This research suggests that, while motivation to use cannabis for sleep is high, and might initially be beneficial to sleep, these improvements might wane with chronic use over time. We were interested in how sleep quality differs between daily cannabis users, occasional users who smoked at least once in the last month and people who don’t smoke at all. We asked 98 mostly young and healthy male volunteers to answer surveys, keep daily sleep diaries and wear accelerometers for one week. Accelerometers, or actigraphs, measure activity patterns across multiple days. Throughout the study, subjects used cannabis as they typically would.
Our results show that the frequency of use seems to be an important factor as it relates to the effects on sleep. Thirty-nine percent of daily users complained of clinically significant insomnia. Meanwhile, only 10 percent of occasional users had insomnia complaints. There were no differences in sleep complaints between nonusers and nondaily users. Interestingly, when controlling for the presence of anxiety and depression, the differences disappeared. This suggests that cannabis’s effect on sleep may differ depending on whether you have depression or anxiety. In order words, if you have depression, cannabis may help you sleep – but if you don’t, cannabis may hurt. Cannabis is still a schedule I substance, meaning that the government does not consider cannabis to be medically therapeutic due to lack of research to support its benefits. This creates a barrier to research, as only one university in the country, University of Mississippi, is permitted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse to grow marijuana for research.
New areas for exploration in the field of cannabis research might examine how various cannabis subspecies influence sleep and how this may differ between individuals. One research group has been exploring cannabis types and cannabinoid concentrations that are preferable depending on one’s sleep disturbance. For example, one strain might relieve insomnia, while another can affect nightmares. Other studies suggest that medical cannabis users with insomnia tend to prefer higher concentrations of cannabidiol, a nonintoxicating ingredient in cannabis. Should the medical community communicate these findings to patients with insomnia who inquire about medical cannabis? Some health professionals may not feel comfortable due to the fluctuating legal status, a lack of confidence in the state of the science or their personal opinions. At this point, cannabis’s effect on sleep seems highly variable, depending on the person, the timing of use, the cannabis type and concentration, mode of ingestion and other factors. Perhaps the future will yield more fruitful discoveries. Deirdre Conroy is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Smoking Marijuana To Help Sleep Conclusion Community Product Contests Featured Sleep Product Coupons Scholarship Sleep Problems Neck Pillows For Neck Pain Mattresses for Neck Pain Side Pillows For Side Sleepers Mattresses for Side Sleepers Toppers for Side Sleepers Back Pillows For Back Pain Pillows For Back Sleepers Mattress for Back Sleepers Toppers for Back Pain See our Process Our Process. I know people who are completely against it and I know people who can’t function without it. Personally, I don’t care if you do it or if you don’t, it’s your choice. The one thing I can tell you is that most of the people I know enjoy using marijuana as a sleep aid-my brother in law happens to be one of them. He’s one of those people who can take one hit and fall asleep just a little while after, but why does this happen? Let me fill you in on the effects of marijuana on sleep. Marijuana has a number of effects on the human body. It can make you feel weightless, hungry, happy, sick, or in this case, sleepy. The main ingredient in pot is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the chemical that’s responsible for the psychological effects of marijuana. Our bodies naturally create cannabinoid chemicals, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the pot just puts it into overdrive essentially. If you smoke pot to help you sleep, there are a number of health effects it has on your body. It can have an effect on your REM sleep, sleep patterns, cycle, apnea, and quality. Believe it or not, marijuana can actually help these things, resulting in a better sleep.
As I said before, my brother in law smokes to help him fall asleep if he’s in pain or if he just can’t seem to fall asleep. Depending on a person’s biochemistry, certain types of pot can have psychoactive results on them.
So when you hear that some people end up being hyperactive after smoking rather than mellowing out, this is because of that biochemistry reaction to whatever was in the blend. Back in 1973, a study was performed on a group of insomniacs.