You want sleep, you need sleep, and still, you find yourself lying awake at night. Sleep may be as important to your overall wellbeing as a healthy diet and exercise. Yet Consumer Reports says nearly 80% of Americans report problems with sleep at least once a week. So, what are the benefits of sleep? What can you do when you have problems sleeping? And can CBD help with sleep?
Sleep is essential for nearly all facets of your health and wellbeing. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) says, “Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body – from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance. Research shows that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity.”
Brain Function, Mood, and Mental Health
Your brain health depends on sleep. When you sleep the brain forms new pathways to help with learning and memory. The brain also releases toxins when you sleep.
A good night’s sleep can improve your learning and problem solving of all kinds, such as studying for a test, trying to improve your golf swing, or learning a musical instrument. The NIH says sleep can also help with attention, decision-making and creativity.
Lack of sleep has a negative impact on mood, and WebMD reports that lack of sleep over time may increase the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and/or panic disorders.
Sleep is so important to top athletes that many sports teams are hiring sleep coaches or sleep consultants to work with players. The benefits of a good night’s sleep for athletes have been compared to the effects of a performance-enhancing drug.
Research cited by the Better Sleep Council showed that Men’s basketball players who extended their sleep time over a seven-week period had faster reaction times and improved shooting accuracy.
Sleep also helps athletes with physical recovery; learning new techniques and competitive strategies; memorizing complex team plays and avoiding injury.
Lack of sleep is a significant cause of mistakes and accidents. For example, driving when you haven’t had enough sleep can impact your driving ability as much as, or more than, being intoxicated. “It’s estimated that driver sleepiness is a factor in about 100,000 car accidents each year, resulting in about 1,500 deaths,” claims the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
From pilots to healthcare workers, professionals are also impacted by lack of sleep. Sleep deficiency has played a role in many large-scale disasters including aviation and ship accidents and even a nuclear reactor meltdown.
If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep, and you do not want to use over-the-counter medications that sometimes lead to grogginess, there are many strategies that may help. Some of these include meditation, exercise, keeping a regular sleep/wake schedule, and avoiding too much caffeine and other stimulants.
CBD supports your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for homeostasis or keeping your body functions in balance, and it affects everything from sleep, appetite, pain, inflammation, memory, mood, and reproduction.
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