Research Studies: CBD’s Effects On Sleep Disorders

Sleeping disorders can affect anyone. Many people suffer from sleep disorders that affect their breathing, and their quality of sleep. But studies into CBD’s effects on sleep disorders suggest that CBD oil could provide a safe and natural treatment for people with sleep disorders.

Sleep is a complex topic. And researchers innately connect sleep with overall mental and physical wellness. Too much sleep or not enough sleep can severely affect daily life and elevate the risk of sickness, anxiety, and injury. Severe sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can even be life-threatening.

Current research into sleep and the mechanisms involved suggest that the endocannabinoid system may be intimately involved in how well we sleep. And targeting this system with phytocannabinoids such as CBD may exhibit potential therapeutic benefits for patients with sleep disorders.

Facts About Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders affect multiple aspects of physical and mental wellbeing. Researchers link lack of sleep to chronic pain and suspect it can lead to developing illnesses, anxiety, depression, and excessive daytime sleepiness. [2]

There are 84 classifications of sleep disorders. The most common types include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy, according to Sleep Med. [1]

Women and the elderly are most likely to have difficulty with sleep, but disorders can affect children as well. Statistical research suggests that: [1][2]

  • 50 to 70 million adults have a sleep disorder.
  • About 60% of sleep disorders stem from insomnia caused by a chronic health issue.
  • Adults require an average of 8 to 8.5 hours of sleep each night, while children require an average of 9 to 10 hours of sleep each night.
  • Those over 65 years old make up about 13% of the U.S. population, but consume over 30% of prescription drugs and 40% of sleeping pills.
  • About 30% to 40% of children do not get enough sleep.
  • Over 50% of people 65 years and older experience disturbed sleep.
  • Not getting enough sleep is linked to many chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.
  • About half of those with a sleep disorder report snoring.
  • 25 million adults have obstructive sleep apnea

Sleep disorders can be temporary or chronic and be caused by various factors. Factors frequently associated with causing sleep problems are: [4]

  • Physical (such as a pain or injury)
  • Medical (such as asthma or other condition)
  • Psychiatric (such as anxiety or depression)
  • Environmental (such as alcohol, noise, etc.)

Other factors that can interfere with sleep include:

  • Genetics
  • Working night shifts
  • Medications
  • Aging
  • Stress

Research On CBD’s Effects On Sleep Disorders

Sleep is essential for optimum health and studies into CBD’s effects on sleep disorders show that CBD oil may provide relief for some sleep disorders. A report of findings from a series of experiments on mice published in the journal PLoS One gives insight into why this might be.[5]

Authors write, “Our findings indicate the [the endocannabinoid system] signaling is both necessary and sufficient to promote long (stable) bouts of NREM sleep.”

Recent findings from researchers at the National Center for PTSD-Dissemination & Training Division published in the journal, Current Psychiatry Reports just last year suggest that “CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness… CBD may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia.” [6]

Interestingly, some studies suggest that CBD oil may actually exhibit a stimulating effect in small doses, while at mid to high-level dosages it acts as a sedative.

In a study among individuals with insomnia, for example, results suggest that administration of 160 mg/day of CBD increased total sleep time and decreased the frequency of disturbances during sleep. Countering this is data from other studies associating lower doses of CBD with increased wakefulness. [6]

Some studies suggest that CBD can be a powerful analgesic with anxiolytic and antidepressant-like properties which can help reduce pain, anxiety, and depression which can all be attributed to insomnia. [7]

CBD in Treatment of Sleep Disorders

According to a review of the literature on cannabinoids and sleep published in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports, “Medium- and high-dose CBD is sedating and has been examined in the context of a number of sleep disorders including insomnia. Initial basic research has suggested that medium-/high-dose CBD is associated with an increase in the percentage of total sleep.” [7]

Authors also point to a pilot study in humans which associate high-dose CBD was with improved sleep.

A report published in the journal, The Permanente Journal, and authored by researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Wholeness Center in Fort Collins, Colorado details a case trial of a ten-year-old girl who was sexually abused and suffering from PTSD who was given CBD to help treat anxiety and sleep disorder as an alternative to traditional medications. [8]

According to the authors, “Pharmaceutical medications provided partial relief, but results were not long-lasting, and there were major side effects. A trial of cannabidiol oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep.”


Getting enough sleep is essential to health and wellness, but many don’t get adequate sleep due to health issues such as chronic pain or anxiety.

Current research indicates that CBD oil may be a safe and effective sleep-aid for those suffering from sleep disorders, especially due to pain or mental health problems.

Further investigation into CBD’s effects on sleep disorders and the mechanisms involved is needed to make any conclusions about the long-term efficacy of cannabinoid therapy in treating sleep disorders.

You may also be interested in our article about CBD’s health benefits.

Sources for “CBD’s Effects on Sleep Disorders”

  1. Sleep Med. Sleep Statistics. Web. 2018 http://www.sleepmedsite.com/page/sb/sleep_disorders/sleep_statistics
  2. CDC. Sleep and Sleep Disorders. 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/index.html
  3. American Sleep Association. Sleep and Sleep Disorder Statistics. 2018. https://www.sleepassociation.org/about-sleep/sleep-statistics/
  4. Cleveland Clinic. Causes of Sleep Problems. Web. 2018 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/12114-causes-of-sleep-problems
  5. Endocannabinoid signaling Regulates Sleep Stability. Matthew J Pava. PLOS ONE. 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4816426/
  6. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a review of the literature. Babson KA. Curr. Psychiatry Rep. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28349316
  7. Cannabidiol in humans – The Quest for Therapeutic Targets. Simon Zhornitsky. Pharmaceuticals. 2012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763649/
  8. Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil For Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as part of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report, Shannon S. Perm. J. 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27768570

Research Reports on CBD’s Effects On Sleep Disorders

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *