Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Our bodies need sleep to maintain themselves. So, when you don’t get enough of it, you can face a wide range of health risks. Plus, getting through the day on a small amount of sleep isn’t pleasant to experience. Insomnia and other sleep disorders can cause you to get insufficient rest, but so can unhealthy habits and health conditions.
Patients who don’t get enough sleep turn to all sorts of solutions. Many use caffeine to stay awake during the day. But, let’s be real — that cup of coffee can’t undo the lack of sleep you have. And when patients try sleep medicine, it can make them feel just as tired during the day. Meanwhile, medical marijuana can act as either a sleep aid or an energy enhancer without as many drawbacks.
If you deal with sleep deprivation, you aren’t the only one — 35.3% of American adults sleep seven hours or less every night. For reference, adults need to sleep between seven and nine hours every night for proper rest. Sleep deprivation can result in health problems like:
If you already have another health condition, lack of sleep can give you even more health issues to worry about. Completely healthy people could develop health problems from not sleeping enough. No matter your situation, you should find a solution to avoid future complications.
Since sleep deprivation has become so common, it has also become normalized in American society. You can often find jokes featuring lack of sleep as the punchline. While it’s not insensitive to joke about your sleep deprivation, this normalization makes many folks overlook a serious issue.
A lot of sleep-deprived people drink coffee or take naps to address the issue. They may also try to change their sleep habits to allow for more rest in their schedule. In severe cases, some patients use sleep medication. But, sleep medicine is often not recommended for long-term use. So, people with chronic sleep problems don’t have many effective ways to resolve them.
A unique characteristic of medicinal cannabis is that one person’s side effect is as another person’s remedy. Cannabis medicine commonly causes drowsiness as a side effect for patients. If you need help getting to sleep, however, you can use that effect to your advantage. Medicinal marijuana flower and products that come from indica plants can serve as effective sleep aids.
Sativa strains have the opposite effect of an indica strain — clarity and invigoration. While you try to sort out your sleep treatment, you can use this type of marijuana medicine to fight tiredness.
Sometimes, the reason for sleep deprivation isn’t a sleep disorder or unhealthy sleep habits — symptoms associated with underlying chronic conditions can also disrupt your rest. Cannabis medicine can treat disruptive issues like:
If you don’t have a diagnosis for a health disorder, think about why you can’t fall asleep at night. Pay attention to how you feel before you go to bed. You may be surprised to find your sleep deprivation had an underlying cause after all.
If your state considers insomnia or your underlying condition eligible for medical marijuana, you could qualify for treatment. Get in touch with a cannabis-friendly doctor to discuss your eligibility and create a treatment plan. If you do qualify, get assistance with choosing a strain from the staff at your medical dispensary.