Sleep tips from our Q&A with Poplar.

Common questions about sleep, answered by our CEO and resident sleep expert Adam Bergeman.

We've heard your circadian rhythm is pretty important, and receiving a good night of sleep is crucial, so we want to know, why is sleep important?


Sleep has been proven to be incredibly important to maintaining homeostasis, or the state of balance in your body. It does this by acting as a restorative period to many of the body’s vital systems - including your digestion, brain-function, musculoskeletal system, immune system, skin and so much more. Good sleep makes you live longer, enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive, keeps you fit and protects you from diseases like cancer and dementia, not to mention viruses like COVID-19. It can lower your risk of diabetes, heart-disease and stroke, plus it makes you happier, less depressed and less anxious. It’s actually kind of crazy how much of a panacea good sleep actually is. 


What is “enough” sleep?


The average adult needs 8 hours of sleep per night, but what’s “enough” depends on a number of factors, including age, gender and your genetic disposition - some people need very little, around 6 hours per night, whereas others need a lot more, up to 9 or 10 hours per night. To measure if you got a good night’s rest, gauge your state of wakefulness around 2 hours after you wake up. If you feel like you can easily fall back asleep, you’ve probably not gotten enough sleep.  


Is tossing and turning affecting the quality of my sleep?


Yes. While the actual physical motions do not have an impact, a restless state of mind in bed can lead to frustration and create a negative psychological association with bed-time. Many insomniacs suffer from this - they get more anxious as the day progresses because they associate going to sleep with feeling frustrated. While a single night of feeling restless in bed doesn’t have much of an impact, it’s important to tackle the root of the issue early on - whether that’s work-related stress, financial worries or whatever is on your mind - so bed-time doesn’t become a stressful experience. I especially recommend not going to bed if you’re not feeling tired, even if it means you get less sleep. This creates a happy and pleasant association with bed-time, as you will likely easily fall asleep, and as a result, will have an easier time falling asleep in the future because you’re no longer associating bed-time with frustration. 


Can I make up for a lost nights sleep with a nap the next day?


It depends on how much sleep you lost. Let me explain how this works. When awake, your body produces a hormone called adenosine. Levels of this hormone continuously build up in your brain, creating what’s called “sleep pressure”, or the urge to fall asleep. When you get adequate sleep, the body depletes this hormone so when you wake up in the morning, there’s no “pressure” to fall asleep, you start your day and the process begins all over again. Missing a night of sleep means that you’ve not depleted any of the built up adenosine, so it keeps building up the next day and will likely still be present even after getting a full night of sleep the next night. This is also why afternoon naps can make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night - there’s not enough adenosine in your body for it to want to go to sleep. 


What about hitting snooze? Is that good sleep?


Yes, but only if you manage to actually fall into a state of sleep for those 5 or 10 minutes that you snooze, which is very unlikely. If you don’t, there’s no harm in resting your body for a few minutes, but I’d recommend setting your alarm a little later so you’re actually getting more sleep. 


What can I do to get better sleep?


Oh, this is an onion with many layers. To start, a healthy diet, adequate exercise and a balanced state of mind go a very long way to getting good sleep. Next to these fundamentals, I highly recommend trying to make your bedroom as dark, cold and quiet as possible. Light, high temperatures and sounds have the potential to interfere with sleep, so it’s best to avoid them if you’re looking to get the most out of your sleep. It’s also a good practice to avoid screen time before bed, as it tricks your body into thinking its daytime. This is sometimes hard to avoid, so I use a blue light filter on my devices, which has helped a ton. Finally, I recommend avoiding anything that ‘revs’ you up before going to bed. This can kickstart the brain into thinking mode which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to sleep. 


How does CBD for sleep actually work? What about CBN?


Cannabinoids like CBD and CBN interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS for short), a network of receptors in your body that is responsible for regulating functions like sleep, mood and hunger. CBD has been shown to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, while CBN acts to stimulate a deeper state of sleep. Put in simpler terms, CBD helps you fall asleep and CBN helps you stay asleep. Our REST spray contains both of these amazing cannabinoids, plus a number of sleep-complementing adaptogens that get you the sleep you deserve. 


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