We’ve all been there – you lay in bed, counting sheep, tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep. Or you wake up throughout the night frequently, missing out on the deepest, most restorative sleep.
Whatever pattern your disordered sleep schedule follows, the effect is that you emerge from bed the next day with symptoms ranging from physical fatigue to poor mood.
Here, we’ll explore why sleep is so important for good health and offer a combination of proven strategies, starting with CBD for better sleep, to get plenty of restful shut-eye.
Why Should You Fix Your Sleep Schedule?
It turns out that poor sleep schedules aren’t just bad for your everyday function in the world. Research says that they can also contribute to serious health conditions over time and even shorten your lifespan:
“Numerous studies have found that insufficient sleep increases a person’s risk of developing serious medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Lack of adequate sleep over time has been associated with a shortened lifespan.”
So, optimizing your sleep schedule is essential for long-term health. If your schedule is off – as many of ours are in the hectic modern world – here is what you can do to improve your sleep and, in turn, your overall well-being.
Sleep Optimization Strategy #1: CBD For Better-Quality, More Restorative Sleep
Cannabidiol (CBD for short) is arguably the most important of all 100+ unique cannabis plant compounds (called cannabinoids) in terms of its health-promoting properties.
Multiple recent studies have linked CBD to sleep improvements in patients who struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep:
“A long-term study of sleep quality assessed CBD actions using a common self-report instrument found a modest improvement in sleep… Notably, a study using the Sativex extract formulation (containing approximately equal ~2 mg doses of THC and CBD) to examine sleep in subjects with pain-related sleep disturbances reported improved sleep with no evidence of tolerance to the drug action… A recent controlled clinical study assessing the acute pharmacodynamic effects of 100 mg of CBD or CBD-dominant cannabis found that vapor inhalation of the latter increased subjective sleepiness.”
Clinicians writing for the medical journal Current Psychiatry Reports have reported that “CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.” Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder interrupts the most important stage of sleep and therefore has significant negative health impacts on those who experience it. Conversely, fixing it can significantly boost the restorative impact of quality sleep.
While CBD has consistently shown impressive potential to induce higher-quality sleep, the CPR researchers in the review cited above note that “research on cannabis and sleep is in its infancy… Additional controlled and longitudinal research is critical to advance our understanding of research and clinical implications.”
For our part, we commit to keeping you updated on the latest research in the rapidly evolving field of therapeutic cannabis, including its potential for better sleep. In the meantime, enhance your sleep with Sympleaf’s flagship CBD product, Full Spectrum Oil – 500mg CBD.
Other Strategies For Improved Sleep Quality
In addition to CBD supplementation, consider these other proven strategies for improved sleep quality.
Sleep Optimization Strategy #2: Set a Strict Bedtime and Waking Time, and Stick to It
Your body operates on a sleep-wake schedule called a circadian rhythm, “24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock… When properly aligned, a circadian rhythm can promote consistent and restorative sleep. But when this circadian rhythm is thrown off, it can create significant sleeping problems, including insomnia.”
You can normalize and regulate your circadian rhythm by training your body to power down in the evening and power up in the morning at the same time each day.
Sleep Optimization Strategy #3: Eliminate Screen Time Before Bed
The digitalized lifestyle that most of us lead has negative impacts on our sleep quality. Research on the effects on sleep of late-night smartphone use backs up what many of us have anecdotally experienced firsthand:
“Longer average screen-time was associated with shorter sleep duration and worse sleep-efficiency… exposure to smartphone screens, particularly around bedtime, may negatively impact sleep.”
Basically, what that means is that people who use smartphones before hitting the sack have shorter, lower-quality sleep and take longer to fall asleep than those who don’t.
Commit to putting the phone down and switching off the television at least an hour before bedtime.
Sleep Optimization Strategy #4: Avoid Caffeinated Drinks in the Evening
A lot of us consume caffeine to get through the day, whether in the form of the standard morning cup of Joe or more extreme sources of caffeine like Red Bull.
While caffeine can be a useful tool for short-term energy, it can also seriously hamper sleep quality and duration.
It’s not just the usual suspects that you should avoid (coffee and teas) when instituting the no-caffeine-before-bed, especially for kids. Sodas like Coca-Cola and Mountain Dew often have high caffeine content to go along with high sugar levels and other harmful ingredients for children’s health.
The rule of thumb consensus is to avoid any caffeine at least 4, but ideally 6, hours before going to bed.
Sleep Optimization Strategy #6: Get Regular Exercise (But Not Right Before Bed)
Getting regular exercise is perhaps the single greatest all-purpose health intervention available next to diet optimization. In addition to improving heart health, cognitive function, fighting mental health conditions, and improving metabolism, exercise also works wonders for sleep quality:
“Recent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have confirmed that exercise has positive effects on sleep quality, sleep onset latency, total sleep time, sleep efficiency, and insomnia severity.”
However, when you work out can be almost as important for sleep as committing to regular workout routine. Research is sometimes hazy, but many people who work out in the evening experience difficulty falling asleep.
Sleep Optimization Strategy #7: Relaxation Techniques Before Bed
Adding a relaxation technique to your everyday wind-down routine can ready your mind and body for bed and simmer down any nervousness or anxiety that you might otherwise take with you to bed.
Examples of proven relaxation techniques include;
- Mindfulness meditation. Transcendental meditation, vipassana meditation, and similar meditation practices induce relaxation.
- Breathing exercises. Controlled breathing delivers oxygen-rich blood to your brain, contributing to relaxation.
- Yoga Nidra. Although technically a yoga practice and not meditation, it’s not like other forms of yoga that require stretching and holding difficult poses. Instead, it is performed laying down on the back and practicing mindfulness of sensory inputs. Clinical research supports Yoga Nidra for improved sleep.
Check Out Sympleaf CBD For Sleep and Contact Us to Learn More About CBD and Sleep
We offer via our online store a wide array of CBD-infused products at competitive prices – ranging from oils to deliciously flavored edibles to inhalables – so that you can find the perfect bedtime CBD supplement for improved sleep quality and overall better health.
For more information on CBD and sleep optimization, contact us at Sympleaf.