Sleep health is something that affects our entire lives. It has an effect on our mental health, our weight, our productivity and our relationships. So, how can CBD help promote good sleep health?
The importance of sleep health
Ensuring we get enough sleep and having a steady sleep schedule is an element of health that physicians, personal trainers and even nutritionists are starting to push as being vital to wellbeing.
Whilst we sleep, our brain is working hard to carry out important processes in the body. This is our body’s time for taking stock, making important changes, and preparing us for the next day. Regardless of what your lifestyle looks like, not getting enough good quality sleep will have a negative effect on your life.
Numerous studies have shown how sleep affects our lives. CBD has been shown to have benefits that go hand in hand with sleep health. Read on to find out about some of the areas of our health and wellbeing that are affected by sleep, and how CBD can help…
Do you find yourself unable to concentrate at work after a poor night’s sleep? When we go to work feeling fatigued, it poorly affects our ability to do our job. You might forget important tasks or miss out some steps that are vital to your working process. You may even struggle to get through the day without your eyes closing. When your body is struggling to keep you awake and carry out its basic functions, you’re not going to be able to do the things you need in order to progress in your career.
Using CBD before bed has been shown to help with falling asleep and to increase sleep duration. Getting a full night’s sleep means you’ll wake up feeling energised and ready to take on the day. You’re going to be in a better mood and will reap the benefits of better working relationships.
Did you know that the majority of fat loss and muscle growth happens whilst you sleep? When you’re trying to lose weight, you want to focus on fat loss and minimise the amount of muscle you lose.
Studies have shown that getting more sleep leads to greater fat loss whilst still retaining muscle. On average, the difference between getting 5.5 hours of sleep and 8.5 hours of sleep leads to 30% greater fat loss. As previously mentioned, CBD can increase the duration that you sleep, meaning you’ll have more time to grow muscle and burn fat.
In addition to this, CBD has been shown to promote weight loss by encouraging the browning of fat cells. Brown fat cells are involved in thermogenesis, which is how your body heats itself up. When you sleep, your body’s core temperature drops. Having more brown fat cells means that your body can use energy more effectively to maintain a good temperature and heat you up in the morning, burning more calories to do so!
Sleep also improves your body’s ability to respond to insulin, balances your hunger hormones, and gives you the energy to do more physical activity.
Research has shown that sleep helps with memory. The main reason for this is that your memories (experiences you’ve had throughout the day) are processed whilst you sleep, storing them so that you can recall them later on as needed.
Without sleep, your brain struggles to move memories from short-term to long-term storage, meaning you’ll have trouble recalling things you’ve learnt whilst being tired. Using CBD to get a good night’s sleep means you’ll be able to focus better during the learning stage, giving your brain the best chance at keeping those thoughts safe for the future.
Good quality sleep (namely REM sleep) is the time in which your brain processes emotions. If we get a sufficient amount of high-quality sleep, we are more likely to lock-in positive emotions that we’ve experienced, and attribute positive emotions to various aspects of our lives. This puts us in a better mental state whilst we’re awake and also improves our relationships.
Getting a lack of good quality sleep (in severe cases referred to as ‘insomnia’) has been shown to worsen mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. As well as helping you achieve a better night’s sleep, CBD has been shown to enhance serotonin receptors in your brain, reducing the symptoms of depression.
What’s more, increased feelings of depression and anxiety can make it harder for you to fall asleep, leading you into a vicious circle. CBD is widely known for its uses in reducing symptoms of anxiety, creating a calm feeling in those who take it. Through decreased anxiety, CBD can help you break the cycle of poor sleep.
Our sleep dictates the balance of our hormones, which affect every element of our health and bodily function. The hormone that promotes sleep is melatonin, and the hormone that wakes us up is cortisol. You may already be aware that cortisol is also known as the ‘stress’ hormone; it’s what prepares our body in ‘fight or flight’ situations.
CBD has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol in the body. The endocannabinoid system restricts the release of cortisol, which produces the calming effect that CBD is known for. Reducing levels of cortisol before going to bed makes way for melatonin to be released, making us tired and preparing us for sleep.
If we have extended periods of wakefulness (times when we’re producing cortisol), our body is stripped of the ability to recover from trauma such as inflammation, leading to greater health issues. It also reduces our ability to digest food properly, whilst leading to increased levels of the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’, causing us to overeat when really our body needs rest.
We’ve all experienced a time when we’ve ‘overdone’ it, working too hard and not getting enough rest, more commonly known as ‘burnout’. This is usually followed by getting sick, as we’ve allowed ourselves to get run-down and become more susceptible to illness.
Getting a good night’s sleep boosts our natural immune function, giving our body what it needs to handle bacteria and viruses that it might come into contact with. When we don’t get enough sleep, we’re likely to have more pro-inflammatory responses within our bodies. As inflammation is the cause of all pain, this can be very problematic.
Studies have shown CBD to reduce inflammation and inflammatory responses throughout the body. Researchers also believe that CBD has immunosuppressant qualities, which can be of use to those with autoimmune conditions. So not only will CBD help you get more sleep, it can also help boost the recovery process that your body goes through each night.
CBD sleep aids
Since discovering the CBD helps with sleep, a large number of sleep aids containing CBD were introduced to the market. Often, these will include other ingredients alongside the CBD such as melatonin and various herbs.
Recent studies have shown that these sleep aids may not always be accurate with labelling the percentages of each ingredient. As such, it has been suggested that using a 100% organic CBD oil from a trusted supplier is a better option when it comes to using CBD to improve sleep.
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