Updated on January 31, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Insomnia comes in many forms. Some patients have a tough time falling asleep, while others don’t have healthy sleep quality. In some situations, the patient can’t stay asleep for even an hour at a time. Many insomnia cases involve a combination of these symptoms.
As an alternative to traditional sleep medication, holistic-minded patients are using cannabis medicine. It works just as well — if not better than — typical sleeping pills. Plus, it has fewer and safer side effects. Certain strains of the marijuana plant work better than others to help you sleep longer.
We mainly associate insomnia with the inability to fall asleep. But, it also involves shorter sleep time and waking up in the middle of the night. The National Sleep Foundation found adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. They also established that we shouldn’t wake up more than once in the middle of the night, and for no longer than 20 minutes.
These benchmarks were created to ensure we get the NREM and REM cycles we need during rest. While many sources focus on REM sleep, we must go through both cycles to get all the benefits sleep offers. Even if you sleep for seven to nine hours, waking up constantly still reduces sleep quality. When you go to sleep again, your mind and body have to start the cycles all over again.
Patients develop insomnia symptoms like shorter sleep duration for various reasons. Fortunately, medical marijuana can tackle every one of these sources. Let’s talk look at how different strains work for to address five common causes of sleeping disorders.
Sometimes, people simply develop sleeping disorders naturally due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. These strains will help you stay asleep even when a sleep disorder causes disruptive symptoms:
Since there are so many, we can’t list every medication cannabis can replace. But, these strains can reduce or eliminate your use of some of the most common medications that shorten sleep, and with fewer side effects:
Sometimes, sleep problems come from stimulant use. Certain strains can boost your energy or focus without adding an edge, including:
Creating a sleep schedule can be difficult if you have a tough time relaxing before bed. The following strains provide relaxation that helps you get to sleep on time:
Conditions like chronic pain, anxiety and seizure disorders often come with symptoms that disrupt sleep. You can use these strains to resolve your underlying disorder for insomnia:
Since there are so many strains out there, you may not find the ones we mentioned in a dispensary. No worries — just ask the staff for a strain similar to the one you want. Before your dispensary visit, think about what you want out of your marijuana medicine. Consider factors like:
If you don’t have a medical marijuana card, it’s time to visit a cannabis-positive doctor to get evaluated. Existing medical marijuana program members can ask their dispensary staff about the strains they have to offer. Don’t settle for sleepless nights — start your cannabis treatment journey today.