According to statistics from the World Health Organization, the global rate of sleep disorders is 27%. The sleep survey results published by the China Sleep Research Association in 2016 show that the incidence of insomnia in Chinese adults is as high as 38.2%, and more than 300 million Chinese have sleep disorders, and this data is still rising year by year.
Nowadays insomnia is more and more common among young people, but there is no fundamental solution. From listening to light music, counting sheep, drinking milk to sleeping pills, in order to fight insomnia, you simply do not know how hard this generation of young people are. In recent years, melatonin seems to have become the last life-saving straw for modern insomniacs, but this straw has been reminded by CCTV that it may increase the burden on the body.
Melatonin has been pulled down from the altar – limited effects and with side effects
Melatonin is a natural hormone secreted by the pineal gland of the human brain. In the environment with little light at night, melatonin secretion increases, helping to fall asleep. When the light is sufficient in the morning, it will inhibit melatonin secretion. The basic principle of melatonin health products is to regulate sleep by increasing the secretion of melatonin.
Melatonin health products can not regulate all insomnia, and have certain effects on the following two situations:
Old people with simple sleep disorders: With the increase of age, the amount of melatonin secretion in the body will gradually decrease, so old people often have sleep disorders or disorders, in this case.
People with jet lag: Melatonin is suitable for sleep disorders caused by shift work or jet lag.
However, clinically, melatonin is mostly used as a dietary supplement or health care product to adjust jet lag, and can only play an auxiliary role, and does not mean that it has a therapeutic effect. Moreover, the effect of melatonin in improving sleep is mainly reflected in helping to fall asleep. There is no significant improvement in problems such as poor sleep quality during sleep, easy to wake up, and short sleep time.
In addition, it is even more vigilant that the long-term use of large amounts of melatonin is harmful:
Increase the risk of stroke, leading to diseases of the central nervous system: The elderly are not recommended to take, because taking high doses of melatonin may promote cerebral blood vessel contraction, increasing the risk of stroke.
Infertility: Some studies have pointed out that some melatonin products on the market are too high in dosage. Long-term large-dose use may cause hypothermia and release too much prolactin to cause infertility.
Affect the secretion of hormones in the body: Since melatonin itself is also a hormone, and comes from the secretion of the brain, long-term or large-scale, non-standard use of exogenous melatonin will affect the secretion of melatonin and may cause the entire endocrine System disorders cause other diseases.
Is it insomnia?
Before treating insomnia as a serious physical distress, it is necessary to judge whether it is really insomnia. The “Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Insomnia in Chinese Adults” establishes diagnostic criteria for insomnia in Chinese adults:
Insomnia shows difficulty falling asleep, and the time to fall asleep exceeds 30 minutes;
Decreased sleep quality, impaired sleep maintenance, awakenings ≥ 2 times throughout the night, early waking, and decreased sleep quality;
Total sleep time time is reduced, usually less than 6 hours.
It is also accompanied by daytime dysfunction, including:
Fatigue or general malaise;
Attention, attention maintenance ability or memory loss;
Decreased learning, work and / or social skills;
Mood swings or irritability;
Sleepy during the day
Decreased interest and energy;
Increased tendency to make mistakes during work or driving;
Tension, headache, dizziness, or other physical symptoms related to lack of sleep;
Over-focus on sleep.
How to deal with insomnia?
If the judgment is indeed insomnia, non-pharmacological treatment can be given priority.
Good habits: Find out bad life and sleep habits, establish good sleep habits, and create a comfortable sleeping environment. Even if you are not sleepy, go to bed regularly, and set the alarm clock to wake up regularly, do not drink strong tea and coffee, do not eat enough before bed, do strenuous exercise, do not watch TV or play mobile phones, computers, you can read, write, draw, and do some relaxing Let yourself relax.
Sleep restriction: shorten the bed time of night sleep, increase the continuity of sleep, improve sleep efficiency, and increase the fatigue of the night by prohibiting daytime naps, and gradually extend the night sleep time after the symptoms improve.
Stimulation control: Whether it is difficult to fall asleep or wake up prematurely, do not stay awake for a long time in bed, but get up to do something else. Reducing the time to awaken while in bed can eliminate the negative link between the unconscious bed and the undesirable consequences of depression and worry, and rebuild the positive and clear link between bed and sleep.
Music therapy: Soft and soothing music can reduce sympathetic nerve excitement, anxiety and stress response, and can also disperse attention from the difficulty of falling asleep, so that people can relax and improve sleep.
Insomnia and anxiety always happen together
Where does insomnia come from? The Mayo Clinic divides the causes of insomnia into the following:
Mental health disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression
Caused by drugs, some drugs being taken may interfere with the sleep cycle
Physical conditions such as chronic pain and restless leg syndrome can affect sleep
Caffeine, especially caffeine intake before going to sleep at night
Environmental factors, such as noise or uncomfortable beds
Among the many factors that cause insomnia, environmental factors can be improved by hardware facilities, such as comfortable beds, shaded curtains, etc., but the state of anxiety and stress is not easy to adjust.
Poor mental state during the day caused by insomnia caused by anxiety and stress may in turn increase the stress before going to bed, and I hope to get a good night’s sleep, so as to fall into a vicious circle.
Studies have found that patients with chronic insomnia are more likely to suffer from mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression. According to the World Health Organization’s 2017 data, the number of people suffering from depression in China exceeds 54 million, and insomnia is the biggest commonality of depression patients. The proportion of depression patients complaining of sleep problems is as high as 80%.
A new wave of CBD-assisted sleep is emerging in Europe and America
In Europe and the United States, the use of CBD oil to help sleep and relieve stress has become a new trend. Many people understand or try CBD. According to the National Representative Consumer Reports survey in the United States, more than 1/4 of Americans have already tried CBD, and about 1/7 users use CBD daily.
Many people use CBD because of anxiety and sleep disorders. According to a sample survey submitted to the FDA by the market research agency ValidCare in December 2019, 22% of the respondents chose CBD for mental problems (75% of them said they had anxiety and stress problems), and other reasons for use included solving Problems with the central nervous system, digestion, sleep disorders, cancer, etc.
The investigation did not find any CBD damage to health. More than 2,000 Americans participated in the survey, ranging in age from 19 to 82 years (average 48 years). 70% of the respondents believe that CBD has a positive effect, 20% said that CBD has achieved unexpected positive effects (such as pain relief, mood improvement and sleep, etc.), and only 5% said there are side effects such as sore throat and digestive problems.
Research on CBD (cannabidiol) has only emerged in recent years. Despite the short research time, there are still some studies that have shown that CBD can help solve problems related to insomnia.
1. Reduce anxiety and improve sleep
A paper published in 2019 investigated whether CBD can improve sleep or reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects, of which 47 were anxious and 25 had poor sleep. In the study, the subjects were given 25 milligrams (mg) of CBD in capsule form daily. In the first month, 79.2% of the patients reported a decrease in anxiety level, and 66.7% of the patients reported getting better sleep.
2. Relieve pain and help sleep
Chronic pain may also affect sleep and cause insomnia. A 2018 research review from Frontiers in Pharmacology pointed out that there is substantial evidence to support the claim that CBD relieves pain. The authors point out that by reducing chronic pain, CBD can improve sleep.
3. Higher quality during sleep
In addition, studies have shown that CBD can affect the sleep cycle. In 2014, a research project from a trusted source studied four patients with Parkinson’s disease and found that CBD improved the symptoms of RBD (rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder). (RBD is a sleep disorder, a sleep disorder characterized by dreams and physical activity during REM sleep. Violent behavior at the time of the attack can cause injury and disrupt sleep to the person who shares the bed.)
A 2017 research review also pointed out that CBD may be helpful in the treatment of RBD and shows the potential for treating excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sleep problems are essential to physical and mental health, however, melatonin has limited effect on insomnia problems and has side effects. CBD has proved to be effective in solving insomnia caused by stress, anxiety, pain, etc. at the research level and user survey level. It can also play a role in RBD sleep disorders. For patients with insomnia, it may become a major aid in sleep.