If you are one of the millions of people that are suffering from insomnia, then you should know that there are some things you can do to make it less of a problem. While many turn to prescription medications, they don’t always work and they can have a big impact on your health and your pocketbook. Not to worry, there are other ways to combat sleeplessness and we will look at some of the best ones in this article.
There are many causes of insomnia, with hormonal imbalance and stress being two of the biggest culprits. While the items below will help in a lot of cases, your case may be more severe. If so, then see your doctor as a prescription may be your best alternative. But, before you go that route, try these things first:
1. Loosen up – Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that this is easier said than done, but it is the first step to beating insomnia. We all have things to worry about, but you have to find a way to let those things go before bedtime. In fact, by purposely forgetting them before retiring for the evening, you may actually solve those problems while you sleep. However, if you go to bed with the intention of solving a hard problem, then your subconscious will work differently by trying to keep you awake to solve. It all sounds counter-intuitive, but you have the best chance of solving your problems by not worrying about them before bed. At the same time, it’s vital that you don’t worry about how much sleep you will or won’t get. Focusing on your insomnia is about the surest way to have insomnia. The key is to do things to help you unwind, to help you shift from the cares of the day to preparing to sleep.
2. Stay healthy – Exercising too close to bedtime will only serve to make it harder to fall asleep. However, if you exercise several hours earlier, your body will be more ready to sleep. Eating well is important to your overall health, and this extends to how well sleep. The healthier you are, the better you will sleep. Also, sleeping well is part of being healthy so you will see a difference if you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
3. Learn relaxation techniques – There are many different techniques designed to help people relax and sleep better. You can purchase audio programs that use a form of guided meditation to help you drift off into a deep and restorative sleep. You can also try the following technique on your own: As you lie in bed start at your toes and release all of the energy from them, letting them melt right into your mattress. Then move up to your feet, ankles, calves, knees, and all the way up to the top of your head. As you do this, you will be letting go of the tension you have built up over the course of your day and drifting off to sleep before you know it.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound that’s found in the cannabis plant. There are multiple species of cannabis that naturally contain CBD.
Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries, as a sleep aid, a pain and nausea reducer, to relieve anxiety and other mood problems. In the mid-1960s, scientists identified the first cannabinoid. Since then, scientists have gone on to identify more than 80 individual cannabinoids and continue to investigate them for their potential symptom-relieving and disease-fighting abilities.
They each have distinctly different effects within the body, and different potential uses for health and disease. Two of the cannabinoids that are most widely recognized for their medicinal value are THC and CBD. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a chemical compound that delivers the “high” that occurs from ingesting marijuana.
CBD, on the other hand, has no “high” associated with it. Instead, this compound has calming, anti-anxiety, and antipsychotic effects. In fact, CBD is sometimes used in combination with THC to counteract THC’s mind-altering effects.
CBD has captured a great deal of scientific attention for its health benefits. Along with THC, CBD is the most well researched of the cannabinoids.
CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD is also made synthetically. Both extracted CBD and synthetic CBD are found in supplements and medications specifically developed to take advantage of this compound’s therapeutic abilities. CBD is produced in pill form, as well as in sprays, tinctures, and inhalers.
How does CBD work?
Scientists have made a lot of progress in understanding how CBD produces its calming, pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory effects in the body—and there’s still more to learn. We know that CBD interacts with many different receptors, proteins, and other chemicals in the brain. These interactions create changes in the activity of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other cells throughout the brain and body. Through these interactions, CBD appears to be able to affect many of the body’s functions, from sleep-wake cycles and emotional regulation to inflammation, pain perception, and seizures.
Our bodies actually produce their own cannabinoids, as part of what’s known as the endocannabinoid system. This system is involved in regulating many physiological processes, including mood, pain perception, appetite, and cognitive functions. CBD interacts in part with the body’s endocannabinoid system and its receptors.
According to a growing body of research, CBD may play a role in the growth of new brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis. CBD is also widely recognized as having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities, which make CBD a promising therapy for a wide range of conditions, from neurological disorders to autoimmune diseases to chronic pain and depression.
CBD also works as an analgesic—a pain reducer—in the body.
Benefits of CBD
Scientists are devoting a great deal of attention to CBD these days, and we’re continually learning more about the broad spectrum of benefits it may offer to health.
CBD has the ability to reduce anxiety, which can be helpful in reducing sleep difficulties and improving sleep quality. CBD may increase overall sleep amounts, and improve insomnia, according to research. CBD has been shown to reduce insomnia in people who suffer from chronic pain.
In smaller doses, CBD stimulates alertness and reduces daytime sleepiness, which is important for daytime performance and for the strength and consistency of the sleep-wake cycle.
CBD may help reduces REM behavior disorder in people with Parkinson’s disease. REM behavior disorder is a condition that causes people to act out physically during dreaming and REM sleep. Typically, during REM, the body is largely paralyzed, a state known as REM atonia. This immobilization keeps sleepers from reacting physically to their dreams. In REM behavior disorder, this paralysis doesn’t occur, leaving people free to move—which can lead to disruptive sleep and to injuring themselves or their sleeping partners. Cannabis may also work to reduce pain and improve sleep quality in people with Parkinson’s disease.
CBD may help improve REM sleep abnormalities in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
For depression and anxiety
Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat nerves and anxiety, as well as other mood problems. CBD may help to improve both depression and anxiety, at least in part through its interactions with serotonin receptors in the brain. Research shows that CBD can reduce both mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. A study of CBD given to people before a public-speaking event indicates that CBD can help reduce stress—this and other research has shown that CBD can be an effective treatment for social anxiety.
Scientists are also studying the possible benefits of CBD for bipolar disorder.
CBD has been recognized as having anti-psychotic effects. CBD appears to reduce the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia and may offer a significant new treatment for this and other mental disorders.