This weekend marks the arrival of daylight savings time. Welcome to spring forward! As much as we love the arrival of spring, we can’t help but wonder…how can losing one measly hour in the morning feel like we’ve lost an entire night of sleep?
The answer lies in our endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates our circadian rhythm. Today’s post dives into the science behind these words, and offers hacks for the best sleep ever.
For anyone that wants to skip the upcoming science lesson – here’s a preview! CBD helps you adjust to this disruption of your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. Jump to the bottom for a prescription for perfect sleep.
What is Circadian Rhythm?
A circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats on each rotation of the Earth. It’s our body’s master clock, directly influenced by environmental cues, especially light. So when daylight savings time happens, there’s a natural disruption to the light our bodies are used to seeing. As a result, our internal clock goes out of sync, causing many to suffer from sleeping problems, including insomnia.
What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
To tell you more about the ECS, we turned to one of our favorite books, Cannabis & CBD For Health & Wellness, written by Aliza Sherman and Dr. Junella Chin. They describe this complex system as:
“Think of the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, as a system that lies over or interfaces with all of the other systems throughout your entire body. ECS regulates both physical functions such as movement, pain sensation and immune responses, and cognitive or mental functions like perception, mood and memory.
While the name endocannabinoid system sounds like you have cannabis in your body, no cannabis is actually a part of this system. Endogenous means something produced naturally inside of the human body. The term cannabinoid alludes to cannabis only because these molecules were discovered in the 1990s during cannabis research.
Some scientists think that many human ailments and diseases – including pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease), epilepsy, glaucoma, osteoporosis, and cancer – stem from an imbalance or weakness in the ECS and can be (or even have been) successfully treated by introducing phytocannabinoids (or plant cannabinoids) into the body.”
The ECS and Its Relationship to Sleep
Taking CBD, a phytocannabinoid, is a wonderful way to balance and boost your ECS, without any psychoactive effects.
Experts are still studying the ECS, but they know it plays a role in sleep as well, so has a hand in regulating circadian rhythm and achieving quality rest.
Dr. Chin (the author cited above) recorded an incredible podcast about CBD and sleep with Wendy Nguyen of Artemis. Who is Dr. Chin and why are we so obsessed with her? For starters, she’s one of the world’s leading cannabis physicians, who has been profiled in Forbes, CNN, The New York Times and more. She’s a board member of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine. She’s an amazing resource for anyone looking to incorporate CBD into their lifestyle to achieve maximum wellness.
We encourage you to take 20 minutes and listen to the podcast, but if you don’t have time, here are some highlights:
On sleep aids
- Sleep aids (such as Ambien, Lunesta, etc) do not give a truly restorative sleep. It is a “false sense of sleep” and only averages out to an extra 8 minutes of sleep per night. The sleep aids give you an amnesia that means you don’t remember you had a crappy night of sleep. (minute 3:30)
- The side effects of sleep aids are serious. Doctors have linked Ambien with early dementia. It can give you short term memory loss. Then your moods might change, and overall taking a sleep aid for long periods of time can have long-term cognitive effects. (minute 5:05)
On CBD for sleep
- CBD might not make you drowsy, but it helps with the nervous system and can help you feel more relaxed. So this can help you stay asleep. (minute 6:45)
- Linalool and myrcene are very relaxing and sedating terpenes that help deliver the cannabinoids into your system and help relax you. (minute 9:05)
** fun fact, these two terpenes are prominent in our Suver Haze Pre-Rolls!
- If your issue is falling asleep because you can’t shut your brain off, smoking is a great way to take CBD. It’s a fast-acting way to get it into your system. (minute 12:15)
- But if you wake up in the middle of the night, an edible or tincture is great to take before bed so that it kicks in during your sleep and can hold you through the night without feeling groggy in the morning. (minute 12:35)
How long will it take?
- After a few months of using CBD, your body self regulates and your circadian rhythm starts to be able to fall asleep on its own, so you can use it more situationally. (minute 14:15)
- This is herbal medicine, when you boil it down, it is plant-based medicine so it takes time for your body to react and adjust. (minute 14:50)
In short, CBD is an awesome way to support your endocannabinoid system, which plays a key role in regulating many important bodily functions. Including sleep! As you look at the weekend ahead, and the inevitable loss of an hour, start taking your CBD now in prep for Sunday’s circadian shift.
We recommend drifting off to sleep with a puff of our Suver Haze pre-roll, a nibble on our delicious CBDots or a dose of our #1 product for sleep, the NY Full Spectrum CBD Oil. You’ll feel relaxed and get that restorative, all-through-the-night sleep in no time. Daylight savings time doesn’t stand a chance!