If you’re regularly struggling to get to sleep – or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and unable to get back to the land of nod – you could be suffering from insomnia.
Most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep per night in order to function physically, mentally, and emotionally. But, if you’re experiencing sleep problems, put your panic on hold. Here’s everything you need to know about insomnia – and some simple ways to get those much-needed zzzzzs.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall – or stay – asleep. Tired of tossing and turning and staring at the ceiling/clock all night? You’re not alone.
The World Sleep Society recently reported that a third of the global population will suffer from sleep problems at some point in their lives, while 10% will be diagnosed with insomnia.
The pandemic hasn’t exactly helped us drop off: social distancing, blurred work-life boundaries, and ongoing uncertainty have made getting a good night’s rest significantly harder. In a study conducted across 49 countries in March and April 2020, 40% of respondents reported that their sleep was worse than before the pandemic.
But Covid-19 isn’t the only culprit when it comes to sleep disturbances. Aside from anxiety and stress, insomnia can be caused by anything from shift work to medication side effects, not enough exercise or exposure to natural light, eating certain foods or scrolling through your smartphone before bedtime, and frequent international travel.
Make no mistake, sleep deprivation is dangerous. A lack of sleep doesn’t just make you tired, it can impair judgement, raise blood pressure and cause weight gain and hallucinations.
The good news? Insomniacs can improve their quality shut-eye by making small lifestyle changes.
Things you can do to try and address the problem include sticking to consistent sleep and wake times, eating a healthy diet, making sure you have somewhere dark and quiet to sleep, trying relaxation techniques like meditation, or turning to natural sleep aids such as CBD.
Your hormones could be keeping you up
Still struggling to get a good night’s kip? Plain old hormones could also be wreaking havoc with your sleep. There are five key hormones that impact our slumber:
Levels of estrogen fluctuate throughout your life and, at lower levels around the menopause, can cause hot flushes and night sweats – leading to sleep disturbances.
Better known as the female sex hormone, low levels of progesterone – for example during a woman’s menstruation or menopause – can affect sleep.
Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands in response to stress. High cortisol levels can lead to mood swings, anxiety, depression and, you guessed it, poor sleep.
This is the hormone that controls your sugar levels. Eating excessive sugary foods can cause the body to make too much insulin, resulting in a restless night’s sleep.
Often referred to as the sleep hormone, melatonin levels rise when it’s dark outside, sending a signal to the brain that it’s time to sleep.
As you can see, hormones have a huge influence on our sleep. But what can we do when our chemical messengers are out of kilter?
CBD as a sleep aid
There’s a whole host of products – from weighted blankets to earplugs, pillow mists, and sound machines – to help you get more than 40 winks.
However here at Juana Skin, we recommend you use a clean, natural, and sustainable product that works in harmony with your body.
Enter cannabidiol, aka CBD – a chemical compound from the hemp plant.
Studies have shown that CBD can help with hormone imbalances and treat insomnia. Just ask Kim Kardashian. The SKIMS Solutionwear founder told People Magazine: “I got into CBD [...]. It’s saved my life. Even to sleep at night. I like the gummies. I will just use a little bit and fall asleep. I don’t think I would take a Xanax or an Ambien again.”
Blink 182 drummer, Travis Barker, who is engaged to Kim’s older sister, Kourtney Kardashian, is another celeb who swears by CBD when it comes to addressing insomnia naturally. The Blink 182 artist told Rolling Stone that, before discovering CBD, he “used to have trouble with sleep and I would take a ton of melatonin, valerian tea, Tylenol PM, or Nyquil. And before that, it was actually Ambien. I was addicted to that at one point.”
One of the main reasons CBD is revered by A-listers and mortals alike is because it works with the naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (the part of our body that creates signals to regulate functions such as sleep.)
Thinking of trying CBD? The ‘miracle medicine’ comes in many different forms, some edible or ingestible, others topical.
Ingestibles – this includes everything from oils to tinctures, tea and coffee, gummies, chocolate, capsules, and sparkling water – are a great way to try CBD.
If ingesting CBD isn’t for you, CBD topicals – creams, oils, scrubs, body butters, and balms that have been infused with CBD and are applied directly to the skin – could be the way to go.
No matter which way you decide to use CBD, it won’t be long before you have balanced your hormones and are experiencing better sleep. With CBD products, it’s as easy as 1, 2, zzzz…
Sleepless in the UAE? Bubble baths, digital detoxes, and CBD products aside, there are other methods to help you drift off to dreamland – including a natural, therapeutic treatment called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).
This talking therapy sees a trained therapist help sleep-deprived individuals address the behaviors, beliefs, and habits that have contributed to their insomnia, and replace them with constructive actions that promote sleep.
CBT-I typically involves four-to-six sessions and can be broken down into three parts: cognitive interventions, behavioral interventions, and psychoeducational interventions.
If you have tried sleep hygiene tips and they haven’t worked, it could be time to try CBT-I. The techniques you learn will stay with you for life, helping you to sustain a healthy sleeping routine.
Unwind with Juana Skin’s natural, therapeutic CBD skincare range: a clinically proven natural way to balance your mind, skin, and body and make you fall in love with sleep again.