Studies have shown that as many as 60 percent of CBD users cite insomnia as the main reason they take CBD, and other studies have cited CBD’s ability to aid with stress and anxiety that can exacerbate sleep issues. But does CBD really make you sleepy?
The Endocannabinoid System
There is still some debate over whether CBD actually induces sleep or drowsiness. We do know that CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system to help our bodies achieve homeostasis or balance. Homeostasis can lead to less stress and a feeling of overall relaxation and well-being, which could in turn improve sleep quality. The endocannabinoid system is a cellular-signaling network that plays a role in our mood, pain, appetite, and almost every physiological process in the body. Researchers are still learning more about the calming effects of CBD, but know that CBD interacts with many different brain chemicals and receptors, and these interactions influence a variety of functions, including sleep.
CBD and Sleep Research
Research on CBD and sleep is currently somewhat inconclusive. In a 2013 study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, scientists found that mice given smaller amounts of CBD became more active, but higher doses did make the mice drowsy. A much earlier study published in 1981 found that subjects who received CBD slept longer and more deeply with fewer interruptions.
However, a 2016 study found that CBD activates neurons in the hypothalamus, which actually promotes alertness, meaning CBD could actually make you feel more focused and awake. A 2018 study found that CBD did not alter the sleep patterns of individuals with already healthy sleep cycles. A 2017 review of all literature related to CBD and sleep concluded that CBD does have potential as a treatment for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Should I Try CBD for Insomnia?
In conclusion, CBD may help with many of the underlying causes of insomnia or other sleep issues, and for many, may provide effective relief. More research is needed to find out exactly why so many find CBD effective for sleep issues, and ultimately, each person’s experience with CBD is unique.
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