Sleep is something we do for approximately 1/3 of our lives. It’s an important time that the body needs to recharge, repair and regenerate readily for our busy, waking hours. As we all know, lack of sleep can have a massive impact on our mental and physical state, one bad night can have a negative knock-on effect for days after. In this day and age, it’s common for one bad night to roll into two bad nights, a week of bad sleep, months and even years of not so restful nights. There are lots of factors like work pressures, shift work, a snoring partner, small children, health issues, menopause, needing to pee, etc that interrupt our sleep, and it’s very easy to get into a bad pattern, but not so easy to get back into a good sleep routine.
Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, exhaustion, adrenal fatigue, increased sensitivity to pain, inability to prioritise, reduced cognitive function and many more issues. Sleep is more vital than food for sustaining life. We can apparently last 2 months without eating (not going to try that one) but only 11 days without sleep (definitely not trying that one either).
There are many things we can do to promote a good night’s sleep. One main thing is to stop screen time at least 30-60 minutes before bed. The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, TVs and laptops stimulates the brain, suppressing the production of melatonin which is an important hormone in the regulation of our sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm (8). The blue light keeps us awake, so it’s good to have a rule of no technology in the bedroom. Also avoiding TV as many programmes after 9 pm are full of drama and suspense which can trigger our flight or fight (adrenal) response, waking us up. Create a peaceful 30-60 minutes before bed where you are slowly winding down from the day and calming the mind.
There is a key period of time when the body needs to be fully resting for maximum healing and recharge and that is between 10 pm and 1 am. Try to get your bedtime as close to 10 pm as possible to get the most benefit of this reset period. If when you get to bed there are niggly and annoying physical reasons why you can’t drop off then CBD oil can help with some of them. A racing mind and anxiety (5, 10) can be calmed by a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue whilst focusing on slowing down your breathing. A few more drops under the tongue can help you return to the land of nod if you are prone to waking in the night with a racing mind. It’s worth keeping a bottle by your bed.
Restless legs are also a common complaint that stops individuals from getting to sleep. This can be caused by a magnesium deficiency (7) triggering muscle contractions and twitches. Try taking a 250mg magnesium supplement* a few hours before bed. This will boost your magnesium levels and help prevent the twitching which can stop you falling into the land of Nod.
CBD oil has also been shown to help improve some of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea (1), where there is an interruption to normal breathing patterns in your sleep. It has been shown in studies to improve cardiovascular circulation (12) and oxygen supply to the brain, as well as supporting respiratory stability (9).
Those of you who struggle with chronic pain interrupting your sleep, or hindering you from falling to sleep in the first place, may find that the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil improve your ability to sleep. CBD oil has been shown to reduce pain levels due to a positive influence on the pain receptors in the body (2). It can help reduce inflammation and neuropathic related pain (4, 6). It has also been shown to reduce pain as a result of injury (3). The combination of the pain-relieving mechanisms of cannabinoids and THC (3) working in synergy.
All in all CBD oil can strengthen and improve your circadian rhythm (11), enhancing REM sleep and generally help to support wellbeing. It also helps to regulate sleep/wake hormones, which, when out of their correct rhythm, can contribute to poor sleep habits.
There are many other lifestyle factors that can contribute to a poor nights’ sleep. Caffeine can stop you from nodding off, especially if you consume tea or coffee in the afternoons/evenings. Try having chamomile tea or any of the bedtime teas that most of the supermarkets stock now. Eating heavy and rich meals before bed can cause heartburn and discomfort. Try to eat no later than 7 pm and have a light meal – eat for what you are about to do (lie down and rest). Breakfast should be a meal fit for a king, not supper. Having 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a small glass of warm water with your main meals can aid digestion and help prevent heartburn.
When choosing a CBD oil, not all are equal and top quality is a must for optimal results. When you have the combined ingredients of raw whole CBD and terpenes you get the entourage effect (10), where the amazing benefits that CBD oil on its own is increased and boosted by the addition of terpenes. Terpenes have been shown in studies to have a positive influence on pain management (3, 10), inflammation, and many other benefits. That’s why I chose Spirit of Hemp as it is the RAW, whole plant extract with the beneficial Terpenes.
After years of bad sleep due to having babies, and then small children not sleeping through the night. I'd tried all the nutritional and lifestyle changes which helped a bit but didn't completely remedy the problem. When I introduced a few drops of Spirit of Hemp CBD oil before bed, a few more if I woke in the night, and another dose in the morning I cracked the bad sleep pattern in around 2 months. Now I only need it to help me sleep on the odd occasion. However, I still use it regularly for its numerous other amazing benefits.
I have also had great success with my clients who use Spirit of Hemp for sleep, combined with nutritional supplementation and lifestyle adjustments, where necessary. They experience a vastly improved quality of life as many other areas that were out of balance due to poor sleep are remedied too as homeostasis in the body returns.
All in all, there are multiple factors that can contribute to a bad nights’ sleep. When this goes on for a prolonged period of time some help via a good quality CBD oil, nutritional supplementation and readjustment of certain lifestyle factors can lead to a restful slumber.
Just think what is possible after a fabulous nights’ sleep…….HAPPY DREAMS zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Author Caroline Westoll BSc Nut Med, Dip Irid
Caroline works with clients all over the world to help them attain their health goals. Using simple but highly effective changes to their diet and lifestyle many people have seen huge improvements in their health. She runs cleanse programmes throughout the year which are designed to fit around your busy lifestyle and have maximum benefit in a short time.
N.B. as with any supplements please seek advice from a professional health practitioner or your doctor if you are already taking medication to prevent any adverse interactions.
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