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Struggling to sleep is a common problem experienced by many in the UK: 1 in 3 people suffer from general poor sleep and up to 1 in 5 people suffer from insomnia. Insomnia is regarded as the difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep at night, and can affect daytime alertness, mood and the ability to concentrate during the day. Sleep and mental health are closely related, as living with a mental health condition can affect your sleep, and poor sleep can affect your mental health. For this reason, insomnia is often linked to anxiety through a cause-and-effect relationship, as sufferers may experience anxiety during the night time about their inability to sleep, contributing further to the sleep disorder. CBD has recently become a popular natural aid for those who suffer from poor sleep, as it works to combat insomnia and general sleeping difficulties by restoring the body back to its natural balance.  

CBD primarily helps to balance the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a key role in stabilising and maintaining bodily functions such as sleep, mood and appetite. Taking a daily dose of CBD can aid insomnia sufferers by rebalancing the body’s sleep patterns, reducing daytime sleepiness and increasing alertness during the day. This, in turn, creates a more consistent sleep cycle as the body prepares for deeper sleep during the night, promoting sustained periods of REM sleep.    

Whilst there is substantial research regarding the efficacy of THC- the psychoactive compound of cannabis that produces a ‘high’- on sleep disorders, more research must be done to determine the effects of CBD on sleep quality and insomnia. However, preliminary research suggests that CBD can help to rebalance the ECS and in turn, rebalance sleep patterns, reducing daytime drowsiness and increasing alertness during the day. By promoting sustained periods of REM sleep during the night, CBD therefore works to prepare the body for a more consistent sleep schedule. CBD also has a calming effect on the nervous system, increasing the production of serotonin and reducing the production of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. People with insomnia tend to produce higher levels of cortisol at night rather than in the morning, which makes it harder for the body to switch off before bedtime. Levels of cortisol have been proven to decrease after taking CBD, resulting in less anxiety and a deeper night’s sleep. One study showed that nearly 80% of participants who used CBD to treat their anxiety reported lower anxiety levels within a month, with sleep improving for more than 65% of participants.

CBD has also proven to be extremely beneficial for those who suffer from insomnia as a result of chronic pain. Studies show that CBD has pain-relieving properties by reducing the levels of anti-inflammatory cells in the body. Additionally, CBD makes the body less sensitive to pain by blocking various pain receptors in the body.[6] Although it is currently unclear whether chronic pain sufferers sleep better due to pain relief or whether the CBD directly affects their sleep quality,[7] it is evident that CBD can provide a natural aid for many by reducing anxieties surrounding sleep difficulties and rebalance the body’s ECS to create a more regulated sleep cycle. The benefits of regular CBD use for insomnia sufferers are plentiful, and include an easing of nerves and stress, regulated moods and appetite, and overall deeper periods of sleep.

Whilst there is substantial research regarding the efficacy of THC- the psychoactive compound of cannabis that produces a ‘high’- on sleep disorders, more research must be done to determine the effects of CBD on sleep quality and insomnia. However, preliminary research suggests that CBD can help to rebalance the ECS and in turn, rebalance sleep patterns, reducing daytime drowsiness and increasing alertness during the day. By promoting sustained periods of REM sleep during the night, CBD therefore works to prepare the body for a more consistent sleep schedule. CBD also has a calming effect on the nervous system, increasing the production of serotonin and reducing the production of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. People with insomnia tend to produce higher levels of cortisol at night rather than in the morning, which makes it harder for the body to switch off before bedtime. Levels of cortisol have been proven to decrease after taking CBD, resulting in less anxiety and a deeper night’s sleep. One study showed that nearly 80% of participants who used CBD to treat their anxiety reported lower anxiety levels within a month, with sleep improving for more than 65% of participants.

CBD has also proven to be extremely beneficial for those who suffer from insomnia as a result of chronic pain. Studies show that CBD has pain-relieving properties by reducing the levels of anti-inflammatory cells in the body. Additionally, CBD makes the body less sensitive to pain by blocking various pain receptors in the body. Although it is currently unclear whether chronic pain sufferers sleep better due to pain relief or whether the CBD directly affects their sleep quality, it is evident that CBD can provide a natural aid for many by reducing anxieties surrounding sleep difficulties and rebalance the body’s ECS to create a more regulated sleep cycle. The benefits of regular CBD use for insomnia sufferers are plentiful, and include an easing of nerves and stress, regulated moods and appetite, and overall deeper periods of sleep.  

Worry related sleep problems have become even more prevalent recently as a result of the pandemic and the nation’s numerous lockdowns; more than half of Britons have reportedly experienced more disturbed sleep than usual. Anxieties about the pandemic and long periods of uncertainty we are collectively experiencing can lead to an increase in the production of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, at night rather than in the morning. This makes it harder for the body to relax before bedtime, as the body struggles to switch off and prepare itself to rest. Levels of cortisol have been proven to decrease after taking CBD over a sustained period of time, resulting in less night time anxiety and a deeper night’s sleep. Try a teaspoon of Mee powder stirred into a herbal tea 20 minutes before sleep and see if you feel your mind and body unclenching from the day.

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