Will CBD send you off to snooze town? (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)
I love sleep.
I love getting comfy and feeling myself drifting off; I love dreaming; and, most of all, I love waking up, no alarm clocks in earshot, feeling completely rested.
However, as with most love stories, loving sleep doesn’t equate to having a successful relationship with it – in fact, it’s something I really struggle with.
A few months ago I had a week of such bad sleep that I felt like crying everytime I woke up: enough was enough, I thought, and it was time to make a change.
I’d heard a lot about how CBD can help you not just get to sleep, but have a better quality sleep, but I wasn’t sure if it was a gimmick, so I decided to try it out for myself.
CBD is cannabidiol, one of over 110 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids which are found in the cannabis plant – and it’s everywhere right now.
The CBD market has boomed exponentially over the last few years, expected to be worth £1billion by 2025, and is used most commonly for anxiety, sports recovery, neurological disorders like epilepsy, chronic pain and, of course, sleep.
What does the science say about CBD oil and sleep?
Dr Elisabeth Philipps is a clinical neuroscientist and leading expert in the endocannabinoid system and phytocannabinoids including CBD. She runs a CBD clinic and consults and collaborates with CBD brand FourFive.
She tells Metro.co.uk that, although the human studies around sleep and CBD are only small scale (around 70 to 80 people), many show that people’s sleep improved within the first month of taking CBD.
It’s best to drop CBD oil under your tongue (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)
‘Not only that, but they felt better in the morning as well,’ she says. ‘I think it’s quite important with sleep to look at both how much sleep we’re getting and also, the quality of it.’
According to Elisabeth, there are a number of hypotheses for why CBD seems to work.
The first is that it simply makes us feel more relaxed: ‘There are studies that show CBD can reduce anxiety and help us feel more relaxed,’ says Elisabeth, which is what ultimately helps some people deal with that whirring mind I mentioned earlier.
Another theory is that it helps with chronic pain and, since pain is more heightened at night, the pain relief may help with insomnia.
These are both ‘indirect effects’ that, in turn, help us sleep better, Elisabeth says.
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However, a third theory – and one that doesn’t have enough solid research into it yet – is that CBD actually changes our sleep architecture.
This is down to the way CBD reacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a biological …read more
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