We all know that sleep is essential in regulating your health. However, the biology surrounding sleep is less known, as all the nuances are not yet fully understood. The benefits of sleep are vast, regulating blood sugar, regulating the thyroid and other hormones, metabolic repair, appetite control, and much more. Here is what’s interesting. All of these things that sleep benefits are part of the endocannabinoid system.
New studies suggest that sleep removes accumulated toxins from your brain while you sleep.
Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep to function optimally. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not get the amount of sleep they need. 30 million Americans get less than this.
The quality of sleep is just as important. If you are tossing and turning during your sleep then that is not exactly beneficial and does not count towards the time of the actual sleep you get. Once again, Americans are struggling in this as sixty percent of American adults experience problems during their actual sleep at night on a weekly basis.
There are over 70 sleep disorders categorized and forty million Americans suffer from at least one of them. Some of these include insomnia, sleep apnea, daytime sleepiness, and restless leg syndrome just to give a few examples.
Sleeping is one of the leading causes of illness in the general population. If you struggle with getting enough quality sleep, taking medication may not be a viable escape route for you either.
Sleep Medication Dangers
How common are sleep medications? 3.38 billion dollars are spent in the United States alone on sleep drugs. Daniel F. Kripke, MD, co-founder of Research at Scripps Clinic Vitebri Family Sleep Center, reviewed forty different studies on sleep medications and its effects. The drugs that were tested in the studies were Ambien, zaleplon, edlmar, and triazolam among many other popular ones. What the study found, was that those taking what we call hypnotics had a significantly higher mortality risk than non-hypnotic users. The risk was 4.6 times greater.
Just this fact alone, that over ten thousand people die every year from taking these drugs, should scare you away from them. The number is even estimated to be as high as three hundred thousand to five hundred thousand. Reason being, most deaths potentially attributed to hypnotics go underreported.
Dr. Kripke has also mentioned the harmful side effects you can experience as soon as the very next day, such as functional impairment, increase in accidents especially in seniors, and mental health issues like depression which go up. The scientific literature on harmful side effects when it comes to taking sleep aid drugs is vast, and those taking it should absolutely proceed with caution.
CBD Oil and Sleep
As I mentioned earlier, the factors in the body that sleep helps with is closely linked with the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system has an influence on how we sleep.
Our brains have cannabinoid receptors. One of them, called CB1, plays a calming role effect in our brains. More importantly how this helps with sleep is, is its ability to lower excess activity in high activity centers of the brain. This can help make falling asleep much easier and faster.
It’s been known for a long time now that cannabinoids help with restful sleep. Studies and experiments from the 1800’s regularly showed how hemp cures sleep disorders. Hemp contains cannabinoids which are the main causal factor for its sleep benefits.
Other Ways CBD Helps With Sleeps
How important is your general mood when it comes to sleep? Well, it turns out a lot. 40 percent of insomniacs also suffer from anxiety or depression. CBD’s benefits when it comes to treating anxiety are well known. Through eliminating anxious thoughts and improving general mental well-being, CBD can make a huge difference here when it comes to getting sleep. Those suffering from mood disorders have by far the highest rate of benefiting from cannabis, the rate being close to 93 percent.
Chronic pain is also one of the main causes of sleep disorders and insomnia. Luckily cannabis is one powerful pain reliever. A study measured the results of cannabis with those suffering from multiple sclerosis, more specifically its effects on pain. The authors of the study concluded, “Compared to placebo, the CBD-predominant extract significantly improved pain, the THC-predominant extract yielded significant improvement in pain, muscle spasm, spasticity and appetite, and combined THC:CBD extracts (Sativex®) significantly improved muscle spasm and sleep.”
Healing of Past Trauma
Post-traumatic stress disorder and general past issues can creep up in our mind especially when we are trying to get sleep. CBD has powerful healing effects on helping you get over them.
Military veterans have commonly used cannabis to recover from PTSD. As well as one case study which showed a 10-year-old girl who was recovering from a history of sexual abuse, greatly improved her anxiety and her sleeping with CBD oil.
Cannabis and CBD oil has many ways in through which it can help you take better control of your health and your sleep.