It’s thought that as many as 16 million adults in the UK struggle with getting that all important shut-eye. Sleep is vital for our health, and as a nation, we’re not great at recognising the implications that poor sleep has on us mentally and physically.
Why we need sleep
Each stage of sleep has a distinctive function, from growth and repair of our bones and tissues to physiological and emotional repair such as stress relief and memory processing. A good night’s sleep helps us wake up happy, feeling refreshed and rested for the day ahead but if sleep is compromised, the risk of experiencing poor mental health increases.
Improving sleep is one of the simplest and most powerful behaviours we can do to improve our health and feelings of wellbeing with research showing that if we can improve our sleep, we can improve our mental health too.
How does stress affect sleep?
When we’re stressed, we’re pushed into a state of ‘fight or flight’ which occurs due to an elevated secretion of stress hormones and manifests in our body as increased alertness, which isn’t conducive to falling asleep. In addition to physical symptoms, feeling stressed can keep our minds racing - one of the biggest obstacles that keeps people from sleeping. Stress not only delays our sleep onset but it can also disrupt our sleep quality, causing us to experience lighter and less restorative sleep.
How can CBD help sleep?
You may have already tried traditional sleep aids such as:
- Sleeping pills
- Room sprays
- An eye mask
- Ear plugs
However, if none of these solutions have worked, you may want to consider a different approach. CBD is a product that many people use to feel more relaxed and encourage a natural sleep, but how does it work?
CBD, a compound extracted from hemp plants has anecdotally been used as a sleep aid for centuries. It’s thought that CBD binds with receptors in our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Our ECS helps the body achieve internal homeostasis - balance - which includes helping us to sleep better. Many take CBD as part of their nightly routine to:
- Help find calm
- Relax and unwind
- Aid anxieties
- Settle stresses from the day
CBD oil is often used for those looking to improve sleep because it’s easy to use and the CBD is more readily absorbed compared with some other methods of taking CBD.
How to use CBD oil
If you want to see if CBD oil could help you wind down, simply place a few drops under your tongue and allow 30 to 60 seconds for it to absorb. This way, it moves directly into the bloodstream and gets to work fast, rather than passing through your digestive system, as is the case with edibles.
It usually takes around 20 minutes before you start to feel the effects of CBD oil. For some, it could take a little longer, so we would recommend taking CBD up to an hour before bedtime.
How to incorporate CBD into your evening ritual
Having a wind-down routine is a great way to decompress from a busy and stressful day. Try incorporating a few small daily habits in the hours before you go to bed to help calm the body and mind. If you’re in need of some inspiration, try some of these:
- Take a warm shower or bath
- Switch off your devices
- Meditate or breath exercises
- Reduce alcohol, caffeine and food intake prior to bedtime
- Make changes to your bedroom so it’s darker, quieter and more comfortable
- Try CBD oil