Ways Cannabis Affects Sleep

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

When a patient suffers from a disease or condition, they are forced to live with many symptoms that can affect his or her everyday life. One symptom that persists throughout many conditions and can impact ones daily activities includes sleep disturbances. Now, patients can use cannabis to not only target their disease's unique symptoms, but also improve sleep. Cannabis can help patients fall asleep and stay asleep longer, which can help those who suffer from sleep apnea or whose conditions disrupt their nightly sleeping routine. 

Studies show that cannabinoids like CBD lessen the effects REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), like tremors, violent movements, and nightmares. In fact, CBD is said to be more effective than pharmaceuticals prescribed to treat this problem, like the prescription medication Levodopa. The other cannabinoid, THC, dramatically increases the production of melatonin, a natural hormone that acts as a sleep aid by regulating circadian rhythm and sleep. This cannabinoid also increases the third and fourth stages of the sleep cycle known as "slow-wave sleep" (SWS), which can in tern reduce the likelihood of developing certain memory loss conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's by reducing beta-amyloid proteins. Interestingly enough, cannabis actually reduces the fifth sleep stage, known as the rapid eye movement (REM) cycle, but the consequences of this remain unknown.

This information has been provided by Health MJ and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.