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Marijuana for sleep: Counterproductive?

Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana Usage and Applications' started by LegalizeIt11, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. One thing I always see about marijuana is that it interferes with REM sleep. Yet, sleep is one of the more common things weed is used for medicinally, mainly indica strains.

    We all know that smoking close to bed time can lead to what we perceive as a great night sleep, but doesn't science say you're actually getting less quality sleep than ever?

    I smoked every evening for a few months and usually felt fine the next morning, energy-wise. I was fine throughout the day and never felt like I lacked sleep or needed a nap.

    Which is it? If we all feel like marijuana helps us sleep, why do studies show that it destroys the REM cycle, which explains the crazy dreams during breaks?

    Any thoughts or info would be appreciated :smoking:
  2. I've never heard it disrupts the REM cycle. I always feel much better if I smoke before bed because otherwise I'll lay there for hours before I can fall asleep.
  3. I am only like this when I have been smoking nightly for a long period of time. I find I dream much more when I do not smoke before bed, and I read somewhere this has something to do with your REM sleep.

    REM sleep is interrupted by many sleeping pills as well, so when not smoking try to take some Melatonin. It's a natural sleeping pill that doesn't effect your REM sleep.

  4. i smoke everynight before bed, wake up feeling great
  5. ^ I LOVE melatonin, good call. Helps me a great deal. Also interesting to note that those "lazy cakes" that some headshops sell as fake weed brownies are packed with melatonin. May have a similar impact on the brain?

    Anyways, I've theorized for a while that the whole "8 hours is ideal" thing is a bit off. I always feel best all day when I have gotten 6 or 7. When I sleep 8 or 9, I'm MISERABLE in the morning. It may have been a deep sleep, but it isn't worth it when it takes 6 hours for my body to fully wake up from it's depth. Anyone else feel this way?

    Weed tends to help me fall/stay asleep...and while I may not get the best REM, I usually feel good and fulfilled the following day.

  6. Who do you think those studies are funded by?
  7. There actually is a study to back up the whole cannabis interrupting REM sleep thing.

    Marijuana, Sleep and Dreams | Psychology Today

    "To address this question, Feinberg, et al. (1975) compared the sleep patterns of experienced marijuana users on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and a placebo. Feinberg, et al. (1975) reported reduced eye movement activity and less REM sleep in the THC condition. They also reported a REM rebound effect, that is more REM activity, on withdrawal from THC. So,there exists some scientific evidence that marijuana interfers with REM sleep."

    But guess what? Exercise helps with getting to sleep! :D

    Discovery Health "Exercise and Sleep"

    "Did you know that exercise can help you sleep sounder and longer and feel more awake during the day? It's true. But the key is found in the type of exercise you choose and the time you participate in it during the day. "

    "When it comes to having a direct effect on getting a good night's sleep, it's vigorous exercise in the late afternoon or early evening that appears most beneficial. That's because it raises your body temperature above normal a few hours before bed, allowing it to start falling just as you're getting ready for bed. This decrease in body temperature appears to be a trigger that helps ease you into sleep. "

    "The type of vigorous workout we're talking about is a cardiovascular workout. That means you engage in some activity in which you keep your heart rate up and your muscles pumping continuously for at least 20 minutes. Although strength-training, stretching, yoga, and other methods of exercise are beneficial, none match the sleep-enhancing benefits of cardiovascular exercise."

    "Try to schedule at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise three or four times a week. Choose whatever activity you enjoy. Walk to and from work, or walk the dog. Jog, swim, bike, ski, jump rope, dance or play tennis -- just make it part of your routine. "

    Oh~ exercise, you never let me down :love::laughing:
  8. When I smoke it is way easier for me to sleep regularly I'm only able to sleep like 3 or 4 hours,but when I smoke I'll sleep a good 7 hours and feel way better I wish I could afford to smoke everyday would help with my sleep a lot.

  9. There is always exercise, which is 100% free~ :)
  10. #10 kmbike, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
    Lol I use to exercise a lot and it did help sometimes but ever since I broke my leg been to lazy to get back onto it
  11. Am I missing something? Where's the counterproductive part?

    Am I going to die with less REM sleep? I've always had trouple sleeping, long before my use of marijuana began. To be honest I'd much rather sleep 6-10 hours straight than 6 or less while I toss and turn all night.

  12. Awhh, that sucks! How long ago did you break your leg?
  13. Different things happen at different steps in the sleep cycle.
    IIRC, REM sleep is brain reboot, not physical healing.

    I know personally that on nights where I dream more, and can remember dreaming, I wake up tired as shit.
  14. This is one of the great debates. From what I understand mj helps you fall asleep and sleep longer, but it actually degrades the overall quality of sleep. However I can't understand why I'll wake up feeling great and not the least bit tired all day long if my sleep was supposedly so poor.

    I do know that when taking a break I'll always get the most WILD dreams for the first week or so. All kinds of crazy vivid dreams. Right now I haven't smoked any pot in a little over a month(waiting on my grow) and I hardly dream at all. I'll just fall asleep and then wake up in the morning without any remembered dreams.
  15. Also keep in mind that this study was done in 1975. some of the methodology used my Psych in those days has been questioned recently. I'll see if I can find the reference to it in my psych notes...
  16. Also keep in mind that this study was done in 1975. some of the methodology used by Psych in those days has been questioned recently. I'll see if I can find the reference to it in my psych notes...
  17. yah ive seen them. theirs also a drink at spencers that has 3x the ammount of sleeping drugs in it then doctors prescribe
  18. The only time I feel tired in the morning is when I don't smoke.

  19. This may be due to waking up during a REM cycle; you're more likely to remember what you're dreaming if that happens. Since you're coming out of a deeper sleep state, that can make you feel extremely tired, vs waking up while in a lighter non-REM state. (If you're STILL tired a while after waking up, then yeah, perhaps there is some correlation there for you.)

    Personally, marijuana has literally changed my life the past few months as far as sleep goes. I've had severe sleep problems for 10+ years, and I've tried every sleep med known, regular exercise, lighting changes, and nothing really works. In the past, I'd often be up for well over 24 hours at a time, tired as hell, and only manage to sleep a couple hours. (I believe I have Non-24.)

    Well, for the past few months, once I learned to adjust the dose correctly and such, I've been sleeping 6 - 8 hours most nights, on a NORMAL SCHEDULE. This is something I haven't been able to do since I was a teenager. It actually feels weird to wake up and have it be morning on a consistent basis!

    Now, obviously this isn't going to work for everyone. Of course marijuana will be counterproductive for certain people for certain uses, and what strain you take will of course make a difference as well. (A real problem for me, at the moment, since I'm not in a legalized state at the moment...but I will be soon!)

    So let's say I am experiencing less REM activity. Well, even if I'm only getting 50% of the REM activity as before, the total REM activity would probably still be higher since I'm sleeping so much better, and for longer uninterrupted periods. (And I doubt it's anything like 50% lower. I HAVE noticed that I am not recalling dreams as much as before, but this could be due to waking up more "naturally" while not dreaming, rather than my system randomly waking me up, sometimes in the middle of a dream.)

    Oh, and a HUGE thing I found to help is using a vaporizer. I've tried smoking marijuana in the past for my sleep problems, and had very mixed results. I'm now almost exclusively using a vaporizer (and always for sleep), and find that being able to control the temperature makes a huge difference for me. Part of this is that, as I mentioned, I'm in a non-legal my selection is limited. A more appropriate strain might be fine for me smoked (but I'd still vaporize it! :))
  20. #20 kmbike, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
    Got the cast off back in feb so I've been slacking I do ride my bike almost everyday though so I guess that's some exercise
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