Sleep Disorders Effectively Treated With Cannabis?

March 7, 2018

 

There's a controversy rumbling through physician and research circles - does cannabis effectively treat sleep disorders, and particularly sleep apnea? One of the claims of pro-cannabis medicine experts is that using grass can definitely improve sleep for insomnia sufferers. But the American Academy of Sleep Medicine just released its review of this question related to sleep apnea - and concluded rather conservatively that there is no evidence to date proving that grass helps with sleep apnea. 

 

A couple decades ago I looked deeply into all aspects of sleep and sleep disorders in my book and audio program Secrets Of A Good Night's Sleep, but my publisher (Dell) didn't want me to mention marijuana as a treatment for insomnia - because it was illegal. The discussions in that book remain consistent with current research on sleep - but an update is certainly needed regarding marijuana.

 

Toking up or taking a tincture or edible before going to bed is now a solid medical reason-prescription for using grass, although how cannabis impacts one's sleep patterns is a very complex question. Studies show that if you're depressed, grass definitely improves your sleep. Sometimes this is true for anxiety also - but results vary greatly from person to person, and situation to situation. The positive effects of grass for relieving pain are also important for improving sleep for many people. Also - help with insomnia was more evident for occasional users than regular users. You need to experiment for yourself, as millions of Americans have.

 

But if you have sleep apnea, does marijuana help?

 

I personally have suffered with sleep apnea for over 30 years, although insomnia was never a problem outside of temporary stress situations. Definitely drinking alcohol before sleeping worsened my apnea condition (just ask my wife) but marijuana seemed to have little impact. The current statement by the AASM mentioned above (that pot is not effective for apnea sufferers) seems valid, although all they're saying is that further research must be completed before we know for sure. 

 

Because sleep apnea happens when we're deep asleep, the MindfullyHigh program can't directly impact this sleep disorder - because we can't use mindfulness to purposefully manage our experience. I refused to use a breathing machine and headgear (CPAC) for years before giving into the bothersome device - but I'm glad I finally did get one. Sometimes, surrendering to medical intervention is the wise move. Without question, marijuana is not a cure-all for such conditions. But for many suffering from insomnia, PTSD, pain and unease, grass is a helpful herb.

 

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