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What Happens When You Go to Sleep High?

by Will Long

August 3, 2023
image of bed where people sleep

What really happens when you go to sleep high? Millions of Americans are caught up in the swell of marijuana legalization and decriminalization efforts. As a result, many are experimenting with the substance, often without fully understanding the potential repercussions. One area of concern is the effect of marijuana use on sleep.

Effects on Sleep Patterns

THC, the active compound in marijuana, can have significant impacts. It is known for inducing a state of relaxation, which can help people fall asleep faster. However, this is not always beneficial in the long term. Regular use can lead to reliance on the substance to fall asleep, potentially leading to insomnia when one tries to sleep without it.

Moreover, marijuana impacts the structure of sleep, specifically altering the stages one goes through. Research has shown that THC suppresses the REM stage, the period of sleep when dreams occur and when a lot of memory processing takes place. This can lead to less restful sleep and potentially impact cognitive function over time.

The Potential for Dependency

As with any substance, frequent use of marijuana can lead to dependency or addiction. This is a particularly important consideration in the context of sleep. If an individual starts using marijuana to help them sleep, they may find themselves unable to sleep without it, creating a problematic cycle. Dependence may also lead to withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit, including:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety

If you need help with a marijuana addiction, reach out to one of our admissions specialists or patient navigators to discuss rehab options at Landmark Recovery. Call us today at 888-448-0302.

Here’s a video on the effects of marijuana on sleep:

The Role of CBD

It’s worth noting that another compound in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), has also been associated with sleep. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a high. Some studies suggest that CBD may help with sleep by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.

However, much more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits and drawbacks. You shouldn’t rely on a substance to help you achieve natural sleep without consulting a medical professional.

A Balanced Approach to Marijuana and Sleep

It’s important to approach the issue of marijuana use for a specific reason with balance and caution. While some people may perceive short-term benefits from using marijuana, these must be weighed against the potential negative effects, particularly the possibility of dependency and impact on sleep structure. Marijuana is also illegal in many jurisdictions, requiring potential users to consult their local laws and regulations before use.

Moreover, if you are struggling with sleep, it may be worth exploring other, more sustainable strategies. Regular exercise, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and creating a sleep-friendly environment are just a few strategies that can significantly improve sleep quality without the potential pitfalls of substance use.

Learn More

If you or someone you know is struggling with dependency on marijuana or other substances, it’s essential to seek professional help. Landmark Recovery is here to guide you towards recovery with compassion and expertise. Reach out to us at 888-448-0302. Recovery is within your reach. Don’t wait to take the first step.

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About the Author

Will Long

Will Long

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Long has been a writer for Landmark Recovery since 2021. He specializes in research and writing about substance abuse from a scientific and social perspective. Unearthing information from underexplored, far-flung corners of the Internet, Long’s passion is finding emerging trends in substance use and treatment that the public should know about.