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The Sleep Disorder You’ve Never Heard of—And How CBD Could Help


Sometimes, people twitch when they dream—as if they are physically acting out their dreams. This is actually known as REM sleep behaviour disorder: kicking or flailing in response to unpleasant dreams (like being chased) or talking, yelling, or laughing while asleep. Normally, neural pathways in the brain prevent your body from moving while dreaming, a temporary paralysis called “atonia.” Dreams are supposed to be all in your head! The only part of the body that’s supposed to move at all during dreams is your eyeballs—hence REM, or rapid eye movement, which takes place when you’re dreaming. REM sleep behaviour disorder usually happens if you’re taking antidepressants or if you have a neurological disease like Parkinson’s. Putting together what we know about CBD—and, importantly, the body’s own endocannabinoid system, which CBD influences—researchers have begun looking at whether REM sleep behaviour disorder can be helped by taking CBD or by otherwise modulating the endocannabinoid system. After all, CBD quells a jumpy nervous system. And the endocannabinoid system modulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle. In one preliminary study, researchers gave CBD to four patients with REM sleep behaviour disorder who also had Parkinson’s disease. CBD led to a “prompt and substantial reduction” in the number of dream-enactment events. Treating disorders of the nervous system, and particularly REM sleep behaviour disorder, is an emerging science in a new field of discovery. But research like this demonstrates that, considering what we already know about CBD and the endocannabinoid system, there may be many more surprises yet to come. For more, check out How CBD Helped Me



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Gaze into the future

Leah PayneLeah Payne