So many of us can relate to general lack of sleep and anxious thoughts. Of course, not everyone contends with these on the same level. When does something become a disorder or, disordered? When it effects our ability to function on a day-to-day basis, and when it is over a prolonged period of time. Many people grab an over-the-counter sleep aid, and if their anxiety is at a clinical level they may take a prescribed medication for that. Finding what works for you is very important and sometimes, it’s a trial and error situation. But what if you could find a natural solution that could help? It’s worth a try, right?
Everyone knows that restful sleep is vital to our everyday functioning, and that lack of it can have many negative consequences for our overall health. We may feel like groggy, sluggish, poor eating/overeating, unproductive slobs- we can usually tell when we haven’t gotten the sleep we need. Unfortunately we can’t always control how we sleep every single night- there are so many factors. You know the feeling, mind racing with all the things you have to get done, guilt over what you didn’t yet get done, relationship stress, etc, etc, etc. Why is it that when you’re just trying to shut off your brain and get some solid shut-eye, your mind just took a 5 hour energy and is ready to party…? WHY?
The mind might not be ready to shut off because…anxiety. That’s the thing- it can be a vicious cycle. You’re not sleeping because you’re anxious and then maybe you’re anxious because you’re not sleeping. There is a big difference between mild anxiety (general stress) and clinically diagnosed anxiety disorders, so keep in mind the definition of disorder above. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, about 18% of the population, or about 40 million Americans, deal with anxiety disorders. Clinical level anxiety is often co-morbid (occurs with) with depression and most of us know that depression can also seriously effect sleep. There is a lot of advice out there on how to reduce your stress levels and maximize your nightly routine to promote good/regular sleep, and those may be beneficial, but we’re here to focus on the benefits of CBD use.
In a study of 72 clinical adult patients, use of CBD as an “adjunct” treatment (in addition to their current treatment(s)) was examined for impact on sleep and anxiety measures. Patients were given 25 mg/day in capsule form. If their primary symptoms were anxiety-related, they were dosed in the morning and if sleep was the primary issue, they were dosed before bed. Results showed there was a mild improvement of sleep scores, but the anxiety scores showed a significant decrease within the first month and remained decreased through the remaining two months of the study. Overall their findings are summarized,“Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system.” Authors of the study concluded that results showed promise for treatment of anxiety symptoms using CBD.
The authors of the study go on to conclude: “In this evaluation, CBD appears to be better tolerated than routine psychiatric medications.” Imagine that?! Something the earth has already given us could help our ailments more than a man-made substance. Echoing how many people feel about being medicated the authors also mention, “Most of the patients appreciated the opportunity to try something natural and avoid further or initial psychiatric medication use.” Natural is usually better if you ask us. Work’s not done, but recent studies have shown a lot of promise. There’s only more research to come on CBD & anxiety/depression/sleep, you name it.
CBD is not a cure-all and we’ll never try to give you that impression. Always double check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your daily routine, especially if you are currently taking any medications. As always, we’re here to answer any questions to the best of our ability. We are also not mental health professionals, but we’re happy to point you in the direction of any resources we can to help.