By Shona Curley
As the days grow shorter and the nights stretch out longer, many of us find it a little harder to get energized during the day. Fatigue quickly sets in during the winter, with more time spent inside and less time getting exercise in natural light.
Though putting on your parka and taking a walk in chilly weather may perk some of us up, it’s nice to have warmer, more cozy alternatives as well. Integrating CBD into your winter self-care routine may help fight fatigue and keep you alert and focused through these darker months.
Here are a few reasons why.
1. CBD Promotes Deeper Sleep.
One primary cause of fatigue is poor sleep quality. Are you able to drop into the dreamless deep sleep where the body repairs itself? Or, like many, do you hover in a lighter sleep state that is less restorative? If you wake up and don’t feel refreshed, your sleep quality may be the culprit. This can affect your mental clarity all day long.
Taking CBD at bedtime may help you sleep more deeply. A 2019 study looked at the effectiveness of CBD on people experiencing poor sleep. 66.7% of participants reported that their sleep improved within the first month of use, though sleep quality fluctuated over time.
More research is needed to understand the best ways to use CBD to improve sleep over the long term. But, as there are relatively few side-effects caused by CBD (one is drowsiness), you can always work with your healthcare provider and experiment to see if it suits you.
To maximize its effectiveness, try holding a few drops of high-quality CBD extract under your tongue for a minute or so before bedtime. Or, if you prefer, try mixing CBD into a warm beverage before bed. You may need a little more CBD if you put it in a beverage, as it absorbs more effectively under the tongue.
2. CBD Increases Mental Focus.
Many people report that CBD has a calming effect, soothing symptoms of stress and anxiety. CBD may have good potential as an intervention for several different anxiety-related issues, according to a 2015 review.
If you struggle with feelings of anxiousness, releasing worry and calming distracting thoughts may help you achieve mental focus during the day. As long as CBD doesn’t make you feel sleepy, it can help you stay focused on the task at hand.
Try CBD first when you don’t have to be alert to see how it affects you personally. If it calms your mind without making you sleepy, it may be a good tool for use during the day. Try adding a few drops to your tea or coffee during work, or hold a few drops under your tongue before you tackle a hectic day. Whatever parts of your day tend to cause you stress may become more enjoyable with the relaxing effects of CBD.
3. CBD Aids in Commit to Daily Exercise.
Many people feel that regular exercise helps beat fatigue. Because CBD may help with mental focus and relaxation, it can be a helpful addition to your exercise routine, especially mind-body practices that require concentration. It can be more fun to exercise when you aren’t distracted by anxious or racing thoughts. CBD also contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which some people report lessens pain and makes movement easier.
Add CBD to your water bottle when you head to the gym or go for a walk, or try massaging a CBD salve into any tight muscles before you exercise. You might find exercise more enjoyable with the help of CBD, and this may help you commit to fatigue-busting daily workouts.
It’s easy to feel more fatigued during the winter months. Integrating CBD into your daily routine may improve your sleep quality, help with mental focus, and make daily exercise more enjoyable — all of which could combat the sleepy winter blues. Work with your healthcare provider to be sure CBD is right for you, and choose high-quality extracts. With any luck, you’ll feel supported in making winter feel cozy and full of vibrant health.
- Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-041
- Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015 Oct. 12. doi: 10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
Shona Curley lives and works in San Francisco. She is co-owner of the studio Hasti Pilates, and creator of the website www.redkitemeditations.com. Shona teaches meditation, bodywork and movement practices for healing Lyme disease, chronic illness and pain.