Being unable to sleep can cause havoc in your life and can lead to numerous health issues. Not only does it affect your well-being, it can hurt your job performance and productivity levels. Extreme fatigue can be especially dangerous. For example, many accidents involving moving vehicles have been caused by a driver falling asleep at the wheel. As lack of adequate rest can be fatal, many people look for solutions to their problem. Some even turns to weed for help.
Does Weed Help You Sleep?
While smoking or ingesting marijuana can help you fall asleep faster, it does not provide you with the kind of sleep your body needs. Actually, regular use of weed may make matters worse. Your body needs REM sleep, which is the time during which you dream. The active ingredients in weed called THC messes up the amount of REM sleep you get. Over time, it might even take longer to doze off than it did before taking weed. To make matters worse, if you stop using marijuana, you will experience withdrawal symptoms that include prolonged REM sleep with longer and stranger dreams. Does weed help you sleep? It doesn’t seem so.
Studies have shown that over the first few days of weed consumption, there is evidence it may help with sleep. However, after about a week your REM sleep shortens significantly. Continued use will lead to less and less deep sleep, even if you are “sleeping” longer. While marijuana withdrawal symptoms are mild compared to other drugs, they can last several weeks depending on how much and how often you used it. In the end, it may lead to a vicious circle of no rest.
It may be better to not use marijuana as a sleeping aid in the first place. This is pointed out to not give weed a bad rap, but for you to consider other options before trying this one. Marijuana has helped many with chronic pain, anxiety-related insomnia and even severe insomnia. It all comes down to the amount and frequency you use it. Using it habitually can cause the most sleep interruption, which can lead to negative health conditions.
Healthier Ways to Get Better Sleep
1. Combine Mental and Relaxation Exercises
When your mind is racing and your body is tense, it will be virtually impossible to fall asleep. If you find yourself lying in bed, struggling to get some ZZZ’s, try this:
- Tense up your whole body by contracting your muscles. Slowly release the tension from each muscle, starting from your toes and moving up to your neck. Repeat if necessary.
- Close your eyes and think about something that is repetitive. Visualize sheep as you count them jumping a fence. Watch yourself kicking a ball over and over again.
- Take deep breaths, focusing on how your body takes the air in and lets it out. Slowly draw your breath in for four seconds, hold for six seconds and then exhale slowly over eight seconds.
2. Bathe Shortly Before Bed
Shortly before going to bed, perhaps a half-hour, take a bath so you can start getting drowsy. Make sure the water is warm enough, so you won’t catch a chill. Becoming cold will only make matters worse. Consider adding lavender oil as it has soothing properties. Have everything ready, so as soon as you dry off you can head straight to bed.
3. Enjoy Some Snack
4. Turn Off Electronics
About an hour before settling down for the night, turn off all your electronics, put your media away and stop working. No lights allowed, even from your computer screen. The little lights emitted from these things actually make it harder for you to doze off.
If you are the type of person who has a hard time leaving work at work, consider keeping a notepad next to your bed. Instead of continually worrying all night about a project or deadline, write down your thoughts. Then you can go back to sleep without stressing you might forget.
The sooner you start relaxing, the faster you can fall asleep. If you want to be asleep by 10 p.m., start getting ready for bed around 9 p.m. Wash your face, read a book or lay your clothes out. Do what you need to do so you can truly relax at bed time.
5. Breathing Technique to Sleep
A popular breathing technique used to fall asleep is called the 4-7-8 method. Developed by a well-known sleep doctor, it is designed to increase your oxygen level, slow your heart rate and expel carbon dioxide from your system.
Follow these easy steps:
- For entire breathing exercise, place the tip of your tongue behind your upper teeth pressed against the ridge.
- Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound as you push all the air out.
- Close your mouth and then inhale for four seconds.
- Hold your breath for seven seconds.
- Exhale again, making whoosh sound for eight seconds.
- Repeat four times total.
6. Fill Bedroom with Lavender Scent
The scent of lavender has been known over the ages to have calming effects. The aroma has been shown to lower your blood pressure and relax your nerves. Studies have shown individuals who fill their bedroom with lavender oil at bedtime sleep better for a longer period of time.
7. Try Self-Acupressure
Does weed help you sleep? Even if it can, it’s temporary and may bring side effects. Instead, try acupressure. Acupressure has been around centuries, following the theory that pressing on specific points on your body will provide medicinal therapy. Most of the time it is administered by a trained professional, but you can do it yourself without the need for pins. There are different points which you can easily reach yourself:
- The easiest is your ears. Massage both of them at the same time with your finger tips for about a minute.
- Gently apply pressure to the small depression between your eyebrows. It is right above your nose. Hold for about a minute.
- Press on the sole of your foot. To find the right point, imagine your foot divided in three sections. From the tip of your toes, go down about one-third. Press there for a couple of minutes.