According to the America Sleep Association (ASA), 50-70 million US adult citizens struggle with sleep disorders. These conditions impact the quality and time an individual sleeps, and thereby, the functionality of the subject.
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A variety of factors may cause sleep disorders, some of which could indicate underlying medical conditions. Among the most common sleeping disorders include:
- Insomnia– This is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty in falling or staying asleep. People who have insomnia struggle with fatigue, sleepiness, low concentration, and bad moods.
- Sleep apnea– A condition that brings about interrupted breathing during sleep. That is, patients with sleep apnea stop breathing several times during their sleep. Sleep apnea can be obstructive, where the airway is blocked or centralized, especially when the brain fails to tell your body to breathe.
- Restless legs syndrome– this sleep disorder is characterized by an irresistible urge to move your leg. Due to the uncomfortable sensation in the legs, the people struggling with RLS find it challenging to fall or stay asleep.
- Narcolepsy– Narcolepsy is a neurological sleeping disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness. Patients struggle with sudden sleep attacks, making it dangerous for them to run the simple day to day operations.
Causes of Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders often arise when the body’s natural cycles for sleep and wakefulness are interrupted. These factors can be physical, medical, psychological, or environmental. Others, such as narcolepsy, could be passed down genetically.
- Physical causes– These are chronic conditions that impair sleep quality and quantity. They include heartburns, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, heart diseases, kidney diseases, thyroids, headaches, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain from arthritis.
- Medical conditions– As mentioned, sleep disorders could result from airway blockage. Some medical conditions that could lead to blockage include asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. These medical conditions result in the production of excess sputum, which blocks the airway.
- Psychological causes– According to a study conducted by the Harvard Medical School, mental health and sleep are closely related. Sleep deprivation affects your mental health, and the state of your mental health affects your sleep patterns. Therefore, sleep disorders can easily manifest in patients struggling with anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, bipolar disorder, and temporary stress.
- Environmental causes– These are factors in your immediate environs that prevent you from falling asleep. Some of these include bright lights, snoring from your partner, noise, or even extreme temperatures.
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Effects of Sleep Disorders
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, NCBI, the cumulative effects of sleep disorders are detrimental to the human body. These include increased risks of obesity, hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. When not well-rested, the human body develops numerous sleep-related psychiatric, neurological, medical, and circadian rhythm disorders.
When not treated, sleep disorders end up taking a toll on the subject. Not only that, but they also pose a danger to the general public. Mortality, accidents and injuries, functionality, and morbidity, plus becoming a risk to others, are concerns associated with sleep disorders.
How Does Cannabis Help With Sleep Disorders?
Recent research conducted on Cannabis, cannabinoids, and sleep shows that cannabidiol, CBD can treat insomnia. On the other hand, synthetic cannabinoids, such as nabilone and dronabinol, have a short-term resolve for sleep apnea.
Medical marijuana has repeatedly proven to be a powerful solution to chronic pain caused by arthritis, spinal cord injuries, and cancer. When treated, patients can get rid of some of the physical causes that lead to sleep deprivation. Also, CBD has shown promise to ease the effects of rapid eye movement, REM, sleep disorder, and excessive sleepiness during the daytime.
On the other hand, nabilone reduces PTSD-related nightmares and improve sleep quality and quantity among patients struggling with chronic pain.
Preferred Marijuana Strains for Sleep Disorders
In a study comprising of adults using marijuana for mental and physical wellbeing, 50% of the group used Cannabis for insomnia, while 8.5% used it for nightmares. From this sample group, a considerable number had a preference for the Sativa strain for their nightmares, rather than Indica strains. For those dealing with insomnia, they preferred using Cannabis with a higher CBD concentration.
If your body does not respond negatively to THC strains, the compound is a reliable option for dealing with insomnia due to its sedating effects. However, if you develop anxiety after consuming THC, go easy on them.
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When Should You See a Medic?
Even though many people may struggle with a lack of sleep every once-in-a-while, you should seek medical intervention if insomnia starts to impact your life adversely. As part of the standard procedure, MMJDoctors can connect you to a marijuana-friendly physician to help with the examination of your condition and also evaluate your overall medical history. Your doctor can then help you determine if there’s an unknown cause for your insomnia. Together with your medic, you can plan the most suitable treatment strategy to help alleviate the sleep-deprivation concern.
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