When to Consider CBD for Better Sleep

When to Consider CBD for Better Sleep

If you rarely wake up feeling refreshed, alert, and ready for the day, you’re not alone: One in three adults in the United States report that they frequently get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. Sleep difficulties often stem from factors like: 

No matter what its cause, living with chronic sleep problems can diminish your energy, well-being, and quality of life. And because it can also increase your risk of injury, chronic disease, and mental illness, it’s not something you should ignore. 

At Stuart Lerner, MD, in Kailua, Hawaii, Dr. Lerner and our team of board-certified providers understand the close, bi-directional relationship between quality sleep and good health, and we’re here to help you improve and protect both. Here’s when CBD oil can be a helpful sleep aid for supporting better rest. 

Cannabis is a common sleep aid 

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is widely considered an effective sleep aid among both recreational and medical users. According to a recent survey, over two-thirds of young people (70%) who casually use cannabis do so to help them sleep; likewise, about half of long-term users (50%) say that marijuana is a helpful sleep aid. 

And most people (85%) who take medical marijuana to treat chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or another condition say that it also helps them sleep better.    

Understanding cannabinoids

The main cannabinoids in medical marijuana — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — are increasingly recommended as beneficial pharmacological interventions for people with chronic sleep problems. 

While both these cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid and neurochemical systems to influence anxiety, mood, autonomic function, and the circadian sleep/wake cycle, they do so in different ways:

Although experts are still studying how (and how well) cannabis enhances sleep, they do know that its calming effects arise from its interactions with certain brain receptors. When THC and CBD bind to these receptors, they trigger signals to boost your adenosine levels and calm your brain’s arousal system, making you feel relaxed or sleepy.

A closer look at CBD oil for sleep

Anecdotal evidence shows that people who take THC in small doses close to bedtime find it easier to relax and fall asleep faster. Experts believe that THC may also help lengthen the amount of time spent in slow-wave sleep, fostering the kind of deep, restorative sleep you need to feel rested. 

Unfortunately, THC also possesses psychoactive properties that can trigger feelings of being “high.” Because this quality affects each person differently, some may experience it even at lower doses. Given that THC can promote feelings of alertness and anxiety at higher doses, too, finding the right dosage is very important. 

CBD, on the other hand, promotes alertness at lower doses, and relaxation and sleepiness at higher doses. CBD calms the nervous system, and because it doesn’t come with the potential psychoactive effects of THC, many people find it to be a better sleep aid option. 

Another major benefit of CBD over THC is that it doesn't have effects that could lead to potential dependency, or carry an increased risk of abuse. 

Can CBD help me sleep better?

Stress and anxiety are central to many sleep problems; if they aren’t the underlying cause, they may occur as sleeplessness persists. CBD can be very helpful in such cases, calming your nervous system to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer — and easing your stress and anxiety at the same time.   

In fact, CBD can help ease many physical and mental health conditions that interfere with sleep. By alleviating these conditions, CBD can help you restore more optimal sleep quality and quantity. You’re likely to benefit from CBD if your sleep problems are related to:

The bottom line? CBD works well for pain management and stress and anxiety reduction, and it’s used widely for inducing relaxation and supporting improved sleep. To find out if CBD oil can help you get a better night’s sleep, call or click online to schedule a visit at Stuart Lerner, MD, in Kailua, Hawaii, today.

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