It is estimated that upwards of 35% of all adult Americans experience a low amount of sleep nightly, meaning less than 7 hours of shuteye. This can be due to many factors including stress, anxiety, and insomnia. However, if you are one of the millions who suffer from chronic insomnia, it may be time for you to consider using marijuana as your sleep aid.
Marijuana has been used by people around the world for centuries to help them fall asleep at night. In fact, there have been numerous studies done on the benefits of cannabis and its ability to induce sleep in humans.
In this article we will discuss why marijuana should be considered when looking for natural ways to get a good nights rest. We will also explore some of the more common methods of consuming marijuana so you know what to expect when you use it to help you relax and get some much needed shut eye.
Common Sleep Disorders
– What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is defined as “a subjective complaint of poor quality or quantity of sleep” (American Academy of Sleep Medicine). People suffering with insomnia often complain about having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night, waking up too early in the morning, and/or feeling tired during the day.
The most common cause of insomnia is stress. Stressful situations such as work, family problems, financial issues, relationship troubles, etc., can lead to sleeplessness. However, not everyone experiences these same types of stressful events. Some people simply wake up in the middle of the night because they are anxious or worried about something.
Other causes of insomnia include certain medical conditions like depression, thyroid disorders, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, asthma, arthritis, and migraines.
– What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is characterized by an uncomfortable sensation in the legs that makes it difficult to stay still. The sensations usually begin in the evening and worsen through the night. RLS symptoms typically last only a few minutes but can continue until morning.
Although the exact cause of RLS is unknown, scientists believe that it is caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which helps regulate movement and sleep patterns. When levels of dopamine are high, individuals feel relaxed and comfortable.
When dopamine levels decrease, however, the body becomes agitated and restless. As a result, individuals experiencing RLS often find themselves unable to sleep comfortably.
There are two main types of RLS: primary and secondary. Primary RLS occurs without any other underlying health condition. Secondary RLS is associated with another medical condition. For example, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury are examples of diseases that can cause secondary RLS.
– What are Parasomnias?
Parasomnias are abnormal behaviors that occur while sleeping. These behaviors include sleepwalking, sleep talking, sleep eating, bed wetting, sleep terrors, nocturnal enuresis, nightmares, and sleep paralysis.
Sleepwalkers do not remember their actions after they awake. They experience periods of lucidity where they appear to be aware of their surroundings. During these lucid moments, sleepwalkers may even perform simple tasks such as opening doors or turning on lights.
Sleep talkers have similar behavior to sleep walkers except they speak aloud instead of acting out their dreams. Sleep eaters consume food while sleeping. Bed wetters urinate or defecate while sleeping. Nocturnal enuresis refers to children who wet the bed at night. Nightmares involve frightening dreams that awaken the sleeper. Sleep terrors occur when a person has a nightmare so intense that he or she awakens from sleep screaming or crying uncontrollably.
Sleep paralysis is a temporary state in which you cannot move your muscles. You remain conscious and alert but paralyzed. This happens when you transition into REM sleep. It is believed that this phenomenon is related to the release of acetylcholine into the brain during REM sleep. Acetylcholine is a chemical that stimulates muscle activity.
– What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder that affects approximately 20 million Americans. OSA is characterized by repeated episodes of partial airway collapse during sleep. This results in loud snoring and intermittent pauses in breathing.
The most common type of OSA involves narrowing of the upper airways due to excess tissue growth. In some cases, the tongue blocks the airway. Other times, the soft palate collapses onto the back of the throat.
In more severe cases, the lower airways also become obstructed. Individuals suffering from OSA will stop breathing for short periods of time throughout the night.
The severity of OSA varies greatly among patients. Some people have mild symptoms that don’t require treatment. Others suffer from moderate to severe symptoms that disrupt their quality of life.
– What is Hypersomnia?
Hypersomnia is an excessive amount of sleep. People who suffer from hypersomnia typically get between five and nine hours of sleep per day. This leads to fatigue and daytime drowsiness.
Hypersomnia is classified into three categories: narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, and periodic limb movement disorder. Narcolepsy is caused by the lack of hypocretin neurotransmitters. Idiopathic hypersomnia is associated with low levels of serotonin. Periodic limb movements can be caused by medication side effects like antidepressants and antihistamines.
Things To Consider Before Trying Marijuana
Marijuana is one of the safest drugs available today. However, it comes with risks. If you are considering using marijuana for medical purposes, here are some things to consider before doing so:
1. How does marijuana affect your body?
Marijuana contains chemicals called cannabinoids. These chemicals interact with receptors found in our brains and throughout our body. The endocannabinoid system controls many functions including pain perception, appetite, mood, memory, and immune response. When these receptors are activated, they produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
2. Are there any negative side effects?
There are several possible side effects of marijuana use. Most of them are minor and include dry mouth, impaired coordination, and increased heart rate. More serious side effects include anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations.
3. Is marijuana addictive?
Marijuana has been shown to cause tolerance. Tolerance means that users need higher doses to achieve the same effect. This is due to the body’s ability to upregulate and downregulate the number of cannabinoid receptors available for cannabinoids to bond to or antagonize.
4. Seek the help of a professional.
Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble sleeping. Interrupted REM sleep may cause long-term health consequences because much of the immune system repair takes place during deep sleep.
The Science Behind Sleep and Cannabis
Marijuana comes in different types. Some are more energizing, and some are calming, and sedative depending on the ratio of the different cannabinoids and terpenes.
There are three main types of cannabis: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. Each strain of cannabis has its own unique effects. For example, sativas tend to be uplifting and energetic while indicas are relaxing and sedating. Depending on the ratio of CBD to THC, each strain will have varying effects. There are also many other factors that can affect the profile of the plant, like growing methods, harvest times, drying and curing processes, among many others.
According to research, REM sleep is the stage of sleep when we dream. Some studies suggest that REM allows us to consolidate memories and make them easier to recall later. For people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, this consolidation may help reduce symptoms. However, taking cannabis during REM sleep could cause memory loss.
Sleep is often improved by using cannabis. However, research results on cannabis and sleep aren’t always consistent There haven’t been many controlled clinical trials to show that THC, cannabidiol (CBD), or a combination of both improves sleep quality, according to Bhanu Kolla, MD. He’s an associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Behavioral Health in Rochester, Minnesota.
How To Using A Cannabis Sleep Aid
Marijuana can be smoked, vaped, eaten, or even drunk through a straw. There are many ways to consume marijuana, depending on what you’re looking for. Some people prefer to smoke or vape because it allows them to avoid inhaling smoke or vapor, while others like the taste or smell. Others may choose to drink marijuana-infused beverages, such as tea or coffee. Vaping and eating marijuana also allow users to avoid exhaling any smoke or vapor. However, if you want to avoid getting high, consider starting low and slowly increasing your dose until you reach the desired effect.
It is important to remember that more is not always better. Overdoing it can lead to making your insomnia even worse. If you wake up during the night because you feel like you need another hit, then that is fine. However, if you wake up after sleeping while high within 4 hours of your previous dose, then you should probably wait until the next morning.
Some experimentation is needed to find the proper serving size that works best for you. It is recommended to wait until you reach your weekend to discover the proper dosage.
Timing is important when it comes time to consume cannabis. Edibles may not be reliable because they often take longer to kick in than smoking does. When you smoke, your body processes the cannabinoids directly through the lungs and into the blood stream almost immediately. But when you ingest them, it goes through the digestive system first. That means it takes longer for the active ingredients to get to your brain. And if you’re trying to relax before bedtime, you may need to wait even longer.
Not all sleep aids work for everybody the same way. Some marijuana strains may cause heart problems, especially if you’ve recently had a heart attack. Cannabis also increases blood pressure, which could put someone at risk for another heart problem. High THC strains can make people feel anxious or paranoid, and there are other side effects like dry mouth and constipation. People with certain medical conditions should talk to their doctor before using any kind of marijuana.
Marijuana is becoming increasingly accepted as a treatment option for insomnia. There is evidence that shows that using marijuana before bedtime can help you fall asleep. However, using marijuana to treat sleep disorders isn’t recommended because it doesn’t address underlying causes of poor sleep. Instead, it is best to focus on making changes to your lifestyle habits and environment to promote healthy sleep. You should also seek professional medical attention if you experience any symptoms of depression, anxiety, or stress.
Cannabinoids affect sleep differently
It is important to understand the differences between the various cannabinoids. There are three main cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN). Each cannabinoid has its own unique properties. For example, THC is considered psychoactive while CBD does not produce any effects when consumed orally. Cannabinoids also have different effects on the body. One study published in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports showed that CBD may reduce anxiety and stress in patients with PTSD. Another study showed that CBD could help treat schizophrenia.
CBD for sleep isn’t harmful at virtually any dosage, but THC can cause dizziness, dry mouth, drowsiness, and feelings of paranoia and anxiety. For those who prefer a mellower high, try a lower dose of THC.
CBN is a lesser known cannabinoid than CBD. It seems to have strong sedative effects that might be enhanced when combined with THC. CBN also has pain relieving, anti-inflammatory properties that may be even stronger than those of CBD. Studies suggest CBN increases appetite. In contrast, CBD reduces appetite. CBN is found in older marijuana plants (plant age), and THC converts to CBN over time and exposure to light and heat.
Great Hemp Products For Sleep
There’s no doubt that marijuana may be an effective sleep aid for many around the world. Insomnia and marijuana seem to go together quite well according to a lot of research out there. The question is whether it works better than other options. While some studies show that marijuana improves sleep quality, others don’t find much difference from placebo. If you want to use marijuana to improve sleep, choose a strain with low levels of THC.
The science behind cannabis’s ability to help you get more restful sleep is still being studied. But one thing we do know is that it won’t give you the same effect as prescription medications. And since marijuana comes with some potential health risks, it’s always a good idea to check with your physician first.