Published: May 10th, 2018
We all know the importance of good sleep. Unfortunately, sleep issues are becoming ever more prominent in modern society. Below, we explore the extent of sleep disorders like insomnia, and the effects they can have on one's health and wellbeing.
The term “sleep disorders” is very broad. There are all kinds of different sleep-related issues, and all of them affect people differently and produce different effects/symptoms. Nonetheless, sleep disorders are becoming increasingly common, especially among adults.
In the US, for example, roughly 50–70 million adults have some kind of sleep disorder, according to the American Sleep Association. These include issues such as unintentionally falling asleep during the day, or during particular tasks (such as driving).
Insomnia, however, is by far the most common sleep disorder affecting adults. Roughly 30% of US adults report dealing with short-term bouts of insomnia, while roughly 10% deal with chronic insomnia.
Insomnia, in its most basic sense, is a strong case of sleeplessness. It can affect a person’s ability to fall or stay asleep, as well as cause them to not feel well-rested after sleeping. Treating insomnia strongly depends on understanding the underlying causes of the condition, which can vary.
Some patients, for example, may simply have unhealthy sleeping habits. By changing these habits, they should be able to get into a healthy sleep rhythm. Other patients, however, may experience insomnia as a symptom of a more serious underlying condition, such as anxiety or depression.
Another very common sleep condition affecting adults is sleep apnea, which affects up to 20% of adult women and up to 30% of men in the US. Sleep apnea is a very serious condition and, when left untreated, can lead to increased risks of heart attacks, glaucoma, and both behavioural and cognitive disorders.
Another growing trend affecting adult sleep patterns is lack of sleep in general. In fact, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of American adults regularly don’t get enough sleep.
According to the American Sleep Association, adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. However, statistics show that up to 40% of adults don’t meet those requirements. Research shows that this trend has been on the rise in recent years; back in the 1940s, for example, adults were getting around 8 hours sleep tonight. Today, that number has dropped to 6.8, according to recent gallup polls.
In fact, sleep deprivation is so common, especially among young adults, that it's commonly a source of memes and other jokes online. However, the effects of chronic sleep deprivation are far from a laughing matter.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you might experience acute short-term symptoms like irritability, headaches, and slowness/slow reaction times. You may also come to make more mistakes at work or school, or even experience speech impediments as a result of undersleeping (just like you would from overdoing it with booze).
Other common short-term effects of sleep deprivation include impaired memory and difficulty concentrating. In fact, numerous studies on students also showed that sleep deprivation directly affects one’s ability to learn and retain information.
But it doesn’t end there; sleep deprivation can also increase the risk of a variety of other, more serious health problems.
Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep commonly suffer from hormone imbalances that have been linked to weight gain, which, as we all know, can lead to a plethora of other health problems.
Other studies have shown that people who undersleep also suffer from high blood pressure as well as an elevated heart rate. Research also suggests that sleep deprivation can cause a spike in concentrations of C-reactive protein, a marker of heart disease.
Lack of sleep has also been shown to affect proper functioning of the metabolism, increasing one’s risk of developing diabetes and other diseases.
The endocannabinoid system has been shown to be directly involved in mediating sleep. In 2013, for example, a study published in the journal Sleep Medicine set out to test the theory that the compounds in cannabis and hemp can reduce anxiety and induce sleep.
The researchers monitored the sleep cycles of male rats who were administered a number chemicals, among them an endogenous cannabinoid known as 2-AG (or 2-arachidonoylglycerol).
The study found that 2-AG increased the activation of melanin-concentrating hormone, and thereby increased REM sleep. They also found that CB1 antagonists could prevent the increase of REM sleep. Based on these results, the authors of the study concluded that the endocannabinoid system is clearly involved in modulating sleep, especially REM sleep.
Thanks to its anxiolytic and sedative effects, plus its ability to stimulate the endocannabinoid system without producing any side effects, CBD may help induce healthy sleeping patterns and restore one’s circadian rhythm.
Meladol is a sleep supplement combining melatonin and CBD. Melatonin is an endogenous hormone known to be involved in inducing sleep and controlling the human circadian rhythm. Combined with the anxiolytic properties of CBD, this mixture is the perfect supplement for anyone looking to catch up on a solid night’s rest.
Unlike regular sleep medications, Meladol doesn’t produce any side effects. Instead, it’s a natural way to realign your body’s sleep cycle and wake up feeling rejuvenated and well-rested. For more info about Meladol and how it works, click here.