The Negative Effects of Too Little Sleep
As crucial as sleep is to our health and happiness, research suggests that most of us do not get enough sleep to meet our needs. Whether your sleep disruption is occasional or frequent, too little sleep, or even poor quality sleep is detrimental to your health. If you are trying to function while sleep deprived, you may recognize some of the following:
- Daytime sleepiness or chronic fatigue
- Moodiness or increased agitation
- Problems with memory or concentration
- Weight gain or difficulty with weight loss
- Intensification of physical pain
- Symptoms of depression or anxiety
- Headaches or digestive disturbances
- Increased susceptibility to viruses or infection
- Impulsive behavior
If you have been experiencing sleep disturbances, have difficulty falling or staying asleep, you could be one of the millions living with insomnia. Today, research suggests that CBD (cannabidiol) is potentially beneficial for many common sleep disorders. To understand how CBD could improve your sleep, you may need to understand how CBD works with your body.
The Discovery of Your Communication Network
You have a network of messengers and receptors located throughout your body responsible for nearly every vital function. This recently discovered communication system is called your endocannabinoid system. Some of the functions regulated by your endocannabinoid system include:
- Your cardiovascular and digestive processes
- Memory and learning
- Your moods and emotions
- Your sleep cycle regulation
- Temperature regulation and metabolism
- Inflammation and pain perception
The Effects of CBD on Your Messengers and Receptors
Your endocannabinoid system receptors respond to two types of messengers (cannabinoids) to generate a response from your brain. The first type of messenger is called an endocannabinoid; your body makes two. The cannabinoids produced in your body are 2-AG and anandamide.
The second type of cannabinoid is called an endocannabinoid because it comes from an outside source, the cannabis plants. While many people are initially uncomfortable when they learn that CBD is extracted from cannabis, there is no cause for concern. There are two potential sources of CBD, hemp, and marijuana.
CBD from Hemp is Non-Psychoactive
The CBD from marijuana and hemp both mimic the effects of the cannabinoids produced by your body, but there is one distinct difference. Marijuana contains high amounts (5-30 percent) of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the cannabinoid responsible for the high associated with marijuana use.
The CBD from hemp provides all the potential benefits of exogenous cannabinoids, without the risk of intoxication. That’s because hemp contains only trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3 percent), not enough to cause a psychoactive effect, even in high doses.
Your Body Needs Cannabinoids to Function
Most of your vital functions, including your sleep cycles, are regulated by cannabinoids. Ideally, your body would produce all the cannabinoids you need on its own. Unfortunately, your messaging system may require more cannabinoids than your body can produce.
Today, many researchers are looking towards endocannabinoid deficiencies as the cause of numerous health concerns. That may explain why CBD shows so much potential for alleviating so many seemingly unrelated health concerns, including insomnia.
How CBD Could Ease Your Sleep Issues
Since your moods and emotions, pain perception, and sleep cycles are regulated by your endocannabinoid system, supplementing this system with CBD has the potential to improve sleep quality. There are several benefits that promote restful sleep, including:
- Alleviating Pain and Inflammation
If pain is keeping you awake at night, CBD could eliminate your discomfort, help you fall asleep faster, and keep pain from causing you to wake during the night. CBD inhibits the breakdown of anandamide. Studies show that the more anandamide in your system, the less pain you will feel
Your sleep cycles are regulated by circadian rhythms, which is the physical response to darkness and light. Due to subtle influences, such as exposure to blue light, our sleep cycles can be disrupted. Supplementing your endocannabinoid system with CBD can stabilize your sleep patterns over time.
- Reducing Stress and Anxiety
By increasing the serotonin levels in your bloodstream, CBD has the potential to reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. When you take anxiety symptoms out of the equation, you will likely have an easier time falling asleep.
- Improving Your Capacity for REM Sleep
REM sleep disorders can keep you from getting quality sleep. During REM sleep your body is supposed to be immobilized, this keeps you from physically reacting to your dreams. If you have a REM sleep disorder, you are free to move about. CBD is shown to improve REM sleep by balancing this function.