Many of us have sleep issues. Some nights you may have no problem hitting the hay but more often than not you might find your mind racing beyond control.

For many, and possibly even you, a struggle with sleep can be a difficult reality. But the truth is that about 70 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep disorders.

A Natural Path to Improved Sleep:
The majority of Venga CBD customers say that CBD has helped them sleep much better.

CBD oil, derived from the cannabis plant, plays an important role in sleep. Preliminary research into cannabis and insomnia suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia.

CBD & SLEEP

Cannabinoids have been used for centuries to promote sleepiness and to help people stay asleep. In the acclaimed medical reference Materia Medica, published in the 18th century, cannabis was listed as a ‘narcotica’ and ‘anodyna’ (pain reliever).

Its reintroduction to Western medicine by Sir William B. O’Shaughnessy in 1843 led to studies that underscored the remedial properties of “Indian hemp” for sleep disorders.

CBD for sleeping“Of all anaesthetics ever proposed, Indian hemp is the one which produced a narcotism most closely resembling one’s natural sleep without causing any extraordinary excitement of the vessels, or any particular suspension of secretions, or without fear of a dangerous reaction, and consecutive paralysis,” German researcher Bernard Fronmueller observed in 1860.

Nine years later Fronmueller reported that in 1000 patients with sleep disturbance, Indian hemp produced cures in 53 percent, partial cure in 21.5 percent, and little or no effects in 25.5 percent.

Sleep-related problems continue to drive a large percentage of people to seek relief with cannabis. Poor sleep and lack of sleep cause physiological changes in the body after just one night, resulting in slower reaction times, deceased cognitive performance, less energy, aggravated pain and inflammation, and in many cases overeating or cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate “comfort” foods.

A 2014 study by Babson et al notes that approximately 50 percent of long-term cannabis consumers (over 10 years) report using cannabis as a sleep aid. Among medical marijuana patients, 48 percent report using cannabis to help with insomnia.

Another study revealed that 40 percent of insomniacs also suffer from anxiety and depression or another psychiatric disorder (Roth, 2007). Would it surprise you to learn that people with mood disorders who use cannabis have the highest rates of sleep benefit at 93 percent? (Babson & Bonn-Miller, 2014)

CBD & CBN

What about specific plant cannabinoids for sleep?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is alerting or mildly stimulating in moderate doses. However, research data and anecdotal accounts indicate that CBD can be both alerting or sedating depending on dosage.

The biphasic dose response triggered by CBD is one of the factors that may contribute to conflicting research results with respect to cannabinoids and sleep.

The association between low-dose cannabidiol and increased wakefulness underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for narcolepsy and other variants of excessive daytime sleepiness.

Curiously, CBD can help people fall asleep as well as stay awake. An insomnia study indicated that the administration of 160 mgs of CBD decreased nighttime sleep interruptions and increased total sleep time, suggesting that high-dose CBD therapy can improve the quality and duration of sleep.

In addition to showing promise as a safe and effective alternative to conventional psychiatric treatments for insomnia, cannabidiol can reduce symptoms of REM behavior disorder (RBD), which is characterized by the acting out of vivid, intense, and sometimes violent dreams.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent form of sleep disorder breathing that affects nine percent of American adults. Research involving animal models of this condition has shown that the endogenous cannabinoid oleamide is effective in reducing sleep apnea events (Babson 2017).

Additionally, cannabinol (CBN), most commonly associated with aged cannabis, is said to potentiate sedative properties as well.

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR IMPROVING SLEEP

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 27 percent of respondents indicated that they used complementary, non-pharmaceutical therapies for fatigue and 26.4 percent for sleep deprivation.

Here are a few simple lifestyle modifications and holistic healing options that may improve your sleep quality.

Create an inviting sleep environment. Having a comfortable bed in a relaxing environment is key to quality sleep. Reduce outside or harsh overhead lighting and maintain a comfortable temperature for sleeping. Try to reduce noise, and if you are a light sleeper consider using a white noise machine to drown out unwanted sound. Salt lamps may help clean the air by reducing positive ions (and provide enough light to get to the bathroom without intruding on sleep).

Have a sleep routine. Going to bed and waking at the same time seven days a week is optimal. Additionally, it is helpful for some people to have a relaxing bedtime routine that lets the mind know it is time to get sleepy. This may include a small warm cup of milk or decaffeinated tea 45 minutes to an hour before bed, and epsom salt bath or a few simple yoga stretches to relax.

Avoid overstimulation. It is best not to have a television in the bedroom and not to watch violent shows before bedtime, especially for those with adrenal fatigue. Avoid reading or using your phone, laptop or tablet in bed.

Exercise daily. Regardless if your preference is jogging, weightlifting, gardening, walking or tai chi, do some form of exercise every day. But avoid exercising within two hours of bedtime.

Avoid stimulants after 1PM. Caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, certain herbal supplements and drugs may leave you feeling “hyper” and overstimulated, which can impede the brain’s ability to transition into sleep.

Experiment with aromatherapy. Many of the sedating essential oil components present in cannabis can also be found in other plants at your local grocery or natural products store, along with misters that spay the oil into the air. Aromatherapy can be relaxing and very helpful to induce sleep. Lavender essential oil, for example, can help to manage certain sleep disorders.

Use sleep-supporting herbs. It is best to work with a healer or someone knowledgeable about herbs and supplements instead of buying whatever sleep cure is touted on the internet. Herbs that have sleep-promoting properties include Valerian, Kava, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Passion Flower, California Poppy, Hops, Lemon Balm, Linden, Skullcap, and Oats. Visit the American Herbalist Guild to find a qualified practitioner.

Nutritional supplements. Consult your physician about products made with Kava, calming minerals, and taking the right kind of magnesium at night.

OTHER THERAPIES

In addition to cannabis, safe holistic healing alternatives include cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, and bright light therapy for circadian rhythm disorders.

DID YOU KNOW?

The compound terpene myrcene, present in Venga CBD products, acts as a natural sedative and improves one’s quality of sleep. Myrcene works in synergy with CBD as a naturally-derived sleep remedy and has been shown to increase sleep duration in various studies.  And when you have a high-quality sleep, it aids body repair, better cognition, and increased immunity.

So what do you say… is it time for a nap?

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