You ever have those days that a quadruple shot of expresso can’t even save you? Sleep is a miracle cure for ANYONE after a long day. Some of us, constantly think about the next time we get to cuddle up in bed. For many, the optimal amount of sleep is unachievable due to busy days full of work and socialization. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention reports that only 1 and 3 adults get a good amount of sleep each night.  This is detrimental to health because sleep is a time for the body to recover and grow. So maybe we are only hurting ourselves with the mantra, “I will sleep when I’m dead”?
the science behind sleep
Essentially, sleep is about light and dark cycles, which establish your biological clock.  When the environment is light or dark, signals are sent from the retina in your eye to the hypothalamus of your brain. The hypothalamus then releases certain hormones and regulates body temperature in order to induce or inhibit sleepiness.
Melatonin, the sleep hormone of the body, is released from the pineal gland within the brain. Melatonin is also on this biological clock; it begins to be released around 9 pm to encourage sleep. When we constantly expose ourselves to light at night, we throw off this clock and the release of melatonin. In this way, staring at your phone or the TV before bed could be why you cannot fall asleep.
Other things that can inhibit your sleep include stress, caffeine, diet, alcohol, and smoking. Stress can be considered a main factor in that if you cannot calm your thoughts, you will not be able to relax at all.
benefits of sleep
Sleep is so much more than shutting down at the end of the day. When you sleep, your body has the time to regulate and start key processes. 70% of human growth hormone is released in our sleep, which allows us to grow and our cells to regenerat;  not giving our body sufficient time to release its hormones could cost us in the long run. Sleeping also improves digestion, which controls weight gain or loss. Sleep is associated with pro-inflammatory molecules that are enhanced in those who lack sleep.  Those who sleep more also improve cognition.  Long term, getting quality sleep could protect your body from other issues.  The list goes on in terms of sleep and its benefits. So if you are lacking it, how can you get more of it?
Various supplements exist on the market for sleep, such as melatonin, magnesium and big bottles of Merlot (just kidding). However, a new supplement has marched into the market: CBD. CBD has many more studies to go before it can prove itself to be a miracle molecule, but past studies on rats and humans have suggested positive uses.
cbd and sleep
CBD does not directly cause sleep, but its many studied pathways suggest that it can make it easier to fall asleep. CBD is thought to be an anxiolytic (read more about CBD and anxiety here). This is largely due to its interaction with a receptor in the brain that regulates serotonin signaling.  This regulation is important in terms of sleep because serotonin and melatonin are crucial in order to control sleep and wakefulness. If serotonin is not properly regulated, feelings of depression and sluggishness can ensue in the day, which could affect the sleep you need to get at night. Taking CBD can allow serotonin to have its benefits during the day so that melatonin can be released properly at night. In this regulation of serotonin, anxiety and depression may be alleviated, which can also relax the brain from daily worries enough to fall asleep at night.
Furthermore, CBD is useful in its interaction with GABA, or gamma aminobutyric acid.  GABA is a key neurotransmitter in the brain that blocks brain impulses, decreasing neuronal excitability. GABA allows for relaxation of the brain in its ability to block impulses. In CBD’s modulation of GABA, relaxation may be easier to achieve.
Few studies have been done with CBD and sleep, but one study showed that 66% of participants reported being able to fall asleep more easily after taking CBD.  This shows promise for future studies, although dosage and form of administration always need to be taken into consideration. CBD with other products, such as melatonin, could also help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep, but not wake up groggy. In summation, the possibilities are endless for what CBD can do for you and sleep.
RESEARCHED AND AUTHORED BY:
ANGIE T. BIOCHEM MAJOR @ UCLA IN LOS ANGELES, CA
Any blog content is based on our research and opinions and does not claim professional accuracy. The information and products contained on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. You are advised to consult with your health care provider prior to use.