We’ve all been there. You know you need to go to sleep. It’s late & you need rest for tomorrow! But, you just can’t seem to stop thinking. You get distracted & procrastinate closing those eyes. You feel awake, alert, & definitely not ready for bed.
You’re not alone. Optimally you’d achieve 7 hours+ of quality sleep. But, 10-30 million Americans aren’t achieving this! This is a big problem, as sleep is directly associated with mortality & life expectancy!
Today’s article is my personal mission to figure out how CBD can affect your sleep. Will it help you get better rest? Or will it only worsen your sleepless nights? It’s time to find out & finally achieve better rest!
CBD has shown promising potential to help deepen REM cycles. Increasing your quality of sleep & leaving you feeling refreshed in the morning! It can help quiet down your mind & make it easier to fall asleep, quicker. It also may play a role in restoring your circadian rhythm. Making you feel tired when you need rest & awake when you’ve achieved it!
What is Quality Sleep?
To properly assess how CBD affects the quality of rest, we first have to define it!
The National Sleep Foundation has defined the factors of quality sleep as follows:
- Sleeping more time while in bed (85 percent+ of total time)
- Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less
- Waking up no more than once per night
- Being awake for 20 minutes or less after initially falling asleep
So. it’s clearly important to spend more time with your eyes shut while you’re in bed! The less time you are awake, the better. Also, the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep initially is important. So, overall to achieve the quality of sleep you must decrease the amount of time you are awake in bed & increase the amount of time you’re asleep in bed.
These factors play a vital role in truly achieving “rest.” So, the next question is, “does CBD help with these specific factors?”
How CBD Affects Sleep
To determine exactly how CBD can affect sleep patterns, we’ll look to a 2019 survey performed by Project CBD. This survey stands as one of the largest CBD-related surveys to date. With over 3000+ participants responding!
1521 participants, or nearly 50%, stated they were taking CBD for sleep problems. This highlights just how common the issue of not achieving restful sleep is! Most people stated they have trouble staying asleep & getting to sleep. Other issues included waking up tired & feeling sleepy during the day.
Participants were then asked two key questions. First, “How long does it take you to get to sleep?” & “How many times do you wake up through the night?”
On average, before taking CBD it took 62 minutes to get to sleep. After taking CBD, the average time it took to get to sleep dropped to 20 minutes! Before trying CBD, patients also woke up an average of 4.3 times per night. While after starting CBD, the number of times they woke up was reduced to 1.4!
Time to get to sleep was reduced from 62 minutes to 20. While # of times respondents woke up from sleep reduced from 4.3 to just 1.4!
The Morning After CBD
Many of you might ask, “does it make you feel groggy or tired the next morning?” An important question, as many sleep aids do cause you to feel tired or groggy the next morning. But, CBD is much different.
Without CBD, nearly 75% of respondents reported waking up feeling tired. While only 9% of participants reported feeling tired the next morning, after starting CBD!
You should only feel better the next morning. CBD helps you get more quality sleep, for longer. Without being a sedative or a sleep aid, either! So, it will not make you feel bad the next morning. In fact, you should feel more well-rested & ready to take on the day! An important step to conquering every day with ease.
CBD vs. Sleep Aids
The other option besides natural remedies such as CBD, are sleep aids. Ambien, Lunesta, etc. These solutions are widely available & are often the doctor’s answers to poor sleep. But, are they effective? And, what kinds of side effects are possible? How does this compare to CBD?
For this, we’ll cite an article from Project CBD & a paper by Daniel F. Kripke, MD. He is a sleep expert & co-founder of Research at Scripps Clinic Vitebri Family Sleep Center! His paper, “Hypnotic drug risks of mortality, infection, depression, and cancer: but lack of benefit.” highlights the important considerations when it comes to sleep aids.
This paper was based on his review of 40 different studies pertaining to sleep aids & their effects! Out of 40 studies, 39 of them found that consumption of sleep aids/hypnotics is associated with excess mortality, to the tune of 4.6x greater risk of death for those who use them.
“10,000 deaths per year are directly caused by and attributed to sleep aids” – based on Medical Examiner data
While this number seems all too big, it may be worse. Large epidemiological studies suggest this number may be as high as 300,000-500,000 deaths, every single year.
The After Effects of Sleep Aids
Dr. Kripke also concluded the following: even limited use of sleep aids causes next-day functional impairment. Resulting in an increased risk of at-fault car accidents & falls/accidental injuries (especially among seniors). Secondly, he found that the risk of depression was 2.1x higher in those who use sleep aids. While suicide risk was also increased after taking these drugs.
Another eye-opening concern is the increased risk of Cancer. Data from controlled hypnotics trials resulted in 12 cancers in hypnotic participants compared to zero cancers in the placebo group. Although the data couldn’t definitely attribute this to the sleep aids, it is concerning.
In an email exchange with Project CBD, Dr. Kripke writes: “Usage of diphenhydramine is associated with developing Alzheimer’s disease, though which is cause and which is effect is certainly unclear. One well-known aspect of diphenhydramine is that it is anticholinergic [blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine], that produces some heart symptoms sometimes as well as digestive symptoms such as constipation. In some patients, also, diphenhydramine at night causes rather a lot of daytime sleepiness.”
These grim statistics show just how harmful these traditional solutions can be. And, gives people all the more reason to give CBD a shot as a natural, non-harmful alternative.
OTC sleep aids are intended only for occasional or short-term use – never more than two weeks at one time.
Many sleep aids also contain acetaminophen, which can have negative effects on your liver. As the dosage window is very narrow, you may very well be taking too much & thus doing damage to your liver!
CBD can be incredibly beneficial for those who need help achieving truly restful sleep. Decreasing the amount of time it takes to get to sleep, while also reducing the number of times you wake up throughout the night!
Sleep aids, pose incredibly dangerous health risks & may do much more harm than good. They also won’t make you feel so great the next day & are only supposed to be used in a limited capacity (No more than two weeks at a time).
So, if you’re someone who needs help getting good sleep long-term, then CBD is your best bet. Without the lethality, side effects, or any of the risks that exist with sleeping aids! Give it a shot, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.