When I was in high school I got high all the time. Weed was purely recreational. At one point in time, in my early 20’s I had started getting sort of bummed out when I smoked and resorted to puffing only just before bed as a sleep aid. Many people have found that a toke or two before bed can ease their transition into sleep. Studies on the impact of marijuana on sleep date back to the early 70’s, making it one of the earliest subjects of interest in the field. The endocannabinoid system, the body’s biological channels which are reactive to THC and other cannabinoids, is the system responsible for sleep regulation. Healthy sleepers needn’t resort to pre-bed toking, but those who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders may benefit greatly from the regulatory effects of marijuana on the sleep cycle.
Smoking Weed Reduces Falling Asleep Time
You’ve had nights like this, maybe many, where you lay in bed and get comfortable and then you start shifting and thinking and shifting some more. Your mind begins to race. You check the clock, you check it again. You start adding up the total hours till you must wake to work, to feed the baby, to get to school, to be productive. But how will you be productive on 5,4,3,2 hours of sleep? If you find yourself in this place, a single hit of cannabis can reduce your falling asleep time by an hour! A study in 1973 found that smoking a small amount of weed just before bed reduces falling asleep time by an average of one hour in patients suffering from severe insomnia.
A Small Dose Can Lengthen Overall Sleep Time
Some fall asleep fast, but wake restless in the night. Research shows that while a large quantity of weed can increase restlessness and sleepless nights, a very small dose can increase the length and quality of sleep. How is quality of sleep defined? Small doses of pot increase the length of time one spends in long-wave sleep, also known as deep sleep or non-REM sleep. This is the part of sleep which is most restful and rejuvenating. People often report that they dream less when they puff frequently. It is true that weed consumption reduces the length of REM sleep. It is unlikely that weed users are not dreaming, but it is possible that we are dreaming slightly less. Most likely, if you are experiencing deep quality sleep, you are less likely to wake after a dream, and therefore less likely to remember your dreams.