About Insomnia

As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

 

Insomnia:   Prolonged and usually abnormal inability to (In-som-ni-a)  get enough sleep.

 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2016 that, in the US, 35% of adults didn’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. Their reports cite some 50 to 70 million adults with at least one form of sleeping disorder. Sixty percent of those experiencing insomnia due to some type of chronic health issue.

 

Insomnia can be short term or long term. While anyone can experience insomnia, it disproportionately affects women and people over 65 years old.

 

People suffering from insomnia have a hard time falling asleep at night and also wake up frequently during the night even after they fall asleep. This leads to feeling unrested during the day causing irritability, anxiety, and reduced mental processing abilities.

 

What Causes Insomnia

Short-term insomnia, or transient insomnia, can be caused by recent events in one’s life, stress or illness, and anxiety. Disrupting sleep patterns or the body’s circadian rhythm can also cause transient insomnia. For example, noisy neighbors, jetlag, or drastic changes in temperature, or altering of sleep/wake patterns can all be causes of short-term insomnia.

 

Chronic insomnia, or long-term insomnia, is caused by a variety of factors. It could be the result of an underlying serious health condition or injury. Psychological disorders, such as bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders, also increase the risks of experiencing insomnia.

 

Normal Treatments for Insomnia

Those experiencing insomnia should first consider treating potential underlying causes of sleeplessness. It is suggested that people who suffer insomnia receive basic behavioral counseling about sleep hygiene and stimulus control.

 

For people suffering from long-term chronic insomnia, doctors prescribe cognitive behavioral therapy as well as medications like [benzodiazepines], nonbenzodiazepine sedatives, melatonin agonists, doxepin, and suvorexant, which are commonly referred to as sleeping pills.

 

While CBT and medications for insomnia are both effective in treating short-term insomnia, the medications have a much higher risk of negative and harmful side effects, especially in the long-term.

 

Negative Side Effects of Insomnia Medications

A meta-analysis of common medications prescribed by doctors to treat insomnia concluded that sleeping pills work in short-term to treat insomnia, but not without multiple potentially harmful side effects.

 

In the study, patients being treated with [benzodiazepine] reported daytime drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Sleeping pills are known to be addictive and are usually used in combination with other harmful prescription medications such as [opioids] and [antidepressants].

 

  •   Fatal overdose – Taking sleeping pills frequently with other medications increases their sedative-hypnotic side effects. Combining benzodiazepine with alcohol can lead to death.
  •   Psychomotor Retardation – In short, this drug intoxicates the brain and body. Ataxia, dysarthria, motor incoordination, muscle weakness, and mental confusion are commonly experienced.
  •   Paradoxical Disinhibition – Mood swings. Increased excitement, Irritability, aggression, hostility and impulsivity. Rage, violence or antisocial behaviors. Most commonly noticed in children, the elderly, or those with developmental disabilities.
  •   Emotional Blunting and Depression – Benzodiazepine has been associated with depression and suicidal thoughts in patients who take high doses or are addicted.
  •   Addiction – Drugs in sleeping pills stop working effectively quickly after regular use begins. This leads to higher doses, which have shown to give rise to physiologic and psychological dependence.  With some drugs, addiction can develop in as little as one month.
  •   Withdrawal – The most serious acute withdrawal symptoms of these drugs are seizures and delirium tremens. More common short-term symptoms of withdrawal are anxiety, autonomic instability, sensory hypersensitivity and of course, insomnia.
  •   Long-Term Withdrawal – A syndrome observed by addictionologists described as anxiety, depression, and insomnia, affecting the gastrointestinal, neurologic and musculoskeletal systems. Protracted abstinence syndrome is even seen when patients are properly weaned from the drug, thought to be the result of chronic neuroadaptation.

 

Due to the harmful side effects of from normal insomnia medications, many doctors have moved from prescribing benzodiazepine-based drugs to using sedative anti-depressant medications to treat insomnia. They are slightly less addictive but still synergize with benzodiazepine and alcohol, making them highly dangerous for risk of fatal abuse. They have also been reported to cause vivid nightmares, rebound insomnia, and put children at great risks for suicide and depression.

 

Current Research on Medical Marijuana and Insomnia

While it’s well known that [THC]-heavy [Indica] strains are indicative of being powerful sleep aids and muscle relaxers. Studies show that long-term THC overuse may have negative side effects on normal sleep.

 

Current research shows that the [terpenes] found in cannabis, and other plants and fruits, may be responsible for the sleepiness, and other symptoms, experienced from [high-THC strains] like, [[9-pound hammer]]. This is why different strains of similar THC/CBD profiles have unique effects.

 

One of the most common terpenes found in cannabis is [Myrcene], which in itself has sedative effects. Indica strains have been shown to have the highest concentrations of Myrcene. Mangoes and mint have high levels of Myrcene as well. Myrcene is a known analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic. It also works within our [endocannabinoid system], synergizing with THC helping to increase its relaxing and sedative effects.

 

Marijuana will affect each person differently, but most can be assured to experience a good night’s sleep. Consult with a physician and medical marijuana professional about using cannabis, and check out these strains that can help with insomnia and sleeping problems.

 

·   [[24 k Gold]]

·   [[3X Crazy]]

·   [[9 Pound Hammer]]

·   [[Abusive OG]]

·   [[Ace of Spades]]

·   [[Afghan Kush]]

·   [[Afghani]]

·   [[Afgoo]]

·   [[Afgooey]]

·   [[Alien Dawg]]

·   [[Avalon]]

·   [[Banana Kush]]

·   [[Banana OG]]

·   [[Big Bang]]

·   [[Big Bud]]

·   [[Black Domina]]

·   [[Black Ice]]

·   [[Black Jack]]

·   [[Blackberry Kush]]

·   [[Blackwater]]

 

Sources:

https://www.trendstatistics.com/health/9-fascinating-insomnia-sleep-statistics/

http://www.cmaj.ca/content/162/2/225.short

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0401/p2121.html

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-insomnia-in-adults#H1050407327

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11920-017-0775-9

https://www.fundacion-canna.es/en/variations-terpene-profiles-different-strains-cannabis-sativa-l

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