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What to know about using cannabis for sleep during these sleepless times

sleepless woman

Using cannabis to help with sleep should be treated as a therapy rather than a nightly routine.

The last two years have tested the mental strength of millions of people. A good night’s sleep, in particular, has proved struggle for many as anxiety skyrocketed and routines were broken and shattered during the pandemic.

The term “coronasomnia” was even coined by doctors, while pharmaceutical sleep prescriptions increased 20 per cent.

While some people opted for pharmaceutical relief, many suffered through their restless legs and anxiety. Others still opted for another kind of sleep remedy: cannabis.

Marijuana has been used as a sleep aid discretely for generations. Over time, word has spread of its calming and relaxing effect on those who use it.

“Research on the possible sleep effects of cannabis date back to the 1970s, but high-quality studies are scarce because of the drug’s legal status,” notes Medical News Today. The research may not be nearly as extensive as with other sleep aids, but it has not deterred many people from turning to the plant, especially during recent times.

Some say marijuana has the ability to return those with anxiety or altered sleep habits back to a normal rhythm. “Marijuana is an effective sleep aid because it restores a person’s natural sleep cycle, which so often falls out of sync with our schedules in today’s modern lifestyle,” Dr. Matt Roman, a medical marijuana physician told Healthline.

With the limited testing being performed using cannabis on sleep patients, the most noticeable patterns have been found in those with existing sleep issues. Many with nightmares, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder have shown improvement when occasionally using cannabis as sleep therapy.

According to Pyschology Today, “Among people with active difficulty falling asleep, cannabis use resulted in an average of 30 minutes less time in falling asleep.” The study also pointed out that those who normally did not have trouble sleeping fell asleep even faster than usual.

Those considering trying cannabis as a sleep aid, though, may find themselves overwhelmed with the available choices when it comes to strains and potencies. It is important to remember that sleep issues are often individual problems that have unique solutions.

“Due to its relaxing effects, indica may be considered the best marijuana strain for sleep. However, individuals who use cannabis to avoid nightmares may prefer sativa,” according to Sleep Foundation.

Different strains may be more effective than others based on the root cause of a person’s sleeplessness. Those using cannabis to help with sleep aid should consider keeping track of the type being used and the quality of sleep.

As a person finds what works best for him or her, continue using it and playing with dosage to fine-tune where needed.

Some suggest that using cannabis to help with sleep should be treated as a therapy rather than a nightly routine. Using weed constantly for sleep may result in a loss of effectiveness, thereby prompting a person to use more and more to achieve the same results.

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