effect of commonly prescribed medications, including antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and decongestants. It can be caused by an excess of caffeine or a lack of exercise during the day. Some people suffer from insomnia due to emotional and psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Some people can’t sleep due to pain or other discomforts. Others have insomnia without any clear reason, which is probably the most frustrating experience of all.
How Does CBD Treat Insomnia?
Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis or hemp plant. Although it doesn’t get you “high” like marijuana, CBD has a myriad of health benefits. CBD is especially helpful for people suffering from insomnia, thanks to its anti-anxiety and pain-killing properties.
CBD has been proven to treat anxiety, allowing anxious patients to get the restful sleep that they need. Researchers have found that CBD is an effective treatment for both Social Anxiety Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. CBD is also prescribed to patients with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) in part for its ability to fight insomnia. One compelling case study published in 2016 found that CBD worked to treat insomnia in a child who had suffered severe trauma, allowing her to sleep when other medications and techniques had failed.
CBD also treats chronic pain and inflammation, bringing relief to people suffering from disorders like fibromyalgia and arthritis. Often, people with these disorders are unable to sleep because their pain keeps them up at night. CBD alleviates the pain, allowing them to get the healing sleep that they need.
Even if you’re unsure what is causing your insomnia, CBD can help. That’s because, in higher doses, CBD causes sleepiness for almost everyone who takes it. While low doses of CBD may provide energy, higher doses encourage drowsiness, relaxation, and rest.
What Are the Benefits of Using CBD for Insomnia?
Many conventional treatments for insomnia come with a slew of unpleasant side effects. For example, Ambien, a popular medication for sleep disorders, can cause confusion, memory loss, aggression, upset stomach, and strange behavior. Prescription sleep medications can also be addictive, leading patients to take more and more until they are totally dependent on the drug.
CBD has no such debilitating side effects and is not addictive. Patients can take CBD for short-term problems or can make it a part of their bedtime ritual without worrying about future withdrawal problems. The most common “side effect” for people taking CBD is sleepiness, which, for people with insomnia, isn’t a side effect at all.
In many cases, CBD also treats underlying causes of insomnia. If your sleeplessness is caused by pain, CBD’s analgesic, or pain-killing, properties will help soothe you. If you can’t sleep because of worry and stress, CBD treats that as well. In fact, CBD is an extremely effective anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medication, as demonstrated by multiple peer-reviewed studies on people with anxiety disorders.
How Do I Use CBD for Insomnia?
CBD oil is currently the most effective and healthy way to consume cannabidiol. You can simply swallow the oil, or you can add it to food or beverages. Some people prefer applying CBD oil topically, and evidence suggests that it is absorbed well through the skin. However, CBD oil is most effective when taken orally.
CBD works fast, and people often experience relief on the first night. Start with a low dose at first and see how your body reacts to it. If a small amount doesn’t do the trick, increase the dosage until you find relief from your insomnia. Since CBD promotes sleepiness, do not drive or operate other machinery when you’re taking it for insomnia.
For the best results, be sure to practice good sleep hygiene and habits while taking CBD. Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room, and invest in light-blocking curtains and earplugs if necessary. Try to sleep at the same time every day, and turn your clock towards the wall so you’re not staring at it all night. These good habits, along with CBD, should soon have you back to bed and well-rested.
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