How much sleep do you get on average? According to SleepAdvisor.org, adults aged 26 to 64 should get a recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. However, 35 percent of adults say they don’t get enough sleep (7 hours), according to the CDC. The national sleeping average has continued to decline as the years go on. In 1942, American’s had an average of 7.9 hours of sleep per night, as of 2013, that average decreased by 13 percent, down to 6.8 hours per night.
So what has caused us to lose sleep and hurt our bodies? Could it be the rise in technology? Possibly. But it could be a number of things. No matter who you are, or what type of work you do, it’s possible that you suffer from some form of sleep deprivation.
Not only do we stay up all hours of the night on different social media platforms and watching Tik Tok videos for hours on end, but we also put a lot of stress on ourselves. From overworking and not taking time for our mental health, to adding too much to our plate and saying we are fine.
We are not fine.
If you think you are overworking yourself and would like to find some type of restorative fix for your mind and body, there are things that can help you. One of those things, though controversial, is cannabis.
How Can Cannabis Help?
There are many ways that cannabis can help our bodies. From adding it to our wellness routine and post-workout session to adding it to our nightly routine to help ease our minds to rest.
As we get older, our sleep cycles get off track, strongly due to our working mindset. Cannabis can help to restore your natural sleep cycle and help you to sleep better at night with little to no side effects.
If you’ve had a stressful day at work, cannabis can help you. Its calming qualities help to free your mind and open it up to whatever you wish to do. Whether that be to relax after a long day in a relaxing bubble bath or to simply get a good night’s sleep.
If you have a hard time falling asleep due to pain or discomfort, cannabis can help to relieve that pain to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. There are different forms of cannabis, which we will discuss later, but they can all help with inflammation and chronic pain.
Know Your Strains
We all know that there are different types of cannabinoids and cannabis strains that you can purchase from a cannabis dispensary that will give you different effects. Not to mention, that the dosages of those strains will give everyone a different effect as well just because our body’s chemical makeups are all slightly different.
A quick refresher to get everyone up to speed. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is non-psychoactive and is legal in most states. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive part of the cannabis plant that makes you feel high.
While those are the basic chemical makeups of a cannabis plant, there are also different strains that produce different effects. Indica flowers are known more for their calming and relaxing effects while Sativas tend to give you more energy and make you happy. You can also find hybrids made by a cannabis dispensary that provides information on how much of each strain are included.
When it comes to helping you sleep, to start out, you can always try a bit of CBD before bed to help calm your mind and relax you. This won’t get you high, and will just help to ease your body and help you to feel less restless.
However, if you decide to go for the cannabis route for better sleep, though it may sound counterintuitive, you want to choose a strain with a higher level of THC. THC actually helps to induce a deeper sleep.
Higher levels of THC also reduces REM sleep, which means fewer dreams. So if you are someone who suffers from PTSD, this would be a good solution for you to try so that you spend less time dreaming, which means, fewer nightmares and more sleep. However, you do not want to rely on cannabis to help you sleep long term as it can impair your sleep quality.
When choosing your strain, another thing to consider is the amount of THC in your cannabis. Dr. Jordan Tishler, a Harvard-trained physician, and cannabis therapeutics specialist suggests using a strain with less than 20 percent THC. Too much will leave you feeling groggy the next day.
How to Ingest Cannabis for Better Sleep
When it comes to how you want to ingest your cannabis for better sleep there is a lot to keep in mind. Smoking from a joint or pipe will be one of the quickest ways to feel the effects. If you are not a fan of the harshness of smoking, vaping is another option.
You can also opt for tinctures. Tinctures are great because you can take them either sublingually or add them to your food or beverage. Try adding a drop or two to a glass of water or tea before bed for calming effects.
One thing that will not work as well is an edible. Edibles take much longer to feel their effects since they have to break down in your liver which takes time. Smoking, vaping, or tinctures are your best option.
As you weigh your options and consider shopping at your local cannabis dispensary for a sleep aid, there are a few things to keep in mind. Be sure to test out whatever you decide on to find the right dosage for you, and do it over a weekend. You want to find the right balance to help you sleep, but not make you feel groggy the next day. Also, be sure to talk with your doctor to make sure that cannabis is the right fit for you to help you achieve better sleep.