Like narcolepsy, hypersomnia leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, but unlike narcolepsy it is less severe and far more common. While there are a number of suspected causes of hypersomnia, some of which include depression, the use of prescription medication and even weight gain, treatment options are fairly limited and carry their own risks. Stimulants and anti-depressants are commonly prescribed but these can leave you feeling dizzy and nauseas. CBD, however, has been shown to reset the sleep cycle, boost energy levels and mood, and stimulate the mind to keep you alert. Unsurprisingly it’s becoming a popular choice for those suffering from hypersomnia.
The secret to CBD’s many therapeutic benefits is the way in which it interacts with and helps improve the functioning of the endocannabinoid system, which regulates a number of physiological processes from metabolism and appetite to immunity. The endocannabinoid system also helps to regulate our circadian rhythms – key to a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
For anyone suffering from a sleep disorder, particularly hypersomnia, resetting sleep patterns is crucial to combatting the condition. CBD influences levels of serotonin and dopamine, both of which play a role in the proper functioning of the sleep cycle. Serotonin is needed to boost production of melatonin – the hormone responsible for sleep – while dopamine works to turn down the levels of melatonin to bring you out of a state of sleepiness and make you more alert. By balancing the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, CBD helps to regulate the sleep cycle, improving the quality of sleep at night, which in turn helps to curb daytime drowsiness.
While CBD is often used as a natural sleep aid, when taken in lower doses it has been shown to act as a stimulant, increasing levels of nervous activity to help promote wakefulness. This is especially useful for those moments when you feel drowsiness set in.
As with many sleep conditions, hypersomnia can lead to increased anxiety – not knowing when you may nod off is enough to send anyone into a spin. One of the many benefits of CBD is its anti-anxiety properties. By acting on serotonin receptors, it is able to boost the natural production of this feel-good chemical, which helps to improve mood and reduce stress. The upside? Less anxiety often results in more sleep.
There are many ways to administer CBD from vapes and oils to edibles, but oils and tinctures are a popular choice for those suffering from sleep conditions and are easy to carry around should you need an instant pick-me-up – think of it as your on-the-go cup of coffee.