Sleep disturbance and issues related to it like insomnia are becoming common, and this is mainly attributed to the changes in the modern lifestyle. Inadequate sleep can cause problems like depression, mental illness, anxiety and it can even reduce immunity, thereby making you more susceptible to diseases. The usual treatment for this condition involves prescription drugs, but they have adverse side effects as well. Among the alternative treatments available, cannabidiol (CBD) is promising and it is being used by people because of its sleep inducing effect upon consumption. The purpose of this primer is to understand how CBD is useful in the treatment of the sleeping disorder, narcolepsy.
What Is Narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that happens due to a neurological condition, it affects your sleep wake cycle i.e. the separation between these two phases is blurred. As a result, you feel excessive sleepy during waking hours. What makes it more worrying is that these attacks can happen anytime during day in between an activity. So, people who are suffering from this condition are not advised to drive or operate heavy machinery as it will put them, as well as others at risk of danger.
Cause For Narcolepsy
The exact cause of narcolepsy is still unknown, but scientists have been able to identify that it is due to the expression of certain genes that is responsible for the production of hypocretin. Narcolepsy occurs in people who have low levels of this chemical in the brain. It is this chemical that separates the REM sleep and wakefulness.
Symptoms Of Narcolepsy
Cataplexy: This causes a sudden loss of muscle control, feeling weak and total body collapse. It is also characterised by slurred speech and this is something that is part of REM sleep.
Daytime Sleepiness: This is one of the most common symptoms of narcolepsy and can occur anytime; as a result, it interferes with the daytime activities of the person.
Hallucination: This is when a person sees, hears or smells things that are not there and it can happen while awake or when falling asleep.
Sleep Paralysis: Here the person cannot speak or move while waking up or falling asleep and this is short-lived.
CBD For Narcolepsy
Cannabidiol is used for treating narcolepsy because of CBD benefits that makes it useful for treating other disorders like insomnia. Consuming CBD oil helps to maintain daytime alertness and provides energy for activities. Cataplexy is triggered by sudden emotions like anger, laughter, surprise etc. So, administering cannabidiol helps to negate this as it helps to calm down and relax the user. Also, it helps you with better sleep at night and thereby reduces tiredness and weakness during daytime.
These are some of the ways cannabidiol (CBD) is useful in treating and reducing the symptoms of narcolepsy.