Why Does Cannabis Make Such a Great Sleep Aid?
One thing that many regular cannabis consumers will tell you is that they seem to sleep better – or at least easier and longer – when they smoke up before bed. Considering 50-70 million adults in the U.S. alone experience symptoms of insomnia at some point – with 10-15 percent of us suffering from chronic insomnia – it is no surprise that many find cannabis as a great way to ensure they get some sleep. Some people may not even realize that they are self-medicating for the condition because they use cannabis on a nightly basis anyway – but what is it that makes cannabis such a great sleep aid?
Fall Asleep Quicker and Easier
The biggest benefit of cannabis for sleeping disorders – especially insomniacs – is the fact that it will help you fall asleep quicker and easier than you might otherwise. One study found that people with difficulty sleeping found that cannabis helped them fall asleep an average of 30 minutes sooner than they would have otherwise; compared, people without the sleep disorder fell asleep an average of 15 minutes faster.
More Time Spent in Deep Sleep
For some people, their insomnia doesn’t lie in falling asleep, but rather in staying asleep (or both). In those cases, cannabis can be beneficial still as it increases the time spent in deep, slow wave sleep – which is why many people who smoke heavier at the end of the day report a deep and uninterrupted sleep. However, the downside to this is the fact that you may feel especially groggy the next morning – especially after choosing a high THC strain.
Dream Less to Disturb Your Sleep
Another benefit of cannabis as a sleep aid is the while you spend more time in deep sleep, this means you spend significantly less time in REM sleep. This is the part of your sleep cycle where you dream – which for people with vivid dreams, night terrors, especially PTSD induced dreams, find the most benefit. Not only are you more likely to sleep through the night with a heavy sleep, but you are also far less likely to have a dream or nightmare that could cost you more hours of sleep.
While spending less time in REM sleep can affect the quality of your sleep, this varies from person to person. If you’re not getting through a full sleep cycle as it is because you wake up constantly from nightmares or just an inability to sleep – or if you have such a hard time falling asleep that you won’t have long enough to reach a significant deep sleep, then your quality of sleep is already compromised. If that sounds like you, then cannabis is likely the safest sleep aid you turn to.