Having a sleep disorder means disruption of normal sleep patterns and an excessive amount of daytime exhaustion. There are over 80 known sleep disorders and while difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia) is the most common, other examples of sleep disorders include snoring, sleep apnea, sleep behaviors called parasomnias, restless legs syndrome, circadian disorders and narcolepsy. Statistically, nearly 40 million adults in the US suffer from some type of significant sleep disorder and it is assumed that an additional 20 million people annually have experienced sporadic sleep problems.
Sleep is necessary for our emotional, mental and physical health although how and why it benefits us is not fully understood. Sleep disturbances and disorders are also symptomatic of many chronic illnesses which further complicates our understanding and how to treat or prevent sleep disturbances and disorders. While we may not fully understand the benefits of sleep and the body system's exact roles to giving us that restorative effect each day, we do understand much about chronic illness. As we have learned, chronic illness in most cases involves an underlying imbalance or dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system.
Studies have shown that chronic illness can be the cause or a symptom of a sleep disorder. For instance, it has been shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours in a 24-hour period increase their risk for several chronic health conditions, including heart disease, obesity, stroke, depression, diabetes and arthritis. Certain comorbid disorders like neurodegenerative diseases can increase the risk of insomnia by 75-95%.
Cannabinol, or CBN is making waves in research right now because of its proven sedative properties and its ability to trigger deep, lasting sleep. It delivers a more powerful sedative effect than any of the other cannabinoids, without causing any “high.” CBN binds primarily to CB2 receptors, where it incites pain-relief. Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent contributors to sleep disorders. Studies suggest that using CBD, THC or CBN independently or taking advantage of the entire trifecta and combining the strengths of all three, these compounds can address not only the reason behind sleep issues but also the symptoms that come from a lack of adequate sleep. It has been our experience, however, that better results are achieved when using CBN alone or in combination of THC. CBN and CBD combinations do not seem as effective which is consistent with recent research indicating CBD competes with CBN for uptake by receptors important in the sleep process.