Habitual sleeplessness is classified as insomnia. Failure to get an entire night’s sleep on most nights over a one-month period can be considered chronic insomnia. Insomnia can take the form of being unable to fall asleep when you first go to bed or waking during the night and being unable to go back to sleep.
While insomnia can be very frustrating, it is usually only a temporary annoyance. In some cases, however, sleep-related problems can last for months or even years.
Almost 90% of Australians suffer from a sleeping disorder, with 30% experiencing a severe sleeping disorder. There are over 70 different defined sleep disorders which result in reduced sleep quantity or reduced sleep quality. 5% of the Australian population experience chronic insomnia. Over half of those over the age of sixty-five experience disturbed sleep. Those over sixty-five make up about 13 % of the population, but consume over 30% of prescription drugs and 40% of sleeping pills.
Chronic insomnia is often a symptom of a serious underlying medical disorder. At least 80% of depressed people experience insomnia. Insomnia cases can be attributed to other psychological disorders, such as anxiety, stress, or grief. Insomnia can also result from a wide variety of physical causes, including arthritis, asthma, breathing problems, hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, indigestion, kidney or heart disease, muscle aches, Parkinson’s disease, or physical pain. Caffeine consumption, jet lag, and the use of certain drugs, including the anti-seizure medication phenytoin (Dilantin), most appetite suppressants, the decongestant pseudoephedrine (found in many cold and allergy remedies), and thyroid hormone replacement drugs can also lead to insomnia.
A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium can cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep. Systemic disorders involving the brain, digestive system, endocrine system, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, and pancreas all may affect sleep, as can poor nutritional habits and eating too close to bedtime. A sedentary lifestyle can also be a major contributor to sleep disorders.
While one or two sleepless nights can cause irritability and daytime sleepiness, with decreased ability to perform creative or repetitive tasks, most people can adapt to short-term periods of sleep deprivation. After more than three days, however, sleep deprivation begins to cause a more serious deterioration in overall performance and can even result in mild personality changes. If chronic, inadequate sleep compromises productivity, creates problems in relationships, and can contribute to other health problems.
Cannabidiol (more commonly known as CBD) has a number of known health benefits as an effective treatment for insomnia. Preliminary studies have been in favour of CBD oil as an effective natural remedy for insomnia sufferers, thanks to the way it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD oil promotes refreshing REM sleep.
While you may associate cannabis with feeling relaxed and sleepy, using CBD oil to treat insomnia is slightly more complex than simply making you feel drowsy. Ironically, CBD oil can make you feel more alert! So how does it work as a treatment for sleep disorders?
CBD oil is particularly helpful for people whose sleep problems are due to anxiety. A recent UK review of 72 adults with anxiety or poor sleep found that their anxiety scores decreased with CBD. The sleep scores also improved within the first month. Similarly, one of the other major factors associated with insomnia is stress, but research has proven that CBD oil can improve your stress response, which can in turn help you to relax.
At 18 years, Ben finished school and began an apprenticeship. 4 years of low wages paid off when Ben completed his apprenticeship, becoming a qualified tradesman and earning real money. He soon opted for the night shift, earning his wage; plus shift loading; plus all the overtime he wanted. 10 years on, Ben had a family, a home and several investment properties. Deciding to spend more quality family time, Ben could now afford to go back to day shift. The problem was… 10 years of night shift made it impossible for Ben to return to “real life”…
A World Health Organisation report issued in 2017 concluded that, unlike THC, CBD – the second most well-known active ingredient in cannabis – does not produce a high and seems to result in less REM-sleep disruption and THC. In short, CBD can help a person fall asleep by calming the nervous system. Experts believe that CBD may prevent the breakdown of a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain that affects mental function, emotional state and pain, thus allowing for more of the sleep-promoting chemical to flow through the blood stream and cause drowsiness.
Normal sleep consists of two main states, designated rapid-eye-movement (REM) and non-rapid-eye-movement (non-REM) sleep. It is REM sleep that is most often associated with dreaming. The stages of sleep are further broken down as follows:
Stage 1: Light sleep. We drift in and out and can be awakened easily. Our eyes move slowly and muscle activity slows. Our eye movement stops and our brain waves become slower, with occasional bursts of rapid waves called sleep spindles.
Stage 2: Deep sleep. Extremely slow brain waves called delta waves appear, interspersed with smaller, faster waves.
Stage 3: Deep sleep. The brain produces mostly delta waves. There are no eye movements and no muscle activity.
Stage 4: REM sleep. Breathing becomes more rapid, irregular, and shallow. The eyes jerk rapidly while limb muscles become temporarily paralysed. Dreams almost always happen in this stage, but may also occur in other sleep stages.
It takes about two hours to go through all four stages of sleep, after which they are normally repeated. REM sleep usually occurs about ninety minutes after we fall asleep. Adults spend half their sleep time in Stage 2 sleep, 20% in REM sleeps, and 30% in the other stages. Infants start out spending about half their sleep time in REM sleep. There are four stages of non-REM sleep, and the deepest two (stages 3 and 4) are referred to as delta sleep. Older people spend less time in delta sleep, and some may not experience it at all.
There are no hard-and-fast rules about how much sleep is enough, because every individual’s requirements are different. Some people can function on as little as five hours of sleep a night, while others seem to perform better with nine, ten, or even more hours of sleep. Most adults need about eight hours of sleep nightly in order to feel refreshed and function at peak efficiency during the day.
Children, especially very young children and adolescents, generally require more sleep than adults to be at their best. It is not uncommon for people to sleep less as they get older, especially after the age of sixty. The cardinal sign of a sleep problem requiring a doctor’s attention is inappropriate sleepiness, such as dozing off at the dinner table, during conversation, or while driving. Even dozing off in front of the television can be a warning sign that something is amiss with the body’s internal clock.
Restless Leg Syndrome: Millions of people have trouble getting to sleep due to a condition commonly known as restless leg syndrome (RLS). For reasons unknown, when these people are in bed, their legs jerk, twitch, and kick involuntarily. Restless leg syndrome has also been linked to the painful night-time leg muscle cramps that afflict so many people. A deficiency of magnesium may be involved in RLS, and some research strongly suggests that anemia may play a major role in this annoying disorder.
Sleep Apnea affects an estimated 1.5 million Australian adults. Of those who have sleep apnea, half are overweight. This condition is often found in overweight and obese patients because their diaphragm cannot fully exert itself to take a full breath, as it is hindered by excess abdominal body fat. This problem is commonly associated with snoring and extremely irregular breathing throughout the night. In sleep apnea, breathing actually stops for as long as two minutes at a time while the individual is asleep. When breathing stops, the level of oxygen in the blood drops, resulting in oxygen deprivation. The individual then awakes, startled and gasping. A person with sleep apnea may awaken as many as 200 times throughout the night. The affected individual may not remember these awakenings, but anyone else who is awake at the time can naturally become alarmed when a person with sleep apnea stops breathing. In the less common form, central sleep apnea, breathing is stopped, not because the airway is closed, but because the diaphragm and chest muscles stop working.
Aside from disrupting normal sleep and causing extreme sleepiness during the day, sleep apnea is associated with other, more serious, health problems. People who have sleep apnea tend to have higher than normal blood pressure and are more likely to have strokes than the general population, and they also face an increased risk of heart disease, although the reason or reasons for these links are not known. People with sleep apnea also seem to have a higher-than-normal incidence of emotional and psychotic disorders. Experts attribute this to what they call a “dream deficit” – a lack of adequate rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, the stage of sleep in which dreaming occurs. A person with sleep apnea often cannot settle into REM sleep for even the eight to twelve seconds it takes to have a normal, healthy dream. While there is much about the phenomenon of dreaming that is not understood, it is known that prolonged periods of REM sleep deprivation can induce various psychoses and other serious emotional disorders.
During sleep, the body’s systems are still controlling basic functions. Nutrients are essential for the body and are used during the sleep cycle.
Sleep is needed to restore appetite hormones to their normal levels. Many obese people do not get at least eight hours of sleep a night. In one study, inadequate sleep was shown to increase calorie intake from snacks by 20%.
A lack of sleep can encourage serious illness and cause premature aging. Experts recommend at least eight hours of sleep per night
Two of the most common sleep problems are not being able to fall asleep and waking in the middle of the night. It should take less than thirty minutes to get to sleep, but for many people it takes much longer. Others fall asleep, but wake up and can’t get back to sleep. If you have either of these disturbances and feel tired in the morning, you are not alone.
The importance of a good night’s sleep can’t be overstated, however millions of Australians consciously choose to skimp on their sleep in the mistaken belief that sleeping fewer hours allows them to be more productive. Many people even look on the fact that they can “get by” on so few hours of sleep as a badge of honour! In fact, however, they are likely doing themselves a great deal of harm in the long run. Moreover, the night owls who sleep less to accomplish more are actually less creative and less productive than those who get adequate amounts of sleep.
At iCannabis we are focused on bringing the purest and most bioavailable medical cannabis to Australian patients and their families.
We are a group that specialises in educating and helping Australia patients gain access to Cannabis for Medical purposes. Through education and real-life experiences with the healing powers of this plant.
Once you discover the documented benefits tens of thousands of patients around the world have received from the medicine, you too will realise how this can potentially change and improve the lives of you and your family.
The positive impact this plant has already had on the quality of life for patients and their families is nothing short of miraculous.
At iCannabis we are committed to establishing an Australian medical cannabis community comprised of passionate and caring people, focused on the highest quality organic medicine made with love and integrity.
If you need any advice or help with CBD for Insomnia, or sourcing full spectrum cannabis oil treatments please contact us. We try to answer all emails within 24 hours and are happy to help and advise on all aspects of CBD treatments in complete confidence.