Although our fast-paced culture does not always put a great deal of value on sleep, it is a necessary part of a healthy and well-balanced life. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke suggests that adults should get seven to eight hours of sleep a day. However, the average amount many of us get is often less. In some cases, poor sleep can be due to medical conditions like chronic pain or Parkinson's disease. In other cases, people just feel pressured to meet their commitments such as work, school, family, or friends, without giving themselves enough time to rest.
Sleep deprivation or trouble sleeping, known as insomnia, can be highly problematic. Sleep plays a fundamental role in our growth, physical health, immune systems, performance and learning. Chronic insomnia and a lack of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep have both been linked to performance issues on the job, worse response time during tasks like driving, and even an elevated risk of some diseases. Unsurprisingly, researchers have increasingly focused on ways to alleviate insomnia, including insomnia associated with certain diseases and mental health issues.
According to the latest research, Cannabidiol (CBD) may be a feasible option for people who have trouble sleeping. Chagas et al. administered different dosages of CBD to groups of rats and compared their sleep habits to control rats that did not receive CBD. The results showed that CBD correlated with larger amounts of total sleep time. The rats were also less likely to fall asleep during the “light period” during daytime, meaning that they did not simply doze off, but seemed to achieve a more normal sleep cycle after CBD usage.
Murillo-Rodriguez et al. had found that administering CBD to rats during the day promoted wakefulness, similar to what Chagas et al. found during the “light period.” Murillo-Rodriguez also found that CBD provided after sleep deprivation helped to prevent sleep rebound the next night. In essence, the rats that received CBD under those conditions slept normally the next night and did not seem to require the extra sleep that would usually be required to make up for a night of poor sleep. It is worth noting that humans also usually experience sleep rebound if they do not get enough sleep.
These results are exciting as they indicate CBD may have a much more complex role in sleep regulation, and may be related to natural sleep more closely, than tolerance-building and potentially addictive pills that are so often used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. Of course, these early findings will need to be followed by studies with humans, but we will report new findings as they arrive.
If you feel you are having trouble getting to sleep at night, or you struggle to stay awake during the day, perhaps a CBD supplement is for you. You might begin by looking into different types of oils, or even teas that could help you to unwind at the end of a long day. After all, a good night's sleep is the key to feeling great all day long.
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