DO CERTAIN STRAINS EFFECT YOUR SLEEP?
When it comes to sleeping, everyone has their ups and downs. A person’s natural cycle, often referred to as their circadian rhythm, can be affected by many individual factors. Depending on what’s going on, it could be a stressful relationship or job, financial problems, or grief that is holding you back from a sleep routine. Some people find that they need a very specific environment (noise machine, air conditioning, television on, etc.) in order to maintain a solid eight hours of rest each night. There are also a lot of health variables (both mental and physiological) that can keep us from being able to “turn it all off” at night so that we can get some shut-eye.
Chronic insomnia is often linked to an underlying medical condition. It is possible to have chronic insomnia if you have 3 or more nights of poor sleep per week for more than three months, according to the Sleep Foundation – one of the nation’s most authoritative resources on sleep disorders.
Insomnia can be hard to diagnose, but it’s a long-term problem that needs to be taken care of by a doctor. One way you can seek help is by participating in a sleep study; there are several clinics in your area that will be happy to administer these tests and might even use the data they gather from your visit to help others who have the same sleep issues. You can change how you sleep once you are able to identify the core issue that is keeping you from a full night’s rest.
If you are successful in establishing better sleeping habits on your own without the help of an expert, congratulations! It’s not long-term insomnia. However, before attempting to treat the symptoms, consult with a qualified healthcare provider.
Chronic Insomnia vs Circumstantial Insomnia
People who have sleep problems that aren’t caused by a particular chronic disease are more likely to have six common causes. The short-term factors that cause insomnia are:
- Anxiety and Stress
- A noisy or unresponsive sleep environment (especially a snoring spouse!)
- Caffeine consumption before bed
- Food consumption within three hours of expected bedtime
- Not enough exercise throughout the day/week
- Blue light screens and devices which distract or stimulate the brain
Some of the reasons why people don’t get enough sleep aren’t temporary or circumstantial. That’s when long-term insomnia is a health risk. And most of the time, it is due to a medical condition that has either gone undiagnosed or is not being treated properly.
The following are some of the reasons why sleeplessness is a problem:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Edema of the legs and extremities
- Gastrointestinal issues (gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers)
- Obese people are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea
- Neuropathic pain
- Prescription drugs
- Restless leg syndrome
- Stress and anxiety (persistent high levels of cortisol)
- Spasms of the muscles
- Use of drugs or alcohol
People often make the mistake of assuming a poor sleep schedule does not directly affect your health. Over time, these symptoms can accumulate and make it nearly impossible to function throughout the day. If this sounds familiar, speaking with a doctor or nurse as soon as possible is the best way to proceed. There are many ways to treat chronic insomnia; depending on your particular situation, medical marijuana may be the solution that provides the most relief without the negative side effects that can often be related to other sleep medicines and alternatives.
How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Your Health?
Isn’t it true that a little sleep deprivation isn’t going to hurt you if it only happens every once in a while? If you’re a college student or new parent, living in a shared dwelling, or work a job that requires you to disturb your natural sleep cycle, at some point or another sleep deprivation is likely going to become inevitable. Assuming that the weekend is free, you can catch up by sleeping in on the weekend. But getting more sleep doesn’t make up for the damage that sleeplessness can do to someone’s body, according to recent studies.
The Sleep Foundation, for example, found that ‘sleep debt’ (the difference between the amount of sleep someone needs and the amount they actually get) doesn’t always make you feel tired, but it still has serious consequences on our immune system, general disposition, and ability to fend off things like accidents, chronic illness, and weight gain. So, if your body needs eight hours of sleep per night, but only get six- you have two hours of sleep debt. Since sleep debt is cumulative, going to sleep 30 or 60 minutes later than usual for a few days can quickly add up.
Now, there is more knowledge and awareness about the health effects of long-term insomnia than there has been before. A report from the American Sleep Association says that more than 70 million people in the United States have a problem with their sleep. Insomnia, which affects nearly 30% of people in the United States, is at the top of the list for health complaints and supports a large part of the pharmaceutical industry. In 2019, the global sleep economy was valued at about 432 billion U.S. dollars. This industry was forecast to be worth 585 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.
People in the U.S. are only 10% likely to have been diagnosed with chronic insomnia, despite all of the information which leads us to believe that the condition is becoming more and more prevalent. The risk to their health and safety is compounded by the possibility of putting others in harm’s way, especially when operating heavy machinery – like a car – on a daily basis.
These are some of the things that can happen when you don’t get enough sleep:
1. Low immunity
REM (rapid eye movement, aka deep) sleep is important for your body. Consider it a time when your brain performs a complete bumper-to-bumper diagnostic check. Without it, your central nervous system is unable to recalibrate and essential bodily functions will not be initiated. Seemingly simple things, like the replenishment of natural hormones or neurological chemicals, will be delayed or incomplete.
You need cytokines when your body is trying to fight off a virus or bacteria. They are small proteins which are secreted by cells of the immune system and have an effect on other cells. Our immune systems are incredibly advanced and adaptive, yet we still need to shut down for an extended period of time in order to offer ourselves up to the benefits of this system. The cytokines which help you fall asleep also play a role in promoting good immune health. You will find that with good ‘sleep hygiene’ you can save energy and let the strong proteins fight off anything trying to invade your body.
The issue is that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll produce fewer. Then it gets even more difficult to get to sleep. You’ll also be more likely to get bacterial and viral infections if you have a cold or the flu. Talk to a provider if you feel like you’re getting every cold virus that comes around, or the symptoms persist.
2. Poor bodily function, mobility & balance
During the night, are you someone who gets at least 7 hours of sleep? You may joke throughout the day that your lack of sleep is what’s got you in a fog, and even begin to suspect that it’s part of the reason you are not being considered for that job promotion. Because you’ve been sleeping for a long time, you know what results to expect when you’re not maintaining your usual sleep number. Adolescents and elderly people are more prone to negative effects from sleep deprivation, on average, so you may feel like you are not as vulnerable. But if you’ve been getting less than 7 hours of sleep during most of your adult years, it’s time to interfere because your body is taking it to heart, so you need to do something about it.
If you have untreated chronic insomnia, your risk of coronary heart disease disease, having a heart attack, or having a stroke increases exponentially. Many people don’t sleep for more than six hours each night, especially if they are raising a family. Suppose, however, that you sleep too much. People can also experience problems if they sleep 9 hours a night or more every night. Statistically, it is a lot less common than persons who get approximately 6-7 hours of sleep a night every night.
3. Cancer Risk Increases
Disruptions in the body’s “biological clock,” which controls sleep and thousands of other functions, may raise the odds of certain cancers or advance the stage the cancer is in. People who get very little sleep for a long time are more likely to get breast, prostate cancer, and colorectal, according to some clinical studies.
The most vulnerable are those who work irregular shifts or overnight. Exposure to unnatural light during a time you would otherwise be asleep may reduce levels of melatonin over the course of several years, encouraging cancer to grow. But those women and men who got at least 7 hours of sleep each night can rest assured that they are maintaining good sleep hygiene. This group of people had the lowest risk of death and the longest life spans.
4. Your relationship is going downhill
You might wonder what sleeplessness has to do with possessing (and keeping) a healthy sex drive, so we’ll explain. A clinical study in JAMA said that if someone has chronic insomnia, their libido could be less than 15% lower. “Lack of sleep can lead to low energy, fatigue, and sleepiness,” says Siebern. “This may affect libido and/or decrease interest in sex.”
For men, it can have a big impact on testosterone levels; this is because testosterone, along with many other essential hormones, is most produced while you sleep. A lack of sleep and disrupted sleep have also been linked to a higher risk of erectile dysfunction.
5. You Begin Forgetting Things
Good cognitive function means being able to remember things quickly and consistently, both short-term and long-term. But if you don’t get enough sleep, your brain starts to use up those few energy sources for other important bodily functions, and your cognition suffers as a result.
That means remembering things could be like getting a file from a laptop that is 10 years old and needs to be plugged in. It’s there, but it could take a long time to find it!
What is the most common effect of Indica strains?
There are usually a lot of Sativa hybrid strains of medicinal marijuana on the market. It could also be a pure Sativa cannabis, although that is much less common. The indica class of cannabis is known to make people happy, excited, and positive. Additionally, many of them are extremely effective at relieving pain without causing drowsiness.
It’s not a good idea to be so relaxed during the day that you start to sleep. Nodding out during a Zoom call with your coworkers is almost certain to make its way back to your boss, and it can be an awkward conversation to discuss personal health conditions with people who rely on you to be productive and accountable.
For this reason, a lot of people use Indica strains at night. Getting ready for bed looks a bit like melting onto the couch, hitting the bong, and saying good night. Indica marijuana has different sedative effects based on how strong it is. The more THC potency there is, the less ability you will have to fight off the effects of the drowsiness. If you’re not used to taking Indica, it’s more likely that you’ll end up “couch-locked.”
Some individuals make the mistake of trying a strong, high-potency Indica right away. This can be bad for your health, especially if you are not looking to take advantage of the effects it can cause. The majority of budtenders (because they’re the experts) recommend beginning with low-potency strains and moving up there till you find the one that is right for you. Be sure to discuss the results you are looking for whenever purchasing a new strain of cannabis, to make sure it is compatible with your expectations!
Indica and sleep or pain prescriptions: Is IT safe?
If you are taking prescription medications, the first thing you should do is talk to your primary care doctor (PCP) about any possible contraindications. That’s why the health evaluation for your medical card is so important! They look at the medications you take to make sure that marijuana is a safe choice.
There are a lot of things that could make it more dangerous to mix Indica weed with commonly prescribed sleep and/or pain medications.
- How you live your life; if you drink alcohol or use medical marijuana with your medications
- Which medications you are currently taking and their dosage or strength
- The strain’s potency and the type of cannabis you consume
In general, prescription drugs and cannabis don’t mix well together. Cannabis may be an appropriate treatment strategy because it affects receptors more than conventional pain medications. If you worry about the negative effects and usage of drugs with prescription sleeping pills, please consider discussing this with your healthcare professional or team during you next visit.
Sleep Indica strains that are popular among patients
Do you assume that having used one or two strains of Indica is enough to assess how others will affect you? Not reliably, unfortunately. There are a few Indica strains with terpenes that can help you get to sleep better, although most flower found at the dispensary these days is going to be a hybrid – or hybrid dominant, which leans further in the direction of Sativa or Indica. You should always consider the THC content, CBD content, terpenes, and cannabinoids in order to properly gauge the effects of a new strain you have not tried before.
The following are some of the ideal Indica strains that might also help you sleep better:
- Bubba Kush
- Blue Cheese
- Grandaddy Purps (Purple)
- Ice Cream Cake
- Mendo Breath
- Northern Lights
- Purple Punch
After consulting with your doctor, visit a medical cannabis dispensary in your area. Inform them that you are searching for an Indica that would aid in your sleep improvement. There are both mental and physical risks to your well-being when you don’t get enough sleep, so with that in mind, your bud tender or pharmacist will assist you in finding the solution that best fits your individual needs. Never underestimate the knowledge or educational power of your local dispensary! You may be surprised to find that they are an invaluable resource.
Indica cannabis strains can vary extensively. Many methods of consumption exist, although some are more accessible than others based on where you live in the United States. Some people like to eat something about an hour before they go to bed, and although this is not a habit you will want to promote or encourage, replacing a midnight snack with an Indica edible can satiate cravings while simultaneously benefiting your sleep hygiene your overall health. Other people prefer to put a few droplets of a tasteless, odorless Indica tincture with high levels of CBD (for pain relief) on their tongue. Whatever method you choose, always make sure to consult with your healthcare professional (or care team) in order to assess the safety and eligibility of using medical marijuana to treat your insomnia.
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