Insomnia isn’t just something that causes daytime lethargy and fatigue (as well as concomitant problems with work performance, mood, and relationships). Insomnia also has second-order effects. According to the CDC, “Adults who were short sleepers (less than 7 hours per 24-hour period) were more likely to report 10 chronic health conditions compared to those who got enough sleep (7 or more hours per 24-hour period).” Those 10 health conditions include heart attack, coronary heart disease, stroke, asthma, COPD, cancer, arthritis, depression, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes. The bottom line: if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re gambling with your health in a big way.
The Cost of Insomnia
More than 9 million Americans take sleeping pills. This is an unnerving statistic, since the cost of sleeping pills can go well beyond your co-pay. The common side effects of sleeping pills are unpleasant taste, nausea, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, diarrhea, cold/flu, abdominal pain, and making your insomnia worse. In addition, some of the prescribed medications can be habit-forming or even addictive.
CBD as an Option for Insomnia
There may be more options than the choice between sleeping pills and insomnia, however. Hemp/CBD shows a great deal of promise for improving sleep. Dr. Michael Breus, “the sleep doctor,” calls CBD “a natural sleep booster.” (CBD is short for cannabidiol, a substance found in hemp that has many salutary effects on the human body, none of which is getting high.) A 2018 study among 409 volunteers found that CBD resulted in “significant improvements in perceived insomnia.” If you don’t trust volunteers’ perception of their own insomnia, note that a 2013 study among rats showed that CBD prolonged sleep and helped the rats get to sleep faster.
The most important news about hemp/CBD has three parts: 1) it will not get you high, 2) it has been pronounced safe by the World Health Organization (PDF), and 3) in New Hampshire, CBD from hemp (as opposed to CBD from marijuana) is legally available without a prescription.
The Special Case of Anxiety
Insomnia has a broad range of causes, from poor sleep hygiene to underlying disorders such as arthritis, acid reflux, back pain, or asthma. And it’s often associated with anxiety, especially among those who have sought treatment for the anxiety. The drugs that are usually used for anxiety disorders — minor tranquilizers like benzodiazepines and SSRIs like Prozac — are known to disrupt sleep-wake cycles.
Yes, anxiety causes insomnia, but anti-anxiety drugs can make it much worse. The availability of CBD means those drugs are less necessary. Last week, I wrote about how CBD can help control anxiety. And a double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover study published in 2018 showed that CBD does not affect normal sleep architecture. If you suffer from anxiety, then, you may no longer have to suffer from insomnia as well.
If you have insomnia, talk with your doctor. And ask if CBD can help. Then, if you want to try hemp/CBD against your insomnia, check out Peak Recovery & Health Center’s hemp/CBD products:
- Peak’s Full-Spectrum blend is hemp extract blended with fractionated hemp seed oil. This blend combines the nutritious material from the raw oil with the smoothness of fractionated hemp seed oil.
- Peak’s Iso-Filtered Hemp Oil combines hemp extract with fractionated coconut oil, increasing the bioavailability of its CBD.
Questions? We are here to help. Call Peak at 603-402-4564.