There’s something that millions of Americans and even people around the world have in common. It affects the way we are able to handle stress, the way our bodies repair themselves, and even how we’re able to metabolize food. This thing that binds millions, if not tens of millions, of people together? Not getting enough restful sleep. It can be difficult to unwind after a long day or even a short day for some people, and many people just don’t know how to turn their brains off long enough to get a solid eight hours of sleep.
Why People Have Trouble Sleeping
There are any number of reasons why someone might have trouble getting to sleep. The modern age is chock-full of distractions that can keep us up. One of the biggest and most common reasons is stress, and it’s not hard to see why. On any given day, the average person has to commute to and from work, then work for their entire day. Whether someone likes their job or not, work can be stressful. There are a lot of choices that the average person has to make throughout the day.
This isn’t even getting into the customer service aspect of many jobs, and those kinds of interactions can build up even more stress in people’s minds. Even if 95% of customers that come in are kind and reasonable, every once in a while you get someone who makes a big deal out of something that ends up getting blown way out of proportion. When you deal with enough customers, it can cause every interaction to start to feel like a minefield. What might you say wrong that could set off a customer? Even jobs that don’t have any customer service in them have stressors that build up over time, no matter how much you like the job.
Work isn’t the only place that stress can come from. Your cash flow can keep you up at night, school work, family issues, relationship issues, the list goes on. Traumatic events such as the death of a loved one, a big breakup or divorce, or even being injured just work to compound on someone’s already difficult time sleeping. When your thoughts are racing, your mind can’t quite calm down enough to allow you to enter a peaceful sleeping state.
Stress isn’t the only reason why someone could have trouble sleeping. They could have just traveled from one timezone to another and are experiencing jet lag, which is when your brain thinks that it’s still the time that it was back home. There are also bad habits you can have for sleep time like staring at screens too much before you try to go to sleep, taking too many naps, working in bed, not having a consistent sleep schedule, and even eating too soon before bed. For many people that already struggle with sleep, it can be difficult to not have these kinds of bad habits.
How to Get Better Sleep
If you’re someone who has a hard time sleeping, you would probably like to try and find ways to alleviate that. There are many ways that you can do that, and some are a lot easier than others. Assuming you don’t have a medical condition, the easiest way to make sure that you’re getting enough restful sleep every night is to have a consistent sleep schedule, no matter the day of the week. Don’t use your bed for anything other than sex or sleep, and make yourself a bedtime ritual like a bath or a nice cup of chamomile.
The most important thing is to make sure to have a steady sleep schedule. Consistent sleep and wake times allow your circadian rhythm to be less like a jazz band and more like a pop band. No one’s going to be able to sleep if their circadian rhythm is trying to mimic John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.” Unfortunately, for one reason or another, many people aren’t able to have a consistent sleep schedule. They could have children that wake them up in the middle of the night, or their job could keep changing their schedules on them. What is one to do then?
Well, you can do your best to have your nightly ritual. You can try out some calming teas like lavender, chamomile, or even valerian root tea. These work because not only do warm drinks help you relax, but the chemicals in these teas interact with your brain to help further relaxation. Some people try supplements that contain melatonin with mixed results. Melatonin is great for some people, but in others, it can cause something called R.E.M. overdrive. That’s when the R.E.M. phase of sleep is overactive, and that can cause some seriously weird dreams.
Something that has been gaining popularity is the use of CBD soft gels. These soft gels contain the non-psychoactive cannabinoid called cannabidiol, or CBD for short. This was one of the very first cannabinoids that were both discovered and tested in a laboratory setting. CBD has been shown in many cases to help with relaxation, which can lead to a more restful sleep because it’s hard to get restful sleep when you’re stressed out. CBD has also been shown to help relieve some discomfort, especially when it’s caused by certain kinds of inflammation. That’s another thing that can ultimately help someone get more restful sleep. Both CBD tinctures and softgels may have the ability to help with relaxation and sleep.
You see, by using CBD to treat certain issues that you’re having, especially close to bedtime, you might be able to experience more restful slumber throughout the night. Soft gels are great for this because all you do is toss them in your mouth and wash them down with water, tea, or whatever other liquid you might be drinking. It’s just like taking a pill, and usually, these soft gels are pretty small so even people with the biggest aversions to taking pills can easily get them down.
What Does Science Say About CBD’s Effects on Sleep?
While anecdotal evidence can be nice for a lot of things, if you’re someone that’s dead set on getting better sleep, you probably want to know exactly what science has to say on the subject. After all, sleep is incredibly important and if you’re going to venture out and try new things that can help you sleep better, you want to be sure that it’s going to work the way that you’ve been told it will. Scientists have been studying CBD for a very long time, so what do their studies have to say about its effects on sleep?
Well, unfortunately, there are still a lot of tests that need to be done to give a clear-cut answer. There have been studies on the effects of CBD on people that have trouble sleeping, and those studies have had a lot of promising results, one even boasting an impressive 66% of people having a higher sleep score, but there just hasn’t been enough trials to say with complete certainty from a scientific standpoint. There will likely be more studies conducted in the future to make sure that it can deliver the effects that it’s rumored to have.
For now, the best ways to get better sleep are the ones that we’ve already gone over. Steady sleep schedule, not using your bed for a bunch of different things, and having a good pre-bed ritual that you do every night. One thing that we didn’t mention but is worth going over quickly is exercise. Physical activity is great for getting better sleep and is a great outlet for stress. Many studies have shown that even just fifteen minutes of physical activity every day can help you both have better sleep and reduce your stress levels.
Finding the Right Method for Better Sleep for You
Everyone is different, and the reasons why we can’t sleep vary. Not everyone will find success using the same sleep aids or methods. Fortunately, you can pave your own path and find the best way for you to get more sleep. If your insomnia is too bad, it may be worth your time to talk to your doctor to find out solutions for it. Doctors can give out medications that you can’t get over the counter and can also help you find out if your difficulty sleeping is part of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.