Having a hard time sleeping? It’s not just you. Many adults struggle to sleep well on a regular basis. But, cannabis in the form of CBD or THC, along with healthy sleep habits, could offer some relief.
Are You Sleeping Well?
It’s common for adults to struggle with sleep at night. There are about 70 million Americans suffering from a sleep disorder. And about a third of adults are chronically short on sleep, getting seven hours of sleep or less each night.
Sleep is essential to wellness, both physical and mental. When you’re not sleeping well, you’re not giving yourself all of the rest and relaxation you need to restore your mind and body. Sleeping right can help you reset and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. But when you’re short on sleep, you can struggle with daily life, as you’re fatigued, having a hard time concentrating, and just don’t have the energy to deal with what the day has in store.
If you’re having a hard time with sleep, you should work on healthy sleep habits. But if you need some support, CBD or THC could be a good alternative to over the counter or prescription sleep medications, which could come with a risk of dependency and side effects.
What Cannabis Does For Sleep
Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD can be an effective treatment for sleep difficulties. A review of evidence from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that relief from sleep disorders is one of the major therapies offered by cannabinoids.
Is Cannabis Better Than Sleep Aids?
If you’re considering sleep medication either over the counter or prescribed from your doctor, it might be a good idea to try cannabis first. Although sleep medications are a tried and true solution for sleep difficulties, they aren’t perfect.
With sleep medications, you may experience side effects such as next day grogginess or even memory loss. And over time, you may become dependent on sleep medication, which can make it difficult to sleep normally.
CBD, on the other hand, is considered to have a good safety profile, according to the World Health Organization. Unlike sleep medications, CBD carries little risk of addiction or dependency, and it also has little risk of side effects.
Tips for Using THC or CBD For Sleep
If you’re thinking of using cannabis to help you sleep better at night, consider these tips:
- Start with a foundation of healthy sleep habits. Yes, cannabis could help you sleep. But it’s not the only thing you should do. Make sure you’re practicing regularly healthy sleep habits, such as keeping a regular sleep schedule and bedtime routine, creating a healthy and comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding
late nightscreen time or caffeine, among other sleep pitfalls.
- Plan your usage. Some strains work better than others for sleep. For example, if you enjoy a particularly rousing strain of THC during the day for focus and alertness, that’s probably not the one you want when you’re trying to get to sleep. Talk to your budtender, or do some research into particular strains when you’re deciding which ones will work best for your sleep. If you’re in doubt, you can default to CBD, which is generally overall calming and helpful for sleep.
- Know how you want to take cannabis. There are a lot of options for consuming cannabis these days, and they can vary in their usage. If you’re looking for fast relief, vaping or smoking could be the most effective. But if you want to slowly drift off, you might enjoy using edibles. Even topical applications can be helpful. For example, if it’s chronic joint or muscle pain keeping you up at night, a topical CBD cream might offer the most relief.
- Talk to your doctor. If you have a serious sleep disorder, talk to your doctor about treatment. You can discuss using cannabis as part of your treatment plan, but serious sleep disorders may need additional intervention, such as a CPAP machine for sleep apnea.
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Interested in getting a better night’s sleep? Cannabis could offer some relief. Consider how you can use cannabis to relax and get the rest you need each night.Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.