Insomnia is not associated with age as it affects people of all ages and is caused by so many factors from disease to stress. Seniors are not precluded from suffering from insomnia—they are even more at risk of developing it. Some CBD proponents believe that this substance can help seniors sleep better. Is this true?
How CBD Helps Seniors
Research has shown that when we get older, it becomes more difficult to sleep for longer periods. Many seniors suffer from insomnia and it is risky for them at that age. During sleep, regeneration of cells takes place and it is crucial for preventing neurodegenerative diseases that come with age. Sleeping pills may be effective to reduce the impact of insomnia, but it leads to dependency. This is why many people have turned to CBD for more restful sleep.
Different studies have shown that individuals that use concentrated CBD tinctures showed a huge difference in sleep duration and quality. This is why some seniors are trying to use CBD for better sleep. Others choose to use it for its numerous effects on anxiety and pain relief.
How It Works in the Body
One common cause of insomnia for both old and young people is stress and anxiety. Cannabidiol helps regulate the stress hormone known as cortisol, which has a major impact on the body’s non-REM sleep cycles. CBD has been proven beneficial for several anxiety-related diseases and this in turn helps sleep better.
Another cause of insomnia is acute or chronic pain. Research has shown that CBD is a potent pain reliever in both cases, so it has been used as an alternative to modern medicine’s pain relievers. It helps reduce sleeplessness caused by pain by working on the symptoms and not just providing a sedative effect as sleep aids do.
Some other seniors may suffer from insomnia because of movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease. Studies have found that the compound is promising for the treatment of such hypermotility and tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease. It reduces muscle tremors that make it more difficult to fall and stay asleep. Patients with Huntington’s disease can benefit from this as well.
In other cases, nightmares can affect sleep quality in seniors. This can be a problem caused by REM sleep disorder and one of its symptoms is restlessness as well as nightmares. It can be difficult for such sufferers to get quality sleep. In a case series, some patients with this disorder were treated with CBD and they experienced fewer side effects of the disease. (1)
CBD has been reported to have a dual effect that depends on the person taking it as well as on the time of day it is taken. The reason for this is that the compound regulates the sleep/wake cycles of the body. Also, it helps promote wakefulness during the day and relaxation when it is nighttime. Somnolence or daytime sleepiness is the opposite of insomnia, but CBD also works towards promoting alertness when it is taken during the day. The result of this is a more restful sleep at the appropriate time.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can also trigger insomnia. This results in REM cycle issues and sleep disturbances. Several pieces of research in recent times have shown that CBD is effective in treating sleep issues linked to PTSD. (2) It works by relieving the symptoms associated with PTSD like anxiety. This results in a reduction of anxiety-induced sleep disturbances.
How to Use CBD to Sleep Better
CBD can help seniors sleep better if they suffer from insomnia. However, it is advisable to contact your doctor first to find what dosage works for you. Many people experiment to find what works. There is a lot to consider during use, from body chemistry to type and time of ingestion. Note that CBD’s effect diminishes over time and this is why many individuals start from small doses and increase it slowly over time.
For immediate effects, your best bets are sublingual sprays and tinctures. Oils and edibles on the other hand release CBD slowly and it may take longer to work but it helps you sleep better for a longer time. It is advised to take CBD one hour before bedtime to get the best results.