Stop counting sheep - how CBD assists with sleep

Laura Johnston
Jun 22, 2021

Insomnia is an issue that ruins countless South African lives. According to a study conducted at the University of Stellenbosch adults who had an average of fewer than seven hours of sleep a night increased their risk of developing major depression by 22%.

What causes insomnia and sleep issues varies widely, yet one of the main factors relates to the stress and anxiety we experience in our day-to-day lives. This being said, there are so many other elements that can play a part in poor sleep such as chronic pain, medications, caffeine, poor diet, noise, light, etc.

With sleep being such a complicated nut to crack, there are a few studies that seem to affirm that CBD is in fact useful. Unfortunately, it is not quite understood how exactly CBD works to improve sleep, but it is generally thought that it helps by treating the root causes of insomnia and sleep disruption (eg: stress and pain). 

CBD, Anxiety & Sleep

According to the South African Society of Sleep Medicine (SASSM), those suffering from an Anxiety Disorder are between 50% - 70% more likely to report issues with sleeping.  

Early CBD research found that it can address anxiety, as it acts on receptors in the endocannabinoid system including serotonin receptors. Within the brain, CBD can mimic serotonin by binding and activating your body's 5-HT1A serotonin receptors. Low serotonin levels are likely connected to depression and anxiety and although CBD doesn’t necessarily boost serotonin levels, it may positively affect how your brain’s chemical receptors respond to the serotonin that’s already in your system.

CBD, Pain & Sleep

One of CBD’s most celebrated benefits is that it can reduce pain. Studies on CBD show that by assisting with pain, CBD may in turn be able to help with sleep due to its strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. 

CBD & Homeostasis

Finally, considering the endocannabinoid system works to restore homeostasis (balance) in the body, this may explain why a daily dose of CBD can be useful in helping reset your system and restore any disruption in your sleep cycle.

About the Author

Laura Johnston holds a degree in Business Science with Honours in Marketing from the University of Cape Town and is a qualified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Laura has a background in pharmaceuticals, managing several portfolios namely, aesthetics, oncology, and complementary health supplements. Laura has more than ten year’s experience in the health industry.

In 2019 Laura co-founded Mary’s Muse, a high-quality, proudly African CBD company specializing in the development, sales, and distribution of niche, problem-specific CBD products.

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