Wellness and the Sleep Cycle
How Does Sleep Influence Health?
Sleep is deeply interconnected with health and is much more complex than people often realize. Sleep plays an essential role in well-being, affects every system in your body, and provides the recharge needed to function normally in your day-to-day life. While you’re asleep, your brain organizes the thoughts, experiences, and perceptions from the daytime to enable optimal memory recall when needed later on. Aside from memory building, sleep is also vital for recovery from physical and mental stress, and plays a key role in hormone regulation.
What Are The Sleep Stages?
Rapid Eye Movement is the part of sleep during which dreams occur. During this stage cognitive activity is high, and brain patterns resemble those of someone who is awake.
Non-Rapid Eye Movement is characterized by relaxed muscles, decreased heart rate and slow breathing. During the deepest stages of NREM it becomes difficult to wake, with brain waves and pulse becoming slow and rhythmic.
Healthy Sleep Cycle
As our bodies cycle between NREM and REM stages, it assists in regulating internal body processes such as hormone secretion. When we achieve adequate amounts of sleep, our bodies achieve a natural rhythm of hormonal release which controls processes such as metabolism, feelings of hunger, and body repair. In order to function at your best, you need to cycle through all stages of sleep several times each night.
What Causes Sleep Disorders?
Sleep disorders can arise for a variety of reasons, and are influenced heavily both by external and biological factors. Sleep disorders like insomnia often have hereditary components which may be linked to their development. It is also common to see disorders like depression, pain, anxiety or PTSD arise alongside sleep issues. These factors and their seemingly endless combination are what make treating sleep disorders so challenging. Nevertheless, understanding which factors contribute to, or inhibit healthy sleep are crucial for supporting our overall health and well being.
Tips For Improving Bad Sleep
When it comes to addressing sleep issues, including those stemming from diagnosed sleep disorders or other conditions, a key component is ensuring that holistic and integrative approaches are used. Here’s a few tips to get you started:
Limit Caffeine ☕
Using caffeine close to bedtime can interfere with regular sleep patterns. Try to avoid coffee, tea, pop, and chocolate in the late hours of the day.
Drain Energy 🔋
Keep both your body and mind active during the day. Staying active both physically and mentally will burn off any excess energy, allowing your system to rest and recover at night.
Taking time to unwind after a stressful day can help calm your nerves and ease your transition to sleep. Listen to music, read a book, or take a hot bath to promote calmness and relaxation.
Internal Clock 🕰️
Your body has an internal clock cycling between day and night known as circadian rhythm. A consistent bedtime, plus getting lots of sunlight during the day, helps to regulate this rhythm.
Total Darkness 💤
As part of keeping your sleep area free of disturbances, make sure to turn off all screens and light sources in your bedroom. This will signal to your body that it’s time to power down.
CBD For Sleep - Research and Resources
In opposition to traditional pharmaceutical sleep aids which may carry risks of dependency and other side effects, CBD is quickly becoming a trusted ally for those who find it challenging to get a good night’s rest. See below for research and resources relating to CBD and sleep:
🔬 Published Studies on CBD for Sleep
- Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
- CBD and Sleep-Related Behaviors Associated with REM
- Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature
- Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
💤 CBD + Support Designed for Sleep
📚 Additional Reading
- Sleep Disorders: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments via Healthline
- Sleep Disorders - Symptoms and Causes via Mayo Clinic
- Sleep Disorders: Symptoms & Types via WebMD
- Sleep Disorders via National Sleep Foundation