According to the US Center for Disease Control, 1 in 3 people don’t get a good night’s sleep. These researchers found that when it comes to health and wellness, the average adult should aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
“Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.”
A survey by the American Sleep Association found that between 50-70 Million US adults have a sleep disorder. Other interesting findings in the survey were:
- 48.0% report snoring
- 37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month
- Insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder, with short term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%
- 25 Million U.S. adults have obstructive sleep apnea
- 3–5% of the overall proportion of obesity in adults could be attributable to short sleep
So if you are having trouble sleeping or are finding that your sleep patterns are off, there is some solace in knowing that you are not alone.
Do you have trouble falling asleep and difficulty sleeping through the night?
Sleeping problems are experienced by everyone at some point and sadly by too many people quite often. It may be hard for you to fall asleep or even stay asleep. Lack of sleep may affect your physical and mental health, your relationships at home, school and/or the office. Sleep deprivation can rob you of so many things. And the next day, after a bad night’s sleep, you just feel “off,” or for me it’s the aggravation of constantly thinking about napping, instead of getting on with all the things I need to do in a day.
“Signs of sleeping difficulty may include an inability to focus during the day, frequent headaches, irritability, daytime fatigue, waking up too early, waking up throughout the night, or taking several hours to fall asleep. You may also experience low energy during the day or have noticeably dark circles under your eyes.”
We all know that a low stress lifestyle, good health, proper sleep hygiene and a consistent sleep schedule helps with a better night’s rest. But sometimes it’s not that easy to develop consistently good sleep habits. Like a good daily exercise routine, good sleep habits and a solid sleep schedule are hard to maintain over the long run.
According to the Sleep Foundation there are more than a 100 sleep disorders. These are some of the most common types:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Central Sleep Apnea
- REM Sleep
- Behavior Disorder
- Circadian Rhythm
- Sleep Disorders
- Non-24 Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (a.k.a “Restless Legs Syndrome”)
What can cause sleep disorders?
A variety of factors play into common sleep disorders, including:
- Physical ailments
- Medical conditions (breathing)
- Chronic pain
- Psychiatric (stress, depression and/or anxiety)
- Alcohol and other stimulants
- Working night shifts
- Jet lag
- Financial worries
- Genetics (narcolepsy)
- Some medications
What are the consequences of a poor sleep or sleep disorders?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, research shows that:
“Sleep helps your brain function properly. Not getting enough sleep or poor-quality sleep has many potential consequences. The most obvious concerns are fatigue and decreased energy, irritability and problems focusing. The ability to make decisions and your mood can also be affected…. Sleep problems can exacerbate depression or anxiety, and depression or anxiety can lead to sleep problems.
Lack of sleep and too much sleep are linked to many chronic health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Sleep disturbances can also be a warning sign for medical and neurological problems, such as congestive heart failure, osteoarthritis and Parkinson’s disease.”
Sleep is different for everybody, what is common is that we all need a good night’s rest and it is a key factor in our overall quality of life. Many people have various tricks to help deal with their sleep issues, like developing a good bedtime routine and healthy sleeping habits, diet (healthier eating, reduced alcohol, coffee and other stimulants), limiting naps, a regular exercise and activity, avoiding screen time in and before bedtime, a warm bath or hot shower at the end of the day and even breathing and meditation or mindfulness exercises. Some people resort to over-the-counter sleep medicine, supplements like melatonin and even in some cases much stronger drugs like antidepressants.
Do you feel like you have tried everything and still can’t sleep? You might think about trying cannabis.
Cannabis has been helping people sleep since its discovery.
Many newcomers or light users of medical cannabis use cannabis to aid with their sleep. Granted it may be one factor or a combination of factors that are affecting your sleep quality, but there has been a lot promising research to show that medical cannabis can improve the quality of your sleep by addressing some of the issues that may be affecting your rest.
Some find THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) to be beneficial for sleep and others find CBD to be beneficial. Everyone’s personal physiology and their relationship with their Endo-Cannabinoid system is different and responds differently.
Some studies have shown that CBD is beneficial in treating insomnia and sleep problems. The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health stated consuming CBD showed a decrease in anxiety scores by 79.2% and sleep scores improving within the first month of 66.7% of all patients studied.
How do I consume medical cannabis for a good night’s rest?
Dr. Jordan Tishler, a Harvard-trained physician and cannabis therapeutic specialist recommends Indica strains with less than a 20 % THC ratio.
Too much THC may increase feelings of grogginess the next morning. Some people may try the traditional joint or its current modern-day alternative the vape pen. Some prefer edibles about an hour before bedtime and other prefer CBD sublingual.
Sadly, there is no one magic method that works for all, but there is mounting scientific evidence that cannabis products do work; it is really a personal journey to see which consumption methods and whether CBD or THC helps you personally get a better restful sleep.