CBD & Sleep cycles


Before we can understand how CBD restores natural sleep, we must understand that each sleep we have is split into cycles which rest our body and mind in different ways. CBD has been shown to increase deep sleep which is vital to reduce fatigue and be mentally alert. But that's not all, it has been shown to increase REM sleep, which is the most beneficial for memory consolidation and high REM sleep has been linked to both higher mental performance, more pleasant dreams and a greater ability to process your conscious daily thoughts subconsciously gaining you more insight and meaning into you life!

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High-quality sleep is vital, and understanding exactly how it works is key to getting the most out of your rest time. Scientists have discovered that sleep can be divided into five distinct stages. Stages 1 and 2 cover light sleep, 3 and 4 include deep sleep, whilst stage 5 is REM sleep. The deeper stages of sleep are more restful, and promote better recovery. Our innate biological clock controls which stage we are in, and resultantly how much sleep we get!

In contrast to THC, CBD has been shown to increase REM sleep which is where the best quality of rest for your brain occurs. It is where most memory consolidation takes place meaning that CBD can be a cognitive enhancer. REM sleep is also where your hormones get replenished, in men most testosterone gets released during REM sleep hence the use of CBD in the athletic/bodybuilding world. During REM sleep the brain replenishes it's system like no other stage of sleep!

The advent of EEG (electroencephalogram) in the 1920s allowed researchers to discern exactly which stage of sleep we are in. REM sleep is characterised by high frequency alpha brainwaves. This kind of sleep is related to dreaming.  NREM sleep, which includes stages 1-4, is more wakeful and involves mental recuperation of the day’s activity. Both types of sleep play an important part in refreshing and rejuvenating us for the challenges of the next day. Sleep and dreaming provides an excellent opportunity for the brain to reflect on the activities of the day. Without sleep, we find it harder to make sense of the challenges we have faced,  relationships and social interactions.

The trials and tribulations of living in a big city means we all lead busy lives. The combined factors of stress and pressure from work heavily affect the amount of sleep we get and the quality of the rest as well. If you are finding you can’t sleep, or that you feel tired when you wake up - CBD supplementation might be the answer for you!

How does CBD affect sleep

CBD has a long and positive relationship with sleep, as promotes restfulness. The pharmacological action of cannabidiol works around the body to fight chronic inflammation and reduce pain

A recent research paper from 2019 found that introducing CBD to patients with sleep and anxiety complaints reduced their symptoms. Patients reported a 67% increase in sleep quality and around 50% reduction in anxiety symptoms. It is likely that improvement in these conditions goes hand in hand, as better sleep can promote mental wellbeing.

Whilst there is no consensus among scientists on how exactly CBD promotes wakefulness, research trials have shown promising results. In trials of animals and humans with insomnia, the clinical sign of grogginess was noted to have decreased in subjects administered CBD.

CBD has the capacity to treat a wide range of specific medical conditions and is notorious for helping the body regulate itself. Therapeutic high doses of CBD have been trialled to manage REM sleep behaviour disorders (RBD). Patients suffering from RBD cannot keep muscles still when dreaming in REM sleep, and can violently move and act out their dreams. This condition can cause harm to the sufferer themselves or to those around them. Tentative evidence suggests that CBD ensures balance between REM and NREM sleep, positively inhibiting the symptoms of sleep disorders. While this treatment is a while away, it proves that CBD is worth investigating as a cure for sleep-related problems in the future.

CBG Oil, although much less studied, theoretically would have the same benefits as CBD on sleep!

To summarise, CBD supplementation as part of a healthy diet can promote high quality rest, and reduce symptoms of insomnia. Good quality sleep is vital, ensuring good cognitive function and consolidation of information. As there are receptors to CBD molecules all over the body, the effects of supplementation are wide-ranging. If you are after sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow, try CBD oil today!