Almost one-third of young people aged between 18 and 25 experience sleeping problems. Besides, 25 – 30% of the overall population experience sleep disturbances due to upsetting events, stress, poor sleeping habits, jet lag, medication side effects, or chronic pain. Experiencing insomnia can cause detrimental effects on the body and can ordinarily affect the general functioning of the body. Some of the adverse effects include memory problems, low physical energy, and irritation. Similarly, poor REM sleep has been linked to anxiety issues as well as the incomplete resolve of the emotional part of the brain when sleeping. Some people have settled into using sleeping pills, but they have not been entirely satisfactory. Some of these medications also have an addictive component which is not conducive to the body’s general health. Cannabidiol (CBD) provides a solution to sleeping problems using its anxiolytic properties.
Importance of Sleep
Most people underestimate the significance of sleep. Aside from the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, the amount of sleep required varies from person to person. One person may feel comfortable having a six-hour sleep while another may feel fatigued afterward. However, it can only become problematic if sleep deprivation is extended. Apparently, sleep forms almost a third of the human life.
Sleep rejuvenates the body giving it energy for yet another day of activity. It is the reason why the lack of sleep for an extended period can even lead to the death of an individual. A groundbreaking experiment denied sleep to rats, and they were all dead after 32 days. During sleep, the body can get rid of dead cells and build new ones. Sleeping also helps the brain store the events of the day to remember another time. Apart from these, the muscles also tend to relax during sleep, heart rates become slower, and the brain wave frequencies also become lower.
The Sleep Cycle
The difference between non-REM sleep and REM sleep was first established in 1953. Once a person lies down to sleep, he or she undergoes four different non-REM sleep stages for about 4 to 5 cycles. Phase three of the sleep cycle has the deepest sleep while REM sleep is close to wakefulness. After about 70 minutes of non-REM sleep, the body shifts to REM sleep which occurs for only five minutes. Each stage is significant to the overall psychological and neurological function of the body. However, it is during REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep) that a person experiences dreams. During this stage, the body resembles that of waking life, but the muscles are paralyzed which prevents the body from acting out what’s happening in the dream. Non-REM stages of sleep shorten progressively allowing extra time for REM sleep which can extend up to 40 minutes of dreaming before a person can wake up.
Stress, Anxiety, and Sleep
Most people experience stress-induced sleep problems at least once a week. Over 75% of people with anxiety and sleep problems mention that they feel more stressed and anxious by the condition. Sleeping problems cause anxiety while anxiety causes sleeping problems.
CBD and Sleep Problems
CBD is an extract from the cannabis plant. THC also forms part of this cannabis plant. Both of them have been proven to have medicinal significance. However, since THC is psychoactive, it is illegal. Among the many beneficial effects of CBD, it can also help the body deal with insomnia and sleeping problems. It, however, does not make a person fall asleep quickly but also influences the sleep cycle. CBD prolongs the third stage of non-REM sleep which is associated with deep sleep. This stage is of significance for those people with sleeping disorders. CBD also shortens the REM sleep period which is characterized by light sleeping. As a result, a person experiences fewer dreams, depression symptoms decrease, and memory is improved.
Previous studies show that CBD uses its anxiolytic effect to block anxiety induced REM sleep alterations. People with post-traumatic stresses (PTSD) usually complain of insomnia and abnormal REM sleep. Patients with insomnia reported increased sleep and less dream recall. The reduced dream recall is presumed to be caused by the reduced REM sleep which is the stage where dreaming occurs.
CBD can treat complex sleep-related disorders such as REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). RBD is a type of ailment where the patient acts out the events of a dream during the REM stage of sleep. This condition can cause danger to these patients and even those sleeping close to them. Patients with this condition are likely to have Parkinson’s disease and dementia later in their lives. Reducing the period of REM sleep with the help of CBD can alleviate these symptoms allowing the patient sleep through it. However, CBD should not be consumed excessively with the intention of getting rid of REM sleep entirely. The objective is to have a shorter but quality REM sleep.
Terminal insomnia or late insomnia is a condition that affects the sleep patterns of individuals. Affected persons lose sleep before dawn breaks. The body fails to engage into REM sleep during the last cycle of sleep. CBD increases the amount of sleep, and in the process, late insomnia will be treated.
CBD as Support
CBD can help address any sleep-related issues in the body. However, sleep problems are sometimes related to other underlying issues. It is therefore important to deal with these matters first if recognizable. Nevertheless, CBD will quickly deal with any anxiety or chronic pain that is hindering proper sleeping. The advantage of CBD is that it lacks any side effects to the body. CBD is homeopathic soporific which means anyone can purchase it for use.
The primary cause of improper sleeping and insomnia is anxiety. If the body can relax, then a good night sleep will be an automatic outcome. CBD provides a solution by calming the body and increasing the time for the most crucial stage of the sleeping process. Consequently, the body can experience shorter and quality REM sleep. The body is also able to deal with symptoms of sleeping disorders that can cause harm to the patient and those around. CBD is available in a wide range of products that are available in the market.