A good night’s sleep is crucial for maintaining sound physical and mental health. Unfortunately, it evades most people. According to FitBit sleep data insights, India is the second most sleep-deprived country, with an average nightly sleep of just seven hours and one minute. This makes the Indian population more susceptible to multiple sleep disorders, with a Lancet study stating that close to 5.4% of the population in the age group 30-69 years is at moderate or severe risk of sleep apnea and other issues.
“Due to hemp’s multi-faceted benefits, it is a perfect remedy for inducing relaxation and better sleep every night,” says Dr Neeraj K Patel, head of research and development, Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO). However, the plant’s association with marijuana makes people hesitant to try this ancient therapy. “Hemp contains equal to or less than 0.3% THC, the compound responsible for the intoxicating effect, which is in line with global prescribed limits. It is legal and safe to use in India and should always be taken in consultation with a doctor. Although the use of hemp for the management of sleep disorders is still nascent, its efficacy for other ailments like narcolepsy is being studied,” says Dr Patel.
According to Indian Ayurveda, Hemp is derived from the plant Cannabis Sativa, also known as Vijaya, and historically, has been an integral part of ancient medical science, in India and other parts of the world. “Modern medicine is slowly awakening to its many benefits and efficacy in treating a variety of health problems. Chemical compounds in the plant, called cannabinoids, majorly tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, and cannabinol have calming and sedating properties that work with the body’s Endocannabinoid system to regulate hormones and neurotransmitters that are involved with mood, energy, and sleep,” says Dr Patel.
Below are 4 ways in which this incredible plant can help you promote a better quality of sleep every night:
Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Chronic pain is a common cause of sleep disorders, and can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep throughout the night. In addition to cannabinoids, hemp contains compounds such as terpenes, and flavonoids that help reduce pain and inflammation in the body. CBD, in particular, has been shown to have analgesic (pain-relieving) effects, making it a promising natural remedy for chronic pain conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress are other prevalent causes of sleep disorders, as they can keep the mind racing and prevent the body from relaxing. Hemp’s anxiolytic ( anti-anxiety) effects help calm the mind and promote relaxation. It has also been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which is a hormone that is released in response to stress.
Regulates Circadian Rhythms
The body's circadian rhythm is an internal clock that regulates various bodily functions, including sleep. Disruptions to our routine may often lead to sleep disorders. Here, hemp can aid in regulating circadian rhythms, which can help promote better sleep. Moreover, it is also known to increase the duration of deep sleep, which is the most healing and restorative stage of sleep for the body.
Hemp Reduces REM Sleep Disorder
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep disorder is a condition where the body does not fully relax during REM sleep. This can cause sleep disruptions and other symptoms. A 2019 study found that Indians get 77 minutes of REM sleep on average — which is the lowest in the world. The relaxing properties of the plant make it an effective solution for those suffering from this condition.
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