Suffering from any kind of sleep disorder can affect your day-to-day life. Many people who suffer from a sleep disorder have started to turn their attention towards Cannabidiol (CBD) as a natural solution.
Before we go into detail about CBD, it’s important to look at the different types of sleep disorders and the causes.
Although many of us face nights where we can’t sleep due to stress, travel, illness or other temporary distractions. However, if you find you’re facing a night-time battle on a regular basis, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder.
Having a sleep disorder isn’t just about feeling a little sleepy during the day, it can take a serious toll on your overall health.
Sleep Disorder as a symptom
In some cases, a sleep disorder can be a symptom as a result of another medical condition or medical treatment.
This type of sleep disorder usually goes away once the treatment or underlying condition has received treatment and has been addressed.
Although a lack of sleep doesn’t seem important enough to see your doctor about. It is important you do see a doctor if you suspect a sleep disorder as early intervention can help treat it sooner and avoid any negative effects.
If a sleep disorder isn’t a result of another medical condition, treatment usually involved a combination of medical treatment and lifestyle changes.
Living with a sleep disorder
Depending on the type and the severity of the sleep disorder, many people find it incredibly difficult to fall asleep and feel tired through-out the day. This lack of sleep can have a serious negative affect on the person’s mood, energy, concentration and overall health.
Sleep disorders affect both mental and physical health of a sufferer. Lack of sleep can lead to memory problems and weight gain and a host of mental health problems.
Not only this, but as sleep disorders make you feel drained on a day-to-day basis, this can affect daily living. People with sleep disorders often find their performance at work decreases, relationships become more strained and they find they struggle with their ability to perform daily tasks.
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Types of sleep disorders
Sleeping disorders prevent restful sleep and can cause daytime dysfunction. There’s many different types of sleep disorders, the most common sleep disorders include:
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
While snoring seems like a normal thing to happen when asleep, however, sometimes it can indicate a difficulty in keeping the throat open while asleep. Its more serious companion is a chronic medical condition called sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition where the sufferer can repeatedly stop breathing when asleep. These episodes last around 10 seconds or more and causes the oxygen levels in the blood to drop or wakes the person up from sleep.
The two main types of sleep apnea are, Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) and Obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This type of sleep apnea happens when something partly or completely blocks your upper airway during sleep. When this happens, it makes your diaphragm and chest muscles work harder to open the obstructed airway and pull air into the lungs. Breathing usually resumes with a loud gasp, snort, or body jerk. Although this may seem like a scary experience, you probably won’t be aware that this is happening. However, it can affect the quality of sleep you have and how you feel day-to-day.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
In Central Sleep Apnea, your breathing faces disruption regularly during sleep because of the way the brain functions. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, it’s not that you can’t breathe, but the brain does not tell your muscles to breathe. This type of sleep apnea is usually associated with serious illness, especially an illness which affects the lower brainstem as this controls breathing.
Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint. People suffering with insomnia have an inability to obtain a sufficient amount of sleep or good quality sleep.
Sufferers of insomnia find it takes them a lot longer to fall asleep, often 20 to 30 minutes more than someone who doesn’t have this sleep disorder. In addition, they will often find they wake more often at night and struggle to get back to sleep. If this occurs at least 3 nights per week and lasts for at least 3 months, this is chronic insomnia.
Insomnia involves both a sleep disruptions and daytime symptoms. The effects of insomnia can impact nearly every aspect of a person’s daily life. Studies show that insomnia negatively affects in many aspects of a person’s life from relationships to work performance to low mood. In most cases, people with insomnia report a worse overall quality of life.
This type of brief insomnia lasts for up to three months. It occurs in 15 to 20 percent of people.
This type of insomnia occurs at least three times per week and lasts for at least three months. About 10 percent of people have chronic insomnia.
According to the National Sleep IQ Foundation, around 40% of people have some symptoms of hypersomnia from time to time.
Hypersomnia is a condition that causes excessive sleepiness. People with this condition often have trouble staying awake during the day. As a result, someone suffering from hypersomnia can fall asleep at any time; for instance, at work or while they are driving. They may also have other sleep-related problems, including a lack of energy and trouble thinking clearly.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is a sleep disorder because the constant need to move one’s legs during rest. As a result, this affects the quality of sleep and how long it takes to get to sleep. Sleep loss is one of the most commonly reported side effects of Restless Leg Syndrome. This leads to similar symptoms of sleep deprivation found in other disorders linked to diminished quality of life.
How does CBD work for sleep disorders?
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plants. Another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant is THC. This cannabinoid is responsible for delivering the psychoactive effects associated with getting high.
While these two cannabinoids have similar qualities, it’s important to know that unlike THC, CBD does not get you high. As a result, CBD is available for sale in the UK as a ‘food supplement’.
Does CBD actually work for sleep disorders?
There are many testimonials online from various people who are praising the benefits of CBD for many conditions. However, the benefits of CBD for sleep is a recurring theme in many of the reviews, regardless if they started taking CBD specifically for sleep or not.
People with narcolepsy experience ‘sleep attacks’ where they experience excessive daytime sleepiness. This results in intermittent, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the day. These sleep attacks are not limited to periods of dull or low engagement activities and can happen at any time with or without warning. Some patients with narcolepsy experience sudden muscle weakness with laughter or other emotions. The symptoms can vary from person to person.
Treating a sleep disorder
When it comes to treating a sleep disorder, it important to figure out if there’s an underlying cause such as a medical condition.
While doctors may offer lifestyle changes instead of medical intervention to attempt to get your sleep routine back on track. Your doctor may prescribe or offer medical treatment. The type of treatment will depend on the cause of your sleep disorder, but treatments can include:
- sleeping pills
- melatonin supplements
- allergy or cold medication
- medications for any underlying health issues
- breathing device or surgery (usually for sleep apnea)
- a dental guard (usually for teeth grinding)
According to research, CBD has the ability to reduce anxiety. As a result, reducing anxiety can be helpful in reducing sleep problems. In addition, by reducing anxiety, CBD may increase overall sleep quality and time and improve insomnia.
For a patient suffering from pain related conditions, research has shown that CBD can help reduce pain. For more information on CBD and pain relief click here.
CBD v’s Prescriptions
In recent time, there has been an increase of people seeking natural remedies as alternatives to prescription drugs. Prescription drugs for sleep like Zopiclone can be habit-forming and can cause damage to the liver over time. The unnatural sleep that sleeping pills induce can leave you feeling less-than-refreshed and groggy the following morning.
Although thousands of people have got rid of their sleeping pills by switching to CBD. More in-depth research is first needed to confirm if CBD helps sleep disorders. For now, the only way to find out for sure if CBD contributes to better sleep is to try it for yourself.
CBD oil may also help sleep patterns reset and so break that vicious cycle when anxiety is the cause of your sleeping problems. A Brazilian study showed that when test subjects took CBD, sleep increased significantly compared to the placebo.
‘Cannabidiol (CBD) is a popular treatment for insomnia, and promotes refreshing REM sleep to reduced excessive daytime sleepiness,’ says Dr Brewer. ‘CBD is proven to be particularly helpful for sleep disorders in people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.’
‘A recent review of preliminary research found that cannabidiol (CBD) may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia and may hold promise for REM sleep behaviour disorder,’ Dr Brewer adds.
- The nonpsychoactive Cannabis constituent cannabidiol is a wake-inducing agent
- Cannabis, pain, and sleep: Lessons from therapeutic clinical trials of Sativex
- Effects of acute systemic administration of CBD on sleep-wake cycle in rats
- Effect of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on nocturnal sleep and early-morning behavior in young adults
- CBD modulates sleep in rats
- Endocannabinoid modulation of cortical up-states and NREM sleep
- Intranodose ganglion injections of dronabinol attenuate serotonin-induced apnea in Sprague-Dawley rat
- Endocannabinoid Signaling Regulates Sleep Stability
- Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature
- Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report.