Article by The Fresh Toast via Growth Op
Between 50 million and 70 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic sleep disorders or intermittent sleep issues, reports the National Sleep Foundation. Additionally, approximately 30 per cent to 40 per cent of Americans will develop insomnia at some point.
Sleep problems don’t just impact work performance and stress management, though. Drowsy driving, for example, results in 1,500 deaths and 100,000 car crashes each year.
Suffice to say, everyone needs a good night’s sleep. Trying to get that, people in the U.S. spent US$41 billion on sleep aids and remedies in 2019 alone.
A study from the University of New Mexico, published in 2019 in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, found that purchases for sleep aids dropped after states legalized recreational cannabis. Researchers concluded that the negative association between over-the-counter sleep medicine and cannabis access represented a consumer preference for weed in medicating for sleep. In addition, scientists discovered in a 2008 study, published in the journal Sleep, that cannabis with high-THC content decreases the frequency of REM sleep, which is when people dream. Those who consume marijuana before bed tend to dream less, meaning less of a chance of experiencing nightmares, which would certainly be desirable for those suffering from night terrors or symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence about marijuana improving sleeping. But a group of Israeli scientists recently sought to better understand if cannabis could help chronic pain patients get to bed. In their study, published in BMJ, about half of participants were medical marijuana users and half were not. Researchers found that in the short term, cannabis quickly helped insomniac participants in the 128-person study fall asleep through the night.