Why Women Suffer From Insomnia More Than Men and How CBD Can Help Them

Sleep is a basic need, as important for a healthy life as exercise and a nutritious diet. Sleep provides the foundation for a productive day ahead. Seven to nine hours of sleep are needed for most people to function efficiently throughout the day. However, according to a 1998 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), women aged 30-60 get less than 7 hours of sleep during the workweek.

A 2002 NSF Sleep in America poll revealed that more women suffer from insomnia symptoms than men. While the 2005 poll results reiterated that women have more trouble falling and remaining asleep. Although anyone of any age or sex can experience insomnia, statistics lean towards women as being the most likely to suffer from it. These statistics can be related to the biological conditions unique to women. A woman’s hormone levels fluctuate and change throughout a month and over her lifetime. These hormones, like progesterone and estrogen, have a great impact on sleep.

According to a 2007 National Sleep Foundation poll, 33% of women reported that they have sleep problems during their menstrual cycle. Insomnia before the start of a woman’s next period may be due to a drop in their progesterone levels. Progesterone is a sleep-promoting hormone, and abrupt withdrawal of it can lead to difficulty sleeping. Menopausal women are another group likely to experience insomnia.

According to Dr. Emsellem, M.D., director of The Center for Sleep & Wake Disorders, 35 to 40 percent of women going through menopause have sleep problems. Throughout the course of menopause, a woman’s ovaries will gradually decrease their production of progesterone and estrogen. These changing hormone levels can be unsettling and lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep.

These hormonal changes are also associated with pregnancy. Dr. Emsellem has said that the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy can impact sleep patterns as well. This is supported by the American Pregnancy Association. They claim that it is normal for pregnant women to have insomnia, as the condition affects approximately 78% of them. However, insomnia caused by pregnancy is not solely due to hormonal changes. A common cause of insomnia amongst pregnant women is the discomfort and pain caused by the increased size of their stomach. Other factors include heartburn, anxiety, excitement, and frequent urination interrupting their sleep.

Hormonal changes along with the unsettling processes of menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy, are all contributing factors to the high rate of insomnia amongst women. Recent research, however, shows that women may also have a higher genetic risk of developing insomnia than men. This is according to a study conducted on approximately 7, 500 adult female and male twins. Mackenzie Lind, one of the researchers on the study, said that she was not surprised by the result, as previous studies have shown women to be 1.4 times more likely than men to report insomnia. According to Lind, women don’t have to lose hope as even genetically-influenced insomnia is treatable.

CBD as a Treatment for Insomnia

Insomnia is a condition that can have many underlying causes. Sleeping tablets are a quick way to deal with insomnia, but these can have various side effects and not reach the root of insomnia. CBD, on the other hand, has no known adverse effects and can deal with many of the underlying causes directly. If you are unable to sleep because of anxiety, CBD can reduce the anxiety and increase your sleep quality.

If you have difficulty sleeping because the pain keeps you awake, CBD will soothe the pain so you can have a peaceful sleep. However, it is always important to note that like prescription medications, the effect of CBD will differ per person and per illness. For one person it might completely relieve pain, while for another it might provide a calming effect.

CBD reacts with various chemicals and receptors in the brain to relieve pain and inflammation and produce its calming effect. Your body already produces its own cannabinoids as part of the endocannabinoid system. This system works to regulate many physiological processes in the body. These include our mood and perception of pain. CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system and enhances its powerful effects on mood and pain.

As mentioned earlier, pregnant women are more likely to have insomnia because of the anxiety that they may be experiencing. The ability of CBD to regulate mood will help reduce their anxiety, which can be helpful in reducing their insomnia. CBD has further been shown to have anti-depression effects due to its effect on the brain’s serotonin receptors. Depression is a common cause of sleep difficulties and can lead to lack of sleep or excessive amounts.

Those who have trouble sleeping because of pain will also find relief by using CBD, which will improve their sleep quality. CBD can be therapeutic for various forms of pain. These include chronic pain and pain that is usually difficult to treat. These include pain caused by arthritis, multiple sclerosis, headaches, and migraine. CBD also helps insomniacs as it can reduce the common symptoms of daytime sleepiness and difficulty staying alert. CBD is often mistaken as sedating, when in fact, smaller doses of CBD have been shown to reduce daytime sleepiness and stimulate alertness. It does this by activating the same adenosine receptors as caffeine does. Staying awake during the day is important for maintaining the sleep-wake cycle and preventing insomnia at night.

In addition to its range of benefits and lack of dangers, CBD does not need a prescription like the majority of sleeping medications. To experience the sedating effects of CBD to help ease pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness, you should take a higher dose. It is recommended to take 20+ mg CBD oil 30 minutes before going to bed. The dosage required to aid sleep may vary from person to person. 20-40 mg has been shown to reduce anxiety to a point where falling asleep is easier for some patients, while others might require a higher dose. The best thing to do is to start at a low dose and increase it according to its effectiveness.

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4911998/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26921599
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21708527

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