Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana for insomnia, trouble sleeping? 10 things you can do to help you sleep

February 5th, 2015

By: Medical Marijuana Card Doctor

Is medical marijuana appropriate to use for sleep? Sleeping is supposed to be two thirds (2/3) of your life but many patients neglect the amount of sleep they have or the quality of sleep they have. When a patient neglects the quality, amount and the schedule of sleep they often will often develop a persistent sleep disorder. When a patient comes into my office complaining of having difficulty sleeping either falling asleep or in staying asleep they are often at the end of their choices in assisting them to achieve a healthy sleep schedule.

In a completely physically healthy individual with no chronic disease, your sleep is your subconscious reflection of your minds satisfaction of your daily life. There is a center in your brain that operates on a neurological timer called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This area of the brain stores the center for your circadian rhythm. This area is in sync with an almost 24 hour repeating schedule.

What causes insomnia? Chronic insomnia can itself be a symptom of another condition such as sleep apnea, restless legs, heart disease, lung disease, kidney failure, menopause, or diabetes; therefore it is wise to consult with our doctor if you are having trouble sleeping. Insomnia can also be a derived from receiving bad news, a major change such as moving or running out of time in an overburdened busy schedule. When the body undergoes more stressors than it can handle psychiatric illnesses like depression and anxiety attacks are observed, the most notable symptom noticed by my patients is a sleep disorder.

Alternative medicine and natural remedies can be a very successful way in treating those suffering with insomnia. When administered properly by a qualified health specialist and therapist they encompass a wide variety of disciplines that include everything from diet and exercise to mental conditioning and lifestyle changes.   You may find one or more of the following alternative medicine types helpful to you.

  1. It is important to address the surroundings of where you sleep as your environment may be a factor. Irritating sounds, lighting or smells can often be a stressor that your body can’t tolerate.
  1. Five minutes of intense exercise right when you wake up in the morning helps shock or jump start your circadian rhythm in the right schedule. Morning exercise assists in getting to sleep and deepens sleep therefore, increasing your personal exercise plan may also be an advantage in getting a better night sleep.
  2. Relaxation techniques can help you to fall asleep faster and increase your sleep time, there are lots of things that you can do to improve your relaxation such as visualization which helps you relax by imagining a relaxing scene for you to sleep on. More practical is meditation which essentially involves you focusing your mind on breathing alone, and will bring your mind to the present.
  1. Acupuncture is often used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating cases of insomnia and is becoming a more popular practice in the western world.
  1. A careful look and adjustment to your diet two hours prior to bedtime is especially important to your sleep and gastro esophageal reflux can be caused by particular foods and the amount of foods. You should avoid foods with tomato sauce, alcohol, chocolate and caffeine as these medications increase the likelihood you will have reflux at night. Reflux food contents can often go down your wind pipe causing you to choke and cough and disrupt your breathing.
  1. Alternative remedies such as using the root of valerian (Valeriana officinalis), and using herbs such as chamomile, passionflower, hops, ginseng, lemon balm and skullcap have been successfully used in treating people with sleep disorders. It is to be remembered that natural remedies are not always benign, some herbal therapies can interact with other medications you may be taking, therefore is it good practice to always consult with your doctor or health care provider before you change or adjust your current medication.
  1. Many have found that taking a warm bath with appropriate aromatherapy oils added can relax the body and reduce a stressful mind to help you enjoy a comfortable rest through the night.
  1. Traditional medicine has the options of Ambien (zolpidem), Ativan (lorazepam), and Lunesta. These often come with side effects of increased drowsiness.
  1. Medical marijuana particularly cannabis Indica might be a beneficial rescue to patients with a sleep disorder that have tried multiple methods or are too sick to try the alternatives. Medical cannabis is often a palliative medication that helps those with serious disease have the comfort of sleep.
  1. Cannabis sativa can be helpful for patients suffering from depression and difficulty sleeping.

Medical marijuana is for serious medical conditions. It is important to talk with our doctor to adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

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