From disruptive sleep disorders like insomnia or restless leg syndrome to severe, life-threatening conditions like sleep apnea, sleeping disorders are nothing to take lightly. Sleep apnea is a condition where one temporarily stops breathing during sleep, for a few seconds or up to a few minutes, due to a lack of oxygen to the brain. In addition to daytime disturbances like sleepiness, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, distraction, and trouble driving, without proper treatment, it can cause deadly conditions such as hypertension, stroke, or heart failure.
Sleep disorders range from irritating to debilitating, and anyone who suffers from one understands the need for relief. There are currently no cures for most sleep disorders, only treatments. Some treatments are more effective than others, but in the case of sleep apnea, the most common treatment is an air mask worn every night. Medical cannabis may be the natural solution for those looking for relief without a major change of lifestyle. Here are some of the reasons medical cannabis is an excellent treatment option for sleep disorders.
- THC Stabilizes breathing
The THC component of cannabis has been shown, through scientific studies, to combat sleep apnea by blocking serotonin signaling. Another study examined a THC replica known as a dronabinol and observed improvements in 15 out of 17 study participants after 21 days of treatment. There is still a long way to go before cannabis is proven to be an accepted form of treatment for sleep apnea, but these studies demonstrate its potential.
- Cannabis inhibits REM sleep and dreams
Sometimes, people look back fondly on the dreams they had while sleeping, from the sweet to the downright bizarre- either way, they can make for interesting stories! However, for those suffering from night terrors, the lack of dreams that cannabis can cause when taken before sleep may be a welcome relief. Cannabis taken before bedtime reduces the amount of time one spends in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, resulting in fewer and less vivid dreams.
- Cannabis can help you fall asleep faster
As a stress suppressant and pain reliever, cannabis is also effective in helping people fall asleep faster. For anyone dealing with chronic pain, insomnia, PTSD, or multiple sclerosis, cannabis can help overcome the barriers that interfere with their ability to fall asleep.
- Proven success rate
In addition to several correlations, cannabis also has a proven success rate in treating sleep disorders. A 2013 study had a 100 percent success rate, with all 17 sleep apnea patients that were administered cannabis pills before bed experiencing some form of improvement.