Millions of men and women across the United States suffer from insomnia.
It has been estimated that one third of all adults deal with insomnia at some point in their lives. Whether a person has difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or both, insomnia can affect many aspects of life, including work, driving, exercise, eating and personal life.
It seems many are turning to marijuana and cannabis to help with this sleep issue, ingesting the plant an hour and a half to two hours before bedtime through a vaporizer, edibles or tinctures.
Numerous studies suggest that cannabis can be used as a sleep aid. Besides easing insomnia, researchers claim that marijuana has an affect in several different areas of sleep. Cannabinoids, which are chemicals found in marijuana, actually mimic the activities of chemicals found naturally in your brain.
Below are ways in which these studies claim that cannabis affects sleep patterns:
- An easier time falling asleep: Some research from as early as 1973 shows that THC helps people fall asleep much quicker.
- Sleep longer: Studies have shown that an increase in THC leads to an increase in the number of hours a person sleeps.
- Deeper sleep: Some studies report that THC can help users sleep more soundly.
- Shorter REM sleep: Marijuana affects the sleep cycle by reducing the REM cycle. Scientists are still unsure if people truly benefit from REM sleep, but many marijuana users say they do not drift into this cycle and do not dream.
- Better breathing: 25% of men and 9% of women deal with sleep apnea. There are currently clinical trials determining if THC can help one fall asleep and improve these breathing issues. If results of positive, many people may be trading in their sleep apnea masks for cannabis.