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Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is when someone has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. It can be short-term or long-term and can be a result of other health issues or lifestyle choices, such as stress, depression, sleep apnea, heartburn, or alcohol and caffeine use. Up to half of adults have insomnia during a given year. Unfortunately, this lack of sleep then contributes to further issues during the daytime like inattentiveness, fatigue, increased susceptibility to accidents, moodiness, and headaches. 

Correcting sleep habits and making lifestyle changes are usually the first treatment—things like exercising during the day and going to bed at a consistent time every night. Additionally, after these habit and lifestyle changes, cannabis can be an effective sleep aid. It can relieve pain, relax muscles, and slow down racing thoughts in addition to administering its own sleepy chemicals to help patients fall and stay asleep. 

Indica strains tend to produce relaxing, sleepy effects, so that’s usually the go-to strain for those suffering from insomnia. But this shouldn’t be the only strain you choose to help with sleep. CBD and THC affect sleep differently. By considering how other cannabis strains have affected your own body and mind and checking the terpene profile and chemical composition of your options, you may find the best option for you to keep by your bedside. If CBD isn’t helping you fall asleep, then try a low-dose THC strain—its calming effects may be just what you need. 

Using other natural remedies, such as hops, lavender, and chamomile, along with cannabis can help to maximize the sleepy effects. For example, drinking a cup of chamomile tea before bed along with cannabis can enhance the relaxing and sedating effects. 

Cannabis can help patients to fall asleep faster. It helps to relieve other symptoms such as pain and anxiety, so it is no wonder that when those symptoms are being treated, sleep will also come faster. Keep in mind that edibles will take longer to kick in than inhalation methods, but the cannabis effects will last longer for edibles. Consumers can take this into account regarding what time of night to take the cannabis. 

Sleep apnea patients experience breathing disruptions during their sleep. This obviously causes them to wake up. It has been shown in preclinical studies that cannabis may improve this condition and promote better breathing. 

Using nighttime cannabis will likely cause you to dream less because it reduces your time spent in REM sleep, which is when dreams happen. However, if you stop cannabis after long-term use, you are likely to experience more dreams during a REM rebound. 

It is possible that nighttime cannabis could cause a slight hangover. Nothing too bad, but you might feel groggy, dehydrated, or lethargic. To try to avoid this, make sure to drink lots of water, buy tested and clean cannabis, and eat healthy foods.