The endocannabinoid system is in charge of regulating many of our body’s systems and processes. Sleep happens to be one of the processes it regulates. Sleep disorders typically stem from other medical issues or disabilities and are often secondary illnesses. Because of this, it is important to remember that in order to treat the sleep disorder, a person must often figure out the primary cause of the sleep disorder.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common causes for sleep disorders– like insomnia– are:
- Chronic Pain
To directly address sleep, research shows that CBD can help increase endocannabinoid signaling within the central nervous system, resulting in sleep-inducing effects. This is because the CBD activates receptors throughout the body and triggers the release of adenosine, which is a sleep-inducing molecule.
Research has also found that CBD can also positively impact a person’s sleep-wake cycles. When the body’s systems are balanced, the endocannabinoid system naturally produces sufficient CBD and controls sleep-wake cycles. However when systems are unbalanced like they are when a person experiences a sleep disorder, taking additional CBD stimulates the activation and blocking of the cannabinoid receptors in the body. In turn, this helps the body return to a more typical cycle of sleep and wakefulness.
Since insomnia– the most common sleep disorder– can be considered as a disorder in which a person’s brain is unable to stop being awake, the idea of using CBD to promote balanced sleep-wake cycles and treat insomnia is becoming increasingly popular.
When taken in smaller doses, research shows that CBD increases alertness and reduces daytime sleepiness. This is important because not only does is help to improve daytime performance, it also encourages the body to follow a more typical and consistent sleep-wake cycle.
Studies have also found that CBD aides in addressing and reducing the symptoms of many of the ailments that are common causes of sleep disorders: [link to each ailment’s page]
- Chronic Pain
According to the CDC, untreated sleep disorders can lead to difficulty being productive during the day, impaired ability to drive, and other additional health problems. While there are pharmaceutical solutions such as sleeping pills, it is advised that sleeping pills should not be considered a cure and, if not used carefully, can actually make sleep issues worsen. Therefore, medications like sleeping pills are best used only as a last resort and on an as-needed basis.