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Cannabinoids and Circadian Rhythms

Does CBD Help You Sleep? Cannabinoids and Circadian Rhythms

According to various surveys, sleep is among the top three reasons that Americans use CBD. A wide body of scientific evidence suggests that this all-natural compound benefits sleep in a way that no other sleeping-aid can. CBD has been shown to improve REM sleep, reduce difficulty falling asleep, prevent nighttime waking, regulate circadian rhythms, and inhibit sleep disturbances caused by pain, stress, and other factors. In short, CBD greatly improves the quality, quantity, and consistency of the sleep that we receive on a nightly basis. And as scientific evidence continues to support the benefits of CBD for sleep, industry leaders such as Your CBD Store have responded by launching innovative CBD products designed specifically for sleep.

Cannabinoids and Circadian Rhythms

But how does CBD benefit sleep in so many different ways, and how does it differ from more traditional sleeping aids? What are CBD’s benefits for sleep, and how is this compound so intimately involved in the quality and quantity of sleep we receive? Does CBD induce sleep by making you tired, and does this mean that it should only be consumed at night? And how do you use CBD for sleep?

In this article, we answer these questions and others, discussing how and why CBD has such a profound impact on nearly all aspects of our sleep. As we will show, CBD works at an in-depth, physiological level to eliminate the underlying causes of poor sleep, making this holistic sleep-aid superior to any other. Finally, we discuss other, “minor” cannabinoids such as CBN, which are gaining industry-wide attention for their additional, enhanced benefits for sleep.

Does CBD Help You Sleep?

CBD does help you sleep, though it doesn’t do so by making you tired. The idea that CBD affects sleep by inducing sleepiness is a misconception. Instead, it works at a much deeper and more intricate level to alleviate the underlying causes of poor sleep in the long-term. CBD impacts our circadian rhythms, or sleep-wake cycles. Rather than temporarily inducing drowsiness to mask the symptoms of poor sleeping patterns, CBD restores the balance and health of our sleep cycles to promote healthy sleep on a long-term basis.

If you are using CBD to promote healthy sleep, you should not necessarily expect it to work when administered before bed on an “as-needed” basis. But there are enormous benefits to the regular, consistent, and everyday  use of CBD oil for sleep. Moreover, because it does not induce drowsiness, CBD will not negatively impact your performance or mindset during the day.

Sleeping Cycles and The Endocannabinoid System

CBD produces its benefits through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of receptors and neurotransmitters that controls nearly all of our physiological processes and bodily functions–including sleep. In fact, decades of scientific research suggests that the ECS plays a crucial role in regulating our circadian rhythms, or sleep-wake cycles; as one trial suggests, “the ECS serves as the link between circadian regulation systems and the behavioral and physiological processes that are affected, including sleep” (Babson et al, 2017).

Thus maintaining a healthy endocannabinoid system is crucial to maintaining healthy sleeping patterns. The reason that CBD produces so many benefits is because it promotes endocannabinoid system health, which relies on the amount of cannabinoids present in the body. Our body partially supplies this need for cannabinoids by producing its own, naturally occurring endocannabinoids, but due to common lifestyle factors (including stress, diet, and more), we often become endocannabinoid deficient. When endocannabinoid deficiency occurs, the ECS is deregulated, and the physiological processes that it controls are thrown into disarray–as a result, we feel symptoms (in this case, sleeping problems).

This is where CBD comes in. CBD produces its benefits by replenishing cannabinoid levels in the body, and thereby promoting a healthy endocannabinoid system. When cannabinoid levels are replenished through the use of CBD, the ECS regains its capacity to balance and regulate our bodily functions–as a result, we feel symptom relief (in this case, the ability to achieve healthy sleep on a nightly basis).

Circadian Rhythms, CBD, and The Endocannabinoid System

As aforementioned, scientific evidence suggests that the ECS is perhaps the most important regulator of our circadian rhythms, or sleep wake cycles. Our circadian rhythms establish an internal “body clock” that establishes our sleeping schedule: this clock tells the brain when it is time to become tired and fall asleep at night, and when it is time to wake up and become alert each morning.

When our circadian rhythms are healthy, so are our sleeping patterns–because this internal body clock is set to the appropriate times, it allows us to fall asleep at a consistent, appropriate time each night, while also telling us when to wake up. When our circadian rhythms are deregulated, our body often receives signals to fall asleep or wake up at inappropriate times, which can lead to daytime sleepiness or nighttime waking.

This clock sets the time for sleep, waking, and daytime alertness in-between. Researchers have found that cannabinoid deficiency in the endocannabinoid system de-regulates sleeping cycles and disturbs circadian rhythms. This establishes unhealthy sleeping patterns, offsetting our internal body clock to the wrong times; we may experience excessive sleepiness in the middle of the day, or habitually wake up at 3am each morning. Because circadian rhythms are cyclical and repetitive, this body clock can be difficult to reset once it has begun to dysfunction. After a few nights of poor sleep, your sleep cycles are disrupted, and it becomes biologically difficult for the body to attain consistent, healthy, quality sleep thereafter. And for those suffering from insomnia or more difficult sleep disorders, this can perpetuate poor sleeping habits in the long-term.

Yet when we use CBD, we restore balance to the endocannabinoid system, and, in doing so, we restore balance to the various bodily functions that it controls. This includes sleep: by replenishing cannabinoid levels to support ECS health, we empower the endocannabinoid system to reset our internal body clock, and to restore balance and consistency to our circadian rhythms.

The ultimate role of the endocannabinoid system is to promote homeostasis, a state of internal balance amidst changing external factors. And as studies have shown, the ECS also promotes sleep homeostasis, specifically. Sleep homeostasis refers to the proper regulation of sleep and waking, and establishes a healthy balance between the two. The endocannabinoid system plays a central role in establishing sleep homeostasis–and consequently, so does CBD. Homeostasis is crucial to maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle and balanced circadian rhythms, as our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by homeostatic mechanisms. Thus by inducing sleep homeostasis, CBD stabilizes our circadian rhythms, allowing us to achieve healthy, consistent sleeping patterns in the long-term.

CBD and REM Sleep

Studies show that CBD impacts each stage of sleep to improve overall sleep quality. Perhaps most importantly, CBD prolongs the duration of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the most important phase of our nightly sleeping patterns. REM is a stage of deep, regenerative sleep that is crucial to feeling rested the next day: proper REM sleep is essential to nearly all aspects of our physical and mental health. Often, those with poor sleeping habits may manage to sleep through the night, yet still receive poor REM sleep: as a result, they are unable to rest properly, and to feel rejuvenated and fully functional the next day.

Often, those who suffer from sleeping problems receive poor REM sleep; this is because our internal body clock (or circadian rhythms) is responsible for telling the body when REM sleep is supposed to occur–when this clock is set to the wrong time, our body loses its ability to tell when REM sleep should occur.

Luckily, CBD not only improves the consistency of our circadian rhythms–in countless studies, it has also been shown to increase the duration and quality of REM sleep phases. This has an incredible impact on the overall quality of the sleep we receive (and is crucial to feeling rested and functional during the day). Studies suggest that CBD improves REM sleep on a cyclical basis and internalizes healthy REM sleep into your biorhythms.

This is another major benefit that no other sleeping aid can offer. Most sleep aids that simply induce drowsiness do not improve REM sleep, which means that even if they seem to put you to sleep, they will not cause you to feel rested the next day.

CBD has also been shown to have positive effects on non-REM sleep, including the first and lightest stages of sleep (which are, naturally, the most easily disturbed). By improving non-REM sleep, CBD disturbances that can make it difficult to fall asleep in the first place, much less achieve a good night’s rest. In addition, CBD impacts other underlying causes of sleep disruption, including mood, anxiety, stress, pain, inflammation, muscle tension, spasms, and many more.

CBN for Sleep: “Minor” Cannabinoid, Major Benefits

Though CBD’s benefits for sleep have been widely studied, another, “minor” cannabinoid has come to the forefront of scientific research on cannabinoids and sleep: CBN. Like CBD, CBN is a naturally-occurring phytocannabinoid found in the hemp plant. And while CBN produces many of the same benefits as CBD, it also has sedative properties, making it especially useful for those who suffer from sleeping problems. As this lesser-known cannabinoid gains greater visibility, industry-leading CBD companies such as Your CBD Store–a division of Sunflora, Inc., the world’s largest retailer of CBD products–have begun to harness the benefits of CBN for sleep with new, innovative products designed specifically for sleep.

CBD: A Sleep Aid Unlike Any Other

CBD works at an in-depth, extensive level to promote healthy sleep as part of your overall lifestyle — not as a superficial solution to make you drowsy. A sleep aid that affects your sleeping cycles is ultimately more effective in the long run than a sleep aid that induces drowsiness to cover up the symptoms of insomnia. Rather than working on a per-night basis by inducing drowsiness and masking your unhealthy sleeping patterns, CBD stabilizes your physiological processes and lays the very foundation of healthy sleep. CBD instills healthy sleeping patterns on a long-term basis — and very few sleeping aids, over-the-counter or pharmaceutical, can achieve this depth of lasting relief.

Your CBD Store: 15% Off Sleep-Specific CBD Products

As cannabis research advances, sleep researchers have begun to explore the benefits of other, hemp-derived compounds. And in response, industry leaders such as Your CBD Store have begun to offer new, sleep-specific cannabinoid formulations.

In May 2020, Your CBD Store of Gainesville and Ocala launched a new, innovative product designed specifically for sleep. Your CBD Store’s CBN Nighttime Tincture, available in both full and broad spectrum, combines CBD and CBN with linalool, a sleep-promoting terpene, and Valerian root, an herb shown to increase neurotransmitters associated with better sleep.

In order to make a good night’s rest accessible to all, Your CBD Store is offering an exclusive discount to CBDMyth readers for 15% off its entire online store. To receive this offer, simply visit our website at yourcbdstore.me and enter the discount code CBD15 at checkout. All online orders placed through our website receive free, same-day shipping to any location.

About Your CBD Store

Your CBD Store is one of few leading CBD companies to offer products certified as safe, pure, and effective by the USDA, FDACS, and CSDA. Our Your CBD Store location is owned and operated by Dr. Christina Oliva, the Executive Medical Director of Sunflora, Inc., the world’s largest retailer of CBD products.

Your CBD Store is the exclusive retailer of Sunmed CBD, derived from hemp organically grown in Colorado, and registered with the Colorado State Department of Agriculture. Your CBD Store’s products have received multiple awards, and several of its products have received prestigious category-winning accolades at the USA CBD Expo in Miami.

To learn more about how Your CBD Store’s products work to promote better sleep, you can visit our blog for further information about our cutting-edge CBN Nighttime Tincture, and about how this product works to promote healthy, quality sleep.