CBD for Sleep in Elderly: What To Know
It’s a common myth that getting older means needing less sleep. In reality, the National Institute on Aging recommends that elderly people get the same amount of sleep as other adult age groups: seven to eight hours a night. But while that may be the case, up to 70% of older Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. And without proper sleep, these individuals can experience a higher risk of poor health.
Seniors typically experience some degree of sleep disruption due to natural age-related changes, but there are still many ways to address the problem and improve sleep.
First, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor to find out if sleep problems are connected to underlying conditions that can benefit from treatment. Adjusting medications may also help.
In other cases, making lifestyle changes can help. Specifically, increasing fitness and enhancing diet can have a great impact on sleep health. A natural sleep aid for elderly persons—such as CBD oil or supplements—might also help.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating chemical that is shown to ease chronic pain, promote relaxation, and sustain uninterrupted sleep. If you’re curious about CBD for sleep in elderly individuals, here are a few things to know about this amazing natural resource.
Table of Contents
Is Using CBD Safe For Elderly?
CBD for sleep in elderly patients is believed to be relatively safe and carries minimal side effects—such as dry mouth, fatigue, and reduced appetite. By comparison, sleep aid medications may be more dangerous by causing confusion, disorientation, impaired coordination and increased fall risk, as well as dependency.
However, as a newer treatment option, more research is needed on the side effects of CBD oil in the elderly. That’s why it’s essential for all seniors considering CBD use to consult their doctor before use.
Prescriptions aren’t always necessary, but your doctor can evaluate your sleep issues in-depth and recommend CBD products—and dosages—that can best provide relief. A physician can also make sure that CBD won’t negatively interfere with other medications that you take.
How Poor Sleep Affects Elderly People’s Quality of Life
CBD for seniors is growing in popularity because of its ability to target common health issues in elderly people—including chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia. This need for this help is high because the likelihood of insomnia and other chronic sleep disorders increases as people grow older. Today, it’s estimated that about 50% of adults 65 or older suffer from insomnia.
Changing sleep patterns are common in older adults due to natural age-related changes. In particular, seniors will experience changes in hormone production that can influence and restrict levels of melatonin—a hormone that helps encourage sleep. Individuals also experience circadian rhythm changes that shift their sleep-wake cycles. This shift is often why elderly people tend to fall asleep earlier and wake up earlier than younger adults.
Getting older also means an increased risk of health issues that can interrupt healthy sleep patterns. Some of these conditions include restless leg syndrome, incontinence, depression, or dementia. Medications prescribed to manage high blood pressure, heart conditions, arthritis, and memory loss may also contribute to insomnia.
Whatever the cause of a sleep disorder, it’s important not to let the issue go unaddressed. Chronic sleep disruption can contribute to a wide range of health issues in the elderly—such as obesity, cardiovascular conditions, weak immunity and slow healing, and cognitive impairment. Seniors with insomnia also experience increased depression, anxiety, distraction, memory loss, and fall risk.
Using CBD as a Natural Sleeping Aid for Elderly
CBD works by influencing endocannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. In simple terms, this interaction helps the body better regulate processes that affect pain and stress. By easing pain and promoting relaxation, CBD for sleep in elderly persons is an attractive natural solution. And as research progresses, many more benefits of CBD for seniors will likely be revealed.
Best CBD for Sleep in Elderly
To find the best CBD for elderly people, consult with a doctor and consider recommendations from a local cannabis or CBD specialty shop. Top-rated CBD providers are known for offering a wide range of CBD products that come in a variety of applications—such as pills, topicals, and edibles.
If you’re curious about this natural sleep aid option, here’s a quick look at popular forms of CBD and the benefits they offer.
CBD pills are capsules that feature cannabidiol concentrated within fatty oil in a gel capsule. Administration is similar to any other pill: simply swallow the capsule and wait for the body to metabolize the chemical via the digestive system. Pills are good for promoting relaxation and easing general pain symptoms. As with other forms of ingestible CBD, capsules can produce effects for as long as 6 hours.
This form may be best for those who are prescribed a specific amount and want to avoid accidentally taking too much or too little—a risk that can happen with non-measured forms, such as topicals. Pills are also ideal for those looking to be discreet about CBD use.
CBD oil comes in a small bottle that contains a dropper to measure out prescribed doses. To use the product, dispense the dropper’s contents under the tongue for quick absorption. Due to this rapid absorption rate, many recommend CBD oil for sleep in elderly patients. Specifically, it allows users to take their dose right before bed without having to wait long for the substance to kick in.
There are a few different formulations of CBD oil, such as those that contain small amounts of THC—so it’s a good idea to consult with both your doctor and your CBD provider before choosing a product.
People who don’t like swallowing capsules or using oil droppers may prefer CBD in edible form. There are many edible products to suit specific tastes—including gummies, cookies, candies, and chocolates. While CBD edibles can be just as effective as pill or oil forms, they take longer for the body to digest and absorb. As such, those using CBD edibles for insomnia may need to take them about 1.5 hours before their desired bedtime.
CBD topicals feature cannabidiol in a form that can be directly applied to the body—such as a lotion or cream. Once applied, the chemical is absorbed by the skin and directed into the bloodstream to deliver mild relaxation effects.
Since you can apply the product anywhere, it is ideal for targeting chronic pain in specific areas—such as where arthritis flare-ups occur. However, it’s worth noting that your body won’t absorb as much CBD as it would if taken in a more direct oral form. As such, it may not be as effective in easing general insomnia or anxiety for better sleep.
Similar to cannabis or nicotine vape pens, CBD vaporizers allow people to smoke CBD and inhale it directly into the lungs for quick absorption. While this method of delivery can deliver fairly rapid relaxation and pain relief for better sleep, the effects may only last half as long as ingestible CBD. The smoke may also irritate the lungs, which can be dangerous for those with asthma or other breathing complications.
Benefits of Using CBD for Insomnia
While much more research about CBD for sleep in elderly people is needed, there is considerable evidence to show that this chemical offers a low-risk solution for insomnia.
Since CBD is a naturally-derived solution for better sleep, many may prefer it over manufactured sleep aids. In addition to being a more natural substance, CBD doesn’t carry the same dangers of dependency that prescribed sleep medications may have.
CBD products are also claimed to alleviate anxiety and promote general relaxation, which can help ease a person’s mood to stop bedtime restlessness and encourage longer-lasting sleep. It may also ease chronic pain—including symptoms related to arthritis and restless leg syndrome—to make sleep more comfortable.
Get Affordable CBD Products with Special Deals For Elderly
The CBD market is expansive, leaving curious consumers with an overwhelming array of product options. Fortunately, there are many resources to help you find the best CBD for elderly users.
In addition to speaking with a trusted physician about using CBD for sleep, you can visit a top-rated cannabis dispensary or CBD shop for guidance from industry experts. For example, Project Cannabis in San Francisco is a trusted California dispensary that’s stocked with a wide range of CBD products in many forms—including pills, oil, edibles, and topicals.
This provider also offers special discounts for seniors and many other attractive offers that can make CBD exploration more affordable—including BOGO specials, daily clearance deals up to 50% off, and Happy Hour promotions. Visit Project Cannabis online to learn more about their many locations and savings opportunities.
The banner image of CBD and other projects is provided courtesy of Project Cannabis