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Talk to Your Doctor: Disruptive Sleep and Your Wellbeing

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Sleep is essential to our health, yet for many people, it evades them. This has only gotten worse with the prevalence of smartphones, tablets, and computers, as the blue light they emit has been shown to disrupt sleep. If you are one of the many people who have difficulty sleeping, you are not alone, and in some cases, you may be experiencing a condition called insomnia.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that manifests in an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. People with insomnia may be unable to get to sleep, and when they do fall asleep, they either wake up periodically throughout the night, wake up too early, or feel tired when they wake up.

There are two types of insomnia: primary and secondary. Primary is when the sleep problems aren’t related to any other health problem. Secondary is when insomnia is correlated with something else. For example, a health condition such as depression, asthma, or arthritis, or a substance they are using like alcohol. Insomnia can also be acute or chronic, meaning it can either be short-term or long-term.

When Insomnia Needs Treatment

Insomnia can quickly leave a profound impact on your wellbeing. If not getting enough sleep is disrupting your ability to live your life, then it’s time to talk to a health care provider about what you can do to improve your sleep.

Symptoms of Insomnia

Symptoms of insomnia include:

Inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep

Irritability

Feeling tired throughout the day

Difficulty concentrating

Causes of Insomnia

Causes of insomnia depend on whether it is acute or chronic. Acute insomnia may be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Illness

Major life changes (moving, job loss, divorce, etc.)

Emotional distress

Physical discomfort

Environmental factors (low temperature, noise, light, etc.)

Some medications

Disruption of typical sleep patterns (i.e. switching from a day job to the night shift)

Chronic insomnia can be caused by:

Chronic stress

Depression

Chronic pain

Treatment for Insomnia

In some cases, insomnia can be treated by simply adopting better sleep habits and improving the sleep environment. For others, limiting alcohol or food intake before bed can help. Many people find that eliminating screen time an hour before bed, investing in light-blocking curtains, and adopting a bedtime routine helps their sleep problems. For others, a prescription medication is necessary to help them restore normal sleep.

Sleep and CBD

Understandably, many individuals with insomnia are looking to address this problem without pharmaceuticals. More researchers have become interested in how CBD could help with sleep for this reason. Thus far, the research has been promising.

CBD may help sleep in a couple of different ways. CBD has both anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties. This means that individuals who can trace their insomnia back to emotional problems or physical pain may find relief by taking a CBD product before bed. Feeling relief from these symptoms may be precisely what insomnia sufferers need to drift off to sleep. If you have difficulty sleeping, talk to your doctor about possibility including CBD in your bedtime routine.

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