A lack of sleep can wreak havoc on our health and for athletes, it can derail training and impact performance.
From insomnia and disrupted sleep to restless leg syndrome, one in four athletes is believed to suffer from some type of sleep disorder. While sleeping pills may offer instant relief, they come with a number of unpleasant side-effects – drowsiness, lightheadedness and muscle incoordination, to name a few. CBD, however, promotes better sleep without sedation so you can make sure your training stays on track.
CBD works in a number of ways to positively impact sleep. Firstly, it prevents the breakdown of anandamide, aka ‘the bliss molecule’ in our blood stream. Healthy levels of anandamide make it easier to manage stress and anxiety – less stress encourages better sleep.
Equally important is CBD’s influence on serotonin levels. Research shows that CBD works to boost the natural production of serotonin – our happy hormone – helping to promote relaxation to make falling asleep a dream.
Excessive thinking can also contribute to sleepless nights – particularly for athletes preparing for a big race. CBD helps to calm brain activity by inhibiting the GABA receptors, making it easier to settle down for a good night’s rest.
But for many, falling asleep isn’t the only problem – staying asleep is. Broken sleep is as debilitating as no sleep at all. Limiting night-time waking leads to better quality sleep, which in turn boosts energy levels during the day so you don’t have to train tired. The secret to uninterrupted sleep is establishing a healthy sleep cycle – and CBD can help. Working with the endocannabinoid system, CBD is able to balance hormones, making sure levels of cortisol (our stress hormone) don’t peak in the evening, which contributes to better sleep at night.
Of course, post-workout pain and inflammation can also rob you of a good night’s sleep. CBD delivers a potent analgesic effect and works as a natural anti-inflammatory, making it a valuable addition to your training toolkit.
As any athlete will know, sleep is key to recovery. It helps to reboot energy levels and rebuild strength. Whether you choose an oil, a tincture or even a CBD vape, this plant-based medicine packs a powerful punch.