Dear Nurse... Health & Wellness

Why Can’t I Sleep After Consuming Cannabis?

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Dear Nurse Olga, I have a horrible time falling asleep. I tried an Indica vape pen and it actually kept me up all night. What’s the deal?

-Tired & Confused

Dear Tired & Confused,

In general, indicas are believed to be most effective for pain and sleep, while sativas are most helpful with mood disorders and give you a boost of energy. It’s not an exact science, however. Realistically, because of how each strain’s unique terpene profile interacts with your body, you may find that what works best for everybody else does not work for you.

Sometimes a strain is listed as an indica when it’s really a hybrid that lacks the specific indica terpene that helps with combatting insomnia. If this is the case, then you may need something that fits the indica profile more closely, such as a Landrace strain.

It’s possible that vaping is not the best way for you to take in your THC at night. Consider trying edibles before bedtime, which stay in your system far longer and may help get you to sleep and stay asleep.

Some research suggests that using CBD throughout the day can also improve the quality of your sleep.

Your sleep hygiene is also important. Try to have a daily routine you do to wind down and get ready for bed, and start your bedtime routine at the same time each night. Even though you are probably tired from lack of sleep, try to avoid napping during the day. Make sure your sleep environment is quiet and comfortable, with no television, smartphones, or other distractions.

Olga Hall has been a registered nurse for 15 years in many different settings.  When she started seeing more and more patients coming into the emergency room after overdosing on prescribed narcotics, she began researching the benefits of cannabis for pain management.  Olga’s goal is to help end the suffering she has seen first hand by teaching others how to integrate cannabis into their lives.  You can find her on Instagram at @thecannabisnurse.

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