The craze surrounding cannabidiol (CBD oil) has had the world in a tizz for a few years now, and I’ve always dismissed it. Every few years, there is a new wonder superfood or natural product that rises in popularity, and while I often don’t kowtow to the pressure to try it, I decided to give CBD oil a shot.
I used to keep very odd hours. I tended to wake up at 3:00, filled with energy, and found myself hitting a slump by 9:00 at the beginning of the workday. I used lunchtimes to nap because I was so drained, and was sleepy until about 19:00, when I would finally give up the fight and fall asleep.
Perhaps I was sleeping for too many hours, but even in the years where I tried to stay awake for longer and get between six and eight hours in, I would spend the day cranky because I wanted to be in bed.
This changed over time, but it very rarely coincided with the normal hours of workday productivity. It also made it difficult for me to keep up with admin and my overall duties.
A friend of mine, who believes in homeopathy and has an inherent distrust of what she calls “Western medicine”, previously recommended several natural solutions to help me; all of which I decided to give a chance in my bid to get a good, restorative night’s sleep.
Tried everything, but nothing helped
First, she urged me to try chamomile tea before bed. I love the taste but it did nothing to help me sleep. Next came light exercise, which I still engage in. While this tired me out even more and helped solidly through the night, it didn’t do much to help me feel rested.
On a whim, I decided to purchase hemp tea from a group of Rastafarians while still living in the bohemian neighbourhood of Observatory in Cape Town. This helped me relax, but did not help me get restorative sleep.
I even switched to only drinking water and cutting down on my caffeine consumption, and consulted my doctor about finding a sleep aid. He prescribed sleeping medication and a sedative, but those left me feeling hazy and it took me hours to finally feel awake during the day. I took the medication for more than a month before calling it quits.
Peaceful sleep at long last
Finally, a friend brought me two 30ml bottles of CBD oil when we met for a quick lunch one day. Finally my sleep achieved that long-desired result: I sleep through the night, and wake up feeling more rested than I have in years.
I take CBD oil each day, only putting between three and five drops on my tongue and gulping it down with water, because the taste is unpleasant. Sometimes when I take too much, it makes me feel limp. But what I love the most about the oil is that it doesn’t make me feel sleepy; it makes me feel relaxed, so when bedtime rolls around, I fall into an easy slumber.
On the days where I do take more than the recommended dosage, I sleep in for longer and wake up feeling sightly hazy. I tend to go above this recommendation when I’ve had a particularly tiresome week and want to sleep in on a Saturday morning.
An unintended benefit of using CBD oil is how it has helped soothe my anxiety. I have struggled with anxiety since my teen years, but haven’t found a medication that doesn’t have unpleasant side-effects, like nausea or haziness.
I don’t intend to use CBD oil forever, as I would like to get to a place where I can get restorative sleep without assistance from any sleep aids, but I am enjoying my journey with the oil and am very happy that I gave it a chance.
- You should always consult with your physician or other health care professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, beginning any diet, nutrition or fitness plan or adopting any treatment for a health problem, whether offered on Health For Mzansi or otherwise.