It’s a well-known fact for those that partake that cannabis can help you sleep. With many users reporting that a nice smooth vaping session with their favorite strain puts them into the perfectly relaxed state of mind and body to get hours of deep sleep like clockwork.
But to maximize sleepiness and regulate a healthy sleep cycle, there are many things to consider that you may not know about. For example, cannabis works by reducing symptoms that interfere with sleep, unlike sleeping pills which are known as hypnotic drugs and can be extremely addictive.
The use of cannabis to help regulate sleep is a natural alternative to factory-made pills that are harmful to your body, such as causing liver damage. To restore your natural sleep cycle, take a look at these cannabis facts before deciding how the use of cannabis to help sleep will benefit you best.
THC AND CBD
When it comes to using a sleeping aid, some individuals turn to cannabis oils or concentrates. For a more impactful, pure and fast acting response and absorption, vaping is generally a preferred method of getting in your nightly dose. Compounds THC and CBD work to sedate your mind and increase sleepiness.
But according to a study conducted and published in the Journal Of Clinical Psychopharmacology, although THC increases sleepiness, it may also increase mood swings the next day. So presuming THC consumption is legal in your jurisdiction, tread with cautions and consider testing various strains with differing ratios of THC to CBD and sativa vs indica to find that perfect blend your body best responds to favorably.
CBD may balance things out. Not only is CBD a natural pain reliever when it comes to physical pain, it also helps to reduce anxiety and, believe it or not, generates a sense of alertness. So, while THC will help make you sleepy, CBD will help to prevent drowsiness the next day and restore a healthy sleeping pattern.
AGED CANNABIS MAKES YOU SLEEPIER
As cannabis ages, so does the THC. And although THC itself induces sleepiness, the chemical that it converts into, known as CBN (cannabinol), is five times more effective in increasing a sedative mind. CBN is not easy to find in large quantities as it is primarily created by the aging process of THC, so the best way to maximize your sleepiness is to use older cannabis.
INHIBITING THE REM CYCLE
The stage of sleep where we dream is called the REM cycle. REM stands for “rapid eye movement” and is the stage of your sleep cycle that generally happens around 90-minutes after falling asleep.
The REM cycle is the final stage of sleep before we wake. Cannabis is known to limit the amount of time the REM cycle lasts, which means you can stay in a deep sleep for much longer than the average person. In general, the shorter your REM cycle is, the better night’s sleep you will get.
The human body regenerates and repairs tissues, strengthens the immune system and builds bone and muscle during non-REM sleep, meaning that reductions in the REM cycle “may” lead to a more restorative sleep pattern and leave you feeling rested and refreshed the next day.
CANNABIS AND BREATHING
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that blocks the normal flow of breathing and can last anywhere from several seconds to several minutes. When this happens, your body’s natural defense in making sure you continue to breathe is to abruptly snap awake out of a deep sleep.
Those who have sleep apnea wake several times because of this reaction, therefore disrupting their sleep pattern and preventing them from getting any sort of good night’s sleep. Of course, this condition also causes headaches and drowsiness the next day, making it just as difficult to reach a full state of alertness as it is to reach a full state of deep sleep.
In studying the effects of THC, a 2013 study found that THC actually helps to regulate the respiratory system, therefore helping to improve and restore normal and healthy breathing.
INDICA VS SATIVA – WHICH IS THE BETTER SLEEP AID?
Different strains of marijuana produce different effects that THC has on your brain. For example, the Indica strain produces a soothing and relaxed state of mind while the Sativa strain produces a feeling of excitement and energized happiness.
Where legal, when choosing a strain that will benefit your sleep cycle, avoid the ones that induce energy and choose a strain such as Indica that will properly sedate your mind.
This is especially important for people who suffer with anxiety; any strain of marijuana that stimulates excitement or alertness will typically heighten your anxiety due to paranoia. So, if you have anxiety, be sure to double check that you’re using a strain of marijuana such as Indica to prevent an increase in anxiety.
According to the National Sleep Foundation over 45% of Americans report that insufficient sleep has impacted their daily activities and quality of life over the last seven days, with those reporting poor sleep habits also reporting poor health.
While pharmaceutical sleep aids can be useful, they can also be addictive and wrought with side effects. Legal cannabis and CBD may offer a natural alternative and sleep aid (where legalized) for those millions of individuals suffering from insomnia and poor sleep habits.