Why a Good Night’s Sleep is So Important and How Cannabis Can Help
Often, after a long day, all a person wants to do is fall into bed and sleep. A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your health, but more people than we know have the hardest time to sleep well enough. Sleep is just as important as eating healthy and doing exercise. What the world is going through right now makes sleeping even more important. But many factors interfere with us and change our natural sleep patterns. So, maybe if there are not enough hours to sleep well, we can look into increasing the quality of sleep. And this is where cannabis comes in.
Why is Sleep so Important?
People sleep less than a couple of decades ago. Workload and life expectancies have changed the way we live. The drive to be the best and have the most money available, keep people longer away from home, and time to rest is more of a luxury than anything else. But for this, the price is high. Here are some reasons why sleep is so important:
Poor sleep makes you fat – the proof is in the pudding here. The less you sleep, the more you weigh. Short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. Numerous factors are involved from hormones and motivation to do exercise.
Good sleepers tend to eat less – many studies show that sleep-deprived individuals eat more. Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones that cause poor appetite regulation. This leads to higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone stimulating appetite, and reduced levels of leptin, the appetite-suppressing hormone.
Good sleep improves concentration and productivity – the brain asks for sleep so that various areas can function better. This includes cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. In a study done on medical interns, those that worked more than 24 hours, made 36% more serious mistakes than those who slept more. The more you sleep, the better is your problem-solving skills. It also enhances memory performance in both adults and children.
Good sleep improves athletic performance – The more you sleep, the better your performance is in sport. In a study done on basketball players, longer and better sleep quality improved speed, accuracy, and reaction times. It also kept them more level-headed. On older people, less sleep also affects physical movement. They walk and move slower and they have limited daily effectiveness.
Poor sleep increases stroke and heart disease risk – the fewer hours you sleep, the higher is your risk at heart diseases. This increases the possibility of developing chronic diseases.
Sleep affects glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes risk – experimental sleep restriction studies showed that blood sugar and insulin sensitivity get significantly affected. Healthy men were tested where their sleep was restricted from 6 to 4 hours per night for 6 nights in a row. After a week, they showed signs of prediabetes. Poor sleep habits have a strong effect on blood sugar levels in general.
Poor sleep links to depression – mental health issues are often linked to poor sleep patterns. About 90% of people with depression complain about sleep quality. Poor sleep also leads to a higher suicide rate.
Sleep improves the immune system – the more you sleep, the better is your immune system. Even a few hours less than usual could impair your immune system
Poor sleep increases inflammation – sleep deprivation not only leads to increased inflammation but also causes cell damage. It strongly links to digestive problems too.
Sleep affects emotional social interactions – the less you sleep, the more you are prone to getting irritated or annoyed. Filters go down and anger steps in.
Cannabis for sleeping better
Cannabis has been used for ages already as a sleep aid. Cannabis has sedative and relaxing benefits where it makes falling asleep easier. Studies state that cannabis shortens the time it takes people to fall asleep. It shortens the time to fall asleep with 30 minutes for those with sleep problems. Cannabis also lengthens the time spent in deep, slow-wave sleep. It also appears to shorten the time spent in REM sleep, likely due to THC.
Cannabis has many natural chemical compounds that affect sleep and sleep cycles. Both cannabinoids and terpenes play a role.
The cannabinoids in cannabis are not just effective in conditions like depression and anxiety, but also in neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The three best-known cannabinoids helping you to sleep better are:
CBD – cannabidiol can reduce stress, relieve pain, and promote mental focus. It can reduce daytime sleepiness and promote alertness. It reduces anxiety without affecting sleep-wake cycles.
CBN – cannabinol has powerful sedative effects. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. CBN stimulates appetite, where CBD suppresses appetite.
THC – tetrahydrocannabinol also has sedative effects and lets you fall asleep easier. THC also improves breathing during sleep which makes it effective for treating obstructive sleep apnea.
Science shows that terpenes have effects on energy, sleep, mood, and alertness. Many terpenes are especially effective and helpful for sleep. Some known are myrcene, caryophyllene, linalool, and limonene.
All the above-mentioned conditions related to sleep-deprivation, are treatable by cannabis. Cannabis could be consumed by smoking, vaping, oils, or edibles. Which-ever way you prefer, it could contribute to better quality sleep.