Why does sleep matter? (and can CBD help?)
It’s happened again. You woke up to go to the bathroom after a weird dream. Now it’s 3am, you’ve been awake for 20 minutes, and your brain shows no signs of stopping. Tomorrow’s to-do list, the cringe-worthy interaction you had while out last weekend - you name it, you’re thinking about it instead of going back to sleep.
If this sounds familiar, you’re part of the 66% of the population (in developed nations) not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night. Welcome to the club. As someone who has long suffered from terrible sleep habits, I cherish the nights when I am able to get a solid night’s sleep and wake up feeling rejuvenated. It came as no surprise to me that poor sleep affects my (and everyone’s) ability to be productive at work, but the extent to which a lack of sleep can affect us was shocking.
In a recent article by Isabelle Roughol, in which she covers sleep scientist Matt Walker’s TED talk on sleep deprivation, she mentions a stat that blew me away, “on the spring day after daylight savings comes into force...heart attacks increase by 24%! That's how much even a small change in sleep impacts health. (Yes, the reverse is also true in the fall: heart attacks decrease when we gain an hour of sleep.)” If +/- one hour of sleep can affect our hearts so intensely, imagine what happens when we stay out until midnight on a school/work night and then have to wake up at our usual 6am the next day?!
Underslept employees - those getting six hours of sleep or less - are less creative, less ambitious, and less ethical. When we’re tired, we pick the path of least resistance in order to help our brains conserve energy. This goes all the way back to our caveman days, when being able to save mental energy was a matter of life or death (see: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, although I definitely recommend getting a full 8 hours before tackling that read).
If you’re female, this issue is even more likely to be a problem. In a Sunday Times article written by Louisa McGillicuddy, she writes that only 12% of women get enough sleep and more than 50% of women don’t sleep well. Sleep deprivation has links to heart disease, diabetes, and breast cancer - all things that greatly affect women.
In summary, when you don’t get enough sleep it affects you on a short-term productivity/social/mental level, but the long-term effects (i.e relationship strain, mental health, physical health) have serious consequences.
How can CBD help?
According to Gretchen Lidiker via a recent Huffpost article, “[sleep] studies mainly point to CBD’s ability to interact with ... serotonin receptors and GABA receptors in the brain,” she explained. “Serotonin plays an important role in mood and anxiety, and GABA is known as the main ‘inhibitory’ neurotransmitter, meaning it calms excess activity in the brain and promotes relaxation. GABA receptors are the target of benzodiazepines, which are a class of anti-anxiety drugs.”
In layman’s terms, this means that research is pointing to CBD’s ability to work with your body’s current systems to help your brain calm the f down. If you’ve been staring at screens all day and are finding it hard to fall asleep, CBD can help you relax both mentally and physically. For those of us who wake up at 3 am with the next day’s to-do list on repeat, taking CBD can help calm that panic and allow us to fall back asleep. CBD also helps without the morning grogginess that can accompany over the counter sleep aids.
We created b. sleepy precisely for these reasons - to help you get a good night’s sleep so that you can wake up and be your best self physically and mentally, and take care of yourself for the long term.