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Updated on January 5, 2024

CBD for Sleep Apnea

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Key takeaways

  • Sleep apnea affects over 936 million adults globally with about 39 million adults in the U.S alone
  • Sleep apnea is the second most common sleep-related condition after insomnia.
  • Sleep apnea is caused by several factors including age, presence of other conditions, and family history.
  • CBD can promote a good night sleep by dealing with anxiety, pain, and inflammation. These attributes are great for people with sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where a person struggles to breathe while asleep. Imagine something blocking the air from going in and out of your nose or throat, causing frequent pauses in breathing during the night. The most common type is called obstructive sleep apnea.

In obstructive sleep apnea, the airway (the path that air travels through) gets blocked, usually by the soft tissues at the back of the throat collapsing and closing. When this happens, the person might snore loudly or make choking sounds as they try to breathe.

Statistics show sleep apnea affects a significant number of people, with over 39 million adults in the U.S. and a staggering 936 million people globally. Those with sleep apnea often feel tired during the day due to disrupted sleep. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health issues such as heart problems, kidney complications, and metabolic disorders. As serious as sleep apnea may sound, more than 80% of people who have sleep apnea have not been diagnosed thus calling for a major concern.

Causes of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can be caused by various factors, and its origins often depend on the specific type of sleep apnea. The two primary types are obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA), and there's also a type known as complex or mixed sleep apnea that involves a combination of both. Here are the main causes for each type:

Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):

OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea and it is caused by the following factors;

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Obesity of excess weight
  • Size of the neck
  • Congestion of the nose
  • Enlarged tonsil or adenoids.

Causes of Central Sleep Apnea

The common causes of central sleep apnea (CSA) are listed below;

  • Failure of the brain to transmit signals: note that CSA is not caused by a physical obstruction. Instead, it occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles responsible for controlling breathing.
  • Heart Disorders: Conditions such as congestive heart failure or atrial fibrillation can disrupt the brain's respiratory signals.

Other factors that may contribute to sleep apnea include age, family history, gender, smoking, history of alcohol use and some medical conditions like high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

How does CBD works for sleep apnea?

CBD, shows promise in dealing with certain effects associated with sleep apnea. The interruption of sleep caused by sleep apnea may have some consequences on the body. Sleep apnea's adverse effects extend beyond mere sleep disruption at night as they can significantly impact mood, memory, and physical health.

Some of the possible ways CBD can help people with sleep apnea by improving sleep quality. Some of the ways CBD can improve sleep quality includes;

  1. Reducing anxiety and depression:

CBD holds promise in enhancing sleep quality through various potential mechanisms. Firstly, CBD is recognized for its anxiolytic properties, helping reduce anxiety and stress that often hinder restful sleep. Many users report experiencing a sense of calm and relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep and maintain a peaceful sleep state.

  1. Anti-inflammatory effect:

CBD's anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties may eliminate = pain and discomfort, addressing common factors that disrupt sleep.

  1. Promoting deep sleep:

The interaction between CBD and the endocannabinoid system also plays a role in regulating circadian rhythms, contributing to a more consistent sleep-wake cycle. Some studies suggest that CBD may influence rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, enhancing this critical phase associated with brain health. Furthermore, CBD may help minimize nighttime awakenings, promoting a more continuous and restorative sleep experience.

  1. Improved blood pressure:

Sleep apnea is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, particularly among those with obstructive sleep apnea. A study in 2020 proposes that CBD could assist in reducing stress-induced high blood pressure. While additional research is needed to substantiate this potential benefit, preliminary findings suggest a positive impact on blood pressure regulation.

  1. Reduced daytime sleepiness:

Sleep apnea often results in daytime fatigue. Existing research hints at CBD's ability to mitigate excessive daytime sleepiness in individuals with conditions like narcolepsy. Although CBD's specific role in alleviating daytime fatigue for those with sleep apnea hasn't been extensively studied, it may offer a similar advantage.

Frequently asked questions

Will CBD help me sleep better at night?

Yes, CBD has some calming effects which help keep you asleep at night. This calming effect is promoted by the activity of the endocannabinoid system.

Is CBDa better for sleep apnea than CBD?

Yes, CBDa is a stronger version of CBD. It has a better effect on users.

What is the best way to use CBD for sleep?

To get the best out of your CBD for sleep, you suggest you use your favorite CBD product 30 minutes before sleep time.

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Sources:

Ramar K, Rosen IM, Kirsch DB, Chervin RD, Carden KA, Aurora RN, Kristo DA, Malhotra RK, Martin JL, Olson EJ, Rosen CL, Rowley JA; American Academy of Sleep Medicine Board of Directors. Medical Cannabis and the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Position Statement. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018 Apr 15;14(4):679-681. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.7070. PMID: 29609727; PMCID: PMC5886446.

Kaul M, Zee PC, Sahni AS. Effects of Cannabinoids on Sleep and their Therapeutic Potential for Sleep Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2021 Jan;18(1):217-227. doi: 10.1007/s13311-021-01013-w. Epub 2021 Feb 12. PMID: 33580483; PMCID: PMC8116407.

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