As I’m sure you’ve heard before, sleep has fast become an issue for many people today as a myriad of factors interrupt or disrupt our sleep patterns. Researchers have shown that many factors can affect how we sleep at night and many of us are guilty of adding unnecessary habits to our daily lives which may interrupt our night’s rest.
We’re not fully to blame in my opinion as there are many factors which can be out of our control and cause us to miss our required amount of winks per night. The goal therefore is to gain control over as many good habits as you can to have the best chance at a good night’s sleep!
So what anecdotal research can we look at without relying on a doctor…should you choose the natural route of cannabinoids or over-the-counter medications or drugs?
Some people can become patients of their doctor purely for the issue of sleep or lack of it. Seeking medications for the improvement of issues such as insomnia appears to be on the rise. Let’s look at the factors that can cause insomnia and sleep problems first…
What factors can cause insomnia?
There are two sides to consider here:
Inside factors refers to internal stress or anxiety which may affect your quality of sleep at night. Some people find it hard to shut off their thoughts and fall asleep while others struggle more with staying asleep throughout the night. I myself am a very light sleeper. I find it easy to fall asleep but can find it hard to stay asleep without waking a couple of times throughout the night. This especially happens when I have something on my mind that’s causing me stress or anxiety.
The only way to tackle this sort of disruption to your sleep is to tackle your anxiety or stress during the day by maintaining positive habits such as journaling, eating well, talking to someone about it, exercising, meditating or whatever activity or hobby gives you some stress relief. Some women may find hormonal changes disrupt their sleep whether this is down to your monthly cycle or pregnancy.
Other biological factors may be illnesses or sleep conditions which ultimately affect the quality and quantity of sleep you may get each night. Internal factors may lead you down the route of seeking sleep medications from a doctor as a patient. As with any health issue it depends on the person but as you read on you will see there are many other forms of sleep remedies including Gummies and cannabis drops such as CBD oil.
If you are interested in the topic of sleep and how your brain and body work at night then a research study may be of interest to you before deciding on an alternative route such as CBD oil.
Outside factors refer to things we consume or take part in which do not necessarily promote your body winding down and slipping into a deep sleep. Factors such as excess caffeine throughout the day or late at night, eating before bed, excess screen time and lack of exercise all contribute to your body and mind struggling to go to sleep and stay asleep.
Bad habits can be hard to break and you may be unaware that some of these habits are ones causing your bad sleeping pattern. These days over stimulation of the brain is a major red flag when it comes to sleep but at times this can be hard to avoid. If like many you are now forced to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic then you may have no choice but to stare at a computer screen for a large part of your day. This combined with little or no exercise can really wreak havoc on your ability to fall asleep at night and get your 8 hours.
More Reading: How to Use CBD Oil Supplements for Sleep
Some of us whether we’re working from home or not are experiencing boredom due to the restrictions on amenities in your environment which can resulting in more phone scrolling and time spent on social media. Fuelling your brain with screen time just before bed is not a good habit to get into if you’re looking for a restful night.
We are probably all very aware of this but still can’t kick the habit. Eating just before bed is a bad habit of mine and it comes at a cost as this causes your metabolism to start up and so rather than winding down your body is essentially starting up in terms of digestion. The side effects and results of outside factors which affect sleep can be much more harmful to our sleep pattern than we first think.
A range of sleep remedies of the natural kind are available for people to try in 2021. Here are some tried and tested methods:
Melatonin for Insomnia
Melatonin, a hormone, is the word of minute when it comes to the topic of sleep. Increasing your body’s production of Melatonin means that your sleep becomes more regulated. Melatonin levels tend to rise in the evening preparing the body for sleep and in the morning they drop as your body wakes up for the day. Melatonin can be found in a product called ‘Sleep Gummies’ or Melatonin Gummies which are specifically made to target sleep regulation.
Another option now available on the health market is something called 5-HTP. 5-HTP is an amino acid which produces serotonin in the body, serotonin can then be converted into melatonin and therefore result in a better chance of sleeping well. Dosage for this product will be recommended on the product label and it is always recommended that this advice is followed correctly.
Consistency is essential with any dietary supplement so stick with the guided dose on the bottle label and give it a good chance.
CBD Oil & other CBD Products
CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and is a popular natural supplement for those who suffer with sleep regulation. I personally use Dr. Hemp Me CBD oil for anxiety and severe migraines and can vouch for the relief that CBD can provide for both. Anxiety is only on the rise and can certainly affect the quality and/ or quantity of sleep you get. CBD could be a great natural option to reduce anxiety and relax your mind for better night’s sleep.
However CBD has been cited anecdotally and in controlled studies as helping people with sleep regulation regardless of whether they suffered with anxiety. CBD targets imbalances in the body’s Endocannabinoid system and regulates this system which can be responsible for many bodily functions – one being sleep. Some CBD products contain THC or tetrahydrocannabinol but not all. THC is anecdotally linked to pain in particular but others make claims that it can help with sleep.
THC is psychotropic which means it causes that ‘high’ that many people think of when they hear the words cannabis plant or hemp plant. Marijuana is another name for this part of the cannabis plant family and can become a bad crutch for those suffering with sleep. Increased levels of THC in marijuana can cause anxiety in the long run rather than solving it. Tiny levels of THC are different and if within CBD products can enhance the products effectiveness without causing any ‘high’ effect.
Thankfully CBD products, if they do contain tetrahydrocannabinol, only contain a small percentage of it for legal reasons (depending on country you are based in). This trace amount works alongside CBD to give you natural, calming benefits. A specific number of drops under the tongue should be detailed on the bottle label as a recommended dose. One more drop could then be added after a couple of weeks if you felt necessary.
Sleep Pillow Spray & Sleep Supplements
Popular for relaxation and calming your mind & body before bed, a sleep pillow spray works to release scents such as lavender and chamomile which are two of many essential oils widely used for promoting relaxation. Breathe in the soothing smell and drift into a relaxing sleep with This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray.
A supplement option I have come across which includes chamomile in it’s ingredients among other relaxing extracts is My Vitamins Relax capsules. This supplement combines zinc, magnesium, chamomile and lemon balm to create a relaxing, natural capsule which will aid the body in relaxing for sleep. The added magnesium helps the body during the day if suffering the effects of tiredness from a restless night’s sleep.
Another dietary supplement suitable for insomnia or those struggling with sleep is by Simply Supplements – Sleep Better Night Formula. This supplement contains lavender, chamomile and the added benefit of 5-HTP. As I mentioned above, 5-HTP is an amino acid which is gaining popularity as an aid for insomnia or light sleepers.
It also contains magnesium for feelings of fatigue, zinc and vitamin B5. Always read the recommended dose on the product label.
Meditation for sleep is definitely worth a try. Turn all the lights off, get yourself comfortable and warm and turn on a guided meditation created for sleep. All you have to do is listen, try clear your mind and relax! You can find a number of studies online which recommend and provide evidence for meditation as a sleep remedy and bonus to your general physical and mental well-being.
I never realised I had an issue with sleep until I started getting acupuncture done for a different reason. At the third session my acupuncturist said I would notice a difference in my sleep that night and from then on as long as I would be continuing with acupuncture. I was surprised but didn’t think much of it until the next morning when I realised I had not woken up once in the night for the first time in years!
After a few more nights of deep sleep I thought back to all those nights prior when I would regularly wake up at least once during the night and disturb my sleep. I am a very light sleeper and since stopping acupuncture have returned to my old ways unfortunately. I do however have an acupuncture mat which is great for getting your body relaxed and ready for sleep, if I used it more regularly I’m certain it would have the same effect!
Random I know but I recently heard about this on a local radio station here in Ireland. A man called in to the radio host who had been talking about her newfound sleep troubles and suggested she try boiling bananas for 10 minutes and then drinking the water just before bed. So I’ve tried it and I have no idea whether it was a placebo effect or not but I slept straight through the night and felt really refreshed the next morning.
My boyfriend who suffers from insomnia had the same experience. We cut up a banana with the skin still on (NB), put it in a pan of water and boiled for 10 or so minutes. We then poured the boiled water into cups and added one piece of the banana into each cup too but I’m sure you can leave that part out if you want. What happens is that all the potassium and magnesium from the banana skin is deposited in the water and both contribute to relaxing your muscles and your body overall.
Naturally, exercise can only aid your sleep patterns as it reduces anxiety and stress and of course makes the body more tired. Wearing your body out is certainly helpful when aiming to get a full night’s sleep so get out and get active.
Switching off for a better night’s sleep
Easier said than done but we all know what scrolling through Instagram or Facebook feeds can do to a potential good night’s sleep. Blue light from screens at night time can cause your eyes to send signals to your brain indicating that it is day time. This causes your sleep cycle to be disturbed and your brain less likely to switch off for sleep.
Looking at your phone, laptop or TV before bed is a good habit to break by replacing this with reading, audio books, podcasts, guided meditation or music.