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CBD to Help You Sleep

For decades, Americans have been struggling to bring balance to their lives. Stress, technology, light pollution, and other factors have been steadily disrupting our sleep patterns, making it impossible to get a good night’s rest. These things leave us feeling foggy, irritated, and wishing for some much-needed naps. Unfortunately, despite feeling exhausted all the time, many of us still find ourselves staring at the ceiling night after night with insomnia. 

Today’s fast-paced and stimulating environment can make indulging in rest seem impossible, but luckily, CBD can help. Although the FDA does not officially condone the use of CBD as a treatment for sleep disorders or any other ailments, many claim it has done wonders for them, especially as a sleep aid.

CBD to Help You Sleep

Why Can’t People Sleep?

There’s no concrete answer to the question of what causes someone to lose sleep, as it can vary from person to person. Numerous factors affect whether or not our minds are able to relax, but technology, light pollution, and stressful circumstances are a few common things that definitely detract from our ability to snooze peacefully.

Technology

Our mobile phones offer endless conveniences. We use them for everything, from navigation to communication, but according to an article by The Huffington Post,

“If your phone wakes you up in the morning, it may also be keeping you up at night. A 2008 study funded by major mobile phone makers themselves showed that people exposed to mobile radiation took longer to fall asleep and spent less time in deep sleep.”

Apparently, our phones emit wireless signals that are detrimental to our sleep patterns. Additionally, the blue light of our glowing cellular devices tells our brains to wake up, making it difficult to wind down for a good night’s rest. Lastly, checking one’s phone before bed gives him/her a rush of adrenaline. We love receiving notifications that tell us we’ve received texts or messages on social media; however, these alerts tend to keep us up at night.

A full-expose by sleep.org explains three other ways our devices are making our nights more difficult. The piece explains how screens both wake us up and keep us awake, but it also covers how chemicals in our brains, such as melatonin, are skewed by our prevalent technology use. The author explains how scrolling before bed suppresses melatonin saying,

“The blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. Reducing melatonin makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. Most Americans admit to using electronics a few nights a week within an hour before bedtime.

But to make sure technology isn’t harming your slumber, give yourself at least 30 minutes of gadget-free transition time before hitting the hay. Even better: Make your bedroom a technology-free zone—keep your electronics outside the room (that includes a TV!).”

This and other bits of advice abound, but some suggestions are just a little too idealistic for most people to follow. For example, many experts agree it would be best to leave phones in another room and not sleep with them within arm’s length of one’s bed. Others recommend keeping all screens out of the bedroom and staying in soft, yellow lighting for at least 30 minutes prior to turning in for the evening.

These and other habits can be hard to start and stick to, and there’s no guarantee they’ll ensure healthy sleep patterns. After all, plenty of alternative factors can interfere with our sleep cycles.

Light Pollution

For example, even if you follow all the aforementioned cell phone guidelines, you still may suffer symptoms of insomnia. It seems blue light from screens is not the only shining culprit when it comes to keeping us awake. As society has become more and more developed, we have introduced numerous sources of artificial light.

When babies are born, new mothers train them to know the difference between night and day by manipulating light. During the day, moms take their infants on walks, exposing them to sunlight. In contrast, they draw shades and dim indoor lights in the evening. These measures teach a child when it is time to sleep and when it is appropriate to be active.   

Unfortunately, many adults take these natural cues for granted and use electrical conveniences to keep their environments light way past the midnight hour. A powerful post by WebMDcites George Brainard, a professor of neurology and neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, as he recounts the findings of a study surrounding light pollution and its effects on sleep. He states,

“Exposure to light at night can have powerful biological and behavioral consequences,” said Brainard, who also serves as director of Jefferson’s Light Research Program.

“However, the associations noted in the study may be due to other factors,” he cautioned.

“In an urban area, we all tend to short our sleep a lot more because it’s a busy, vibrant environment, so we’re up later at night, and maybe we’re exposed to bright light inside of our apartment or house,” he said.

“Do I think that light is part of the culprit? Absolutely, I do,” Brainard said. “Do I think this study has proven that it’s street lighting? No, I think the jury’s out on that.”

In summation, as our society has added busy roadways, street lamps, and other urban sources of light pollution, people have been suffering from an increased inability to sleep. In nature, we would experience a gradual decline in light as the sun set slowly. Our bodies have time to adjust and prepare for rest, but with modern lighting, our minds are constantly being jolted awake with the flip of a switch.

Of course, we can combat light pollution in the same way that we can use strategies to avoid being on our phones late at night. By living in more secluded areas or putting up blackout curtains, people can try to mimic natural rhythms in their homes. Still, a set of curtains and a silent cell phone may not be enough to deliver peaceful sleep.

Stress

Unlike physical elements of life, like lights and cell phones, our stress levels can also impact our sleep schedules. As stated in the Very Well Mind article titled, “5 Ways to Keep Stress from Sabotaging Your Sleep,”

“According to a survey published in the American Journal of Managed Care, almost half of respondents (46%) experience some form of insomnia, either difficulty going to sleep, trouble staying asleep, or insomnia so severe that it disrupts daytime activities. And insomnia is often (though not always) stress-related.”

If our minds are constantly racing over the week’s work agendas, kids’ activities, relationship difficulties, etc., it can seem impossible to turn off and sleep. Coping with stress-induced insomnia is a bit trickier than leaning to keep one’s phone in another room or ordering blackout shades online.

Very Well Mind’s article lists several ways troubled sleepers can combat their anxieties before bed. Some of the strategies the piece mentions include journaling and limiting caffeine consumption. Not all techniques are right for every person but trying a few new tips probably can’t hurt. The question then becomes, how much sleep is really enough sleep?

How Much Sleep Do People Need?

Everyone’s needs vary depending on personal health factors and genetic predispositions. However, the National Sleep Foundation provides a general outline of how many hours a person should sleep each night according to his or her age:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

For many teens and adults facing the pressures of school, work, and everyday life, these calculations can be difficult to fathom. Even after taking steps to eliminate hindrances like buzzing phones, bright lights, and unnecessary stressors, most of us still find ourselves falling short of the mark. That’s why many people are turning to CBD products for a little extra support.

How Does CBD Help People Sleep?

Popular news outlets like ABC News are picking up stories on CBD’s ability to fight insomnia! According to “Consumer Report: Will You Sleep Better With CBD,”

“CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in hemp and marijuana. Its popularity has exploded because of its potential to treat health problems like pain and anxiety.”

“There isn’t a ton of research on CBD and insomnia. But the research that is available suggests that CBD may reduce anxiety and possibly reduce pain. Relieving one or both of those could help you get to sleep and stay asleep.”

The broadcast voices optimistic sentiments which are spreading rapidly within the holistic medicine community. For many, CBD is the non-addictive help they’ve needed for a long time. It is becoming for sleep what espresso has been for alertness. CBD is not a drug; rather, it is a supplement that allows users the opportunity to reclaim balance in their lives.

CBD works by influencing the body’s endocannabinoid system. Although the FDA has yet to substantiate any claims, fans of the compound believe it has the potential to relieve chronic aches, pains, and help with mental conditions like depression and anxiety.

The most common confirmed side-effect is drowsiness, but in this circumstance, we view drowsiness as more of a benefit than a drawback. It makes CBD an ideal sleep aid, certainly one worth trying.

If you want to catch a few more Zs or give CBD as a gift, check out Pure On Main’s selection of sleep aids containing CBD. If you have any questions about using CBD as a sleep aid, please reach out to us to talk with one of our experts.