Sleep & CBD

Monday, January 08, 2018

I remember the days when a cold, gray and rainy morning would have kept me asleep until noon. I have to reach far back to retrieve those memories because those days are loooong gone. But, recently, something has shifted which is providing better sleep quality than what I've grown used to, so I thought I would share about it.

I never had trouble sleeping until my infant sleep-trained me with her extended comfort nursing schedule. We slept in 2-3 hour increments for just over 2 1/2 years. And, if you factor in the six months of extreme hip pain I had during my pregnancy which also woke me up several times a night, I did not have a restorative, normal sleep cycle for at least three consecutive years. As soon as Kindred weaned, and let's all pretend that process was just as short & sweet as this sentence, she began sleeping in 8-10 hour stretches. But, for the life of me, I could not:

1. Fall asleep
2. Stay asleep
3. Get back to sleep

Nothing natural was working. I tried melatonin, valerian, passionflower, and meditation. So, out of desperation, I started taking OTC sleep meds which was basically Benadryl. Before the OTC, I would lay in bed for a couple of hours before I could fall asleep. I would also jolt wide awake around 1-3am every night and it took 1-2 hours to get back to sleep, if I could even go back to sleep at all. So, since the OTC was working as I was sleeping through the night, I kept taking it far longer than I should have. I would cringe at the thought of what it must be doing to my body, so I made a commitment to stop taking them. And, exactly what I feared happened right away...see numbered list above. I tried melatonin again...specifically, a blend called Tranquil Sleep by Natural Factors, and while it helped me feel sleepier earlier...I felt even more wide awake during the middle of the night. It has been incredibly frustrating and exhausting.

CBD Oil has gained popularity in the health store circuit since I left Natural Health, so after I started part-time at the new store, I studied more about it, and talked with customers who shared that it was helping them with their anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. I decided to give the small bottle a try. If you are unfamiliar with CBD, steady yourself for a sticker shock. It's not cheap. We carry CV Sciences, which I love for its non-chemical extraction process, that it is GMO free, and how they are in control from 'Seed to Shelf'. Not trying to sell it to you, it is one of many companies offering CBD, and I'm just telling you why I personally like it. If you don't know much about CBD oil, it stands for Cannabidiol, comes from (among other sources) the hemp plant, and is an excellent source of nutrients to support receptors in our endocannibinoid system. Our endocannibinoid system is involved in functions such as appetite, pain, mood, and memory. CBD is non-psychoactive. You are not going to get 'high' as the THC is trace amounts...seriously...this is not a cannabis extract and if you use cannabis, your system is already activated so you may not notice any new results. 

I bought our cheapest, lowest dosage available. It is 1mg vanilla spray (two sprays to get 1mg) for $20. I noticed on day one that there was a noticeable reduction in my mental chatter. My monkey mind can get out of control with lists, plans, worries, incomplete tasks, a song or two, etc. I had attended yoga earlier that day, so I was unsure if it was the CBD, the yoga, or the combination of the two. But, I noticed I felt sleepier faster when I went to bed, and while I still woke up, my mind did not take off racing and I fell back asleep within minutes. That alone was worth its weight in gold!! So, within a week, I was doing 3 sprays in the late morning and 3 sprays an hour or so before bed. I can see a change in my anxious thought patterns. And, I can still fall asleep on my own and get back to sleep without it being an ordeal. When this bottle is out, I may bump up to the 3 mg and try the peppermint as people seem to prefer it over the vanilla. The vanilla is admittedly a little rough. I chase it with some almond milk and it is gone within a couple of sips. 

Stress wreaks havoc on our bodies, so I am trying to mitigate any lasting damage this extremely stressful time in our family's lives may bring. If I can get even a marginal decline in anxiety/mental chatter, I will take it. You cannot put a price on the benefit of peace of mind. If you try CBD, reach out to me on FB and let me know your experience. Enjoy the rest of your Mondaze, folks. 
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