Cannabis has many different effects on the body. Depending on whether you are new to using cannabis or have been using it for a long time, your experience will vary. Cannabis affects people differently depending on their size, weight and genetics. Some of its expected effects include an increased appetite known colloquially as “the munchies”, reduced blood pressure, red eyes/dilated pupils and slower reaction times.
When it comes to sleep, though, there is no single set of reactions that apply equally across all users. In fact, some evidence suggests that cannabis can be used medicinally to improve sleep quality in patients with insomnia or other sleep disorders! The strain of cannabis you use may also have an impact on how it affects your sleep. For example, Indica Cannabis is more likely to have a sedative-like effect on you. Sativa Cannabis might increase energy and mental clarity. Always be sure to discuss these options with your healthcare provider or the dispensary supplying your Cannabis.
NREM And REM Stages Of Sleeping
Before going into more detail about how cannabis affects sleep, let us talk a bit about the different stages of sleep. Without getting too scientific, it is essential to understand that there are two main types of sleep: NREM and REM. Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) occupies 75% of your sleep, whereas rapid eye movement (REM) makes up 25%.
In sleep, you have four progressively deeper stages as follows: drowsiness, light slumbering – when alpha waves begin to occur in our brainwaves; deep slumbering – where delta waves become predominant which is considered “true” or slow-wave sleep; then finally rem – also known as a paradoxical phase because during this phase our muscles become paralyzed while our brain becomes active, this is also when we experience dreams.
How Cannabis Affects Sleep Quality
Cannabis can be used medicinally to improve sleep quality in patients with insomnia or other sleep disorders. There are three primary ways that cannabis affects the sleep cycle: it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) latency, increases slow-wave deep sleep, and decreases the number of awakenings during the night, all big positives for getting a good nights’ rest! When you use any kind of medicine before bedtime, there may be some residual effects on your ability to fall asleep, but studies suggest that they dissipate after an hour or two. As far as improving the overall quantity of REM cycles throughout your slumbering hours, the research is promising!
In conclusion, although cannabis can have some residual effects that affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night, it’s generally a good choice as far as sleep aids go. Compared with other options such as pharmaceuticals and alcohol, there are fewer side effects associated with using cannabis medicinally before bedtime. If you find yourself struggling to get a restful nights’ slumber, give medicinal cannabinoids a try.