There’s nothing worse than struggling to get to sleep, then feeling worn out and unable to focus the following day. Poor sleep can lead to problems with blood pressure, driving ability, communication skills and general mood. Nobody wants to feel like that day after day, especially if they mainly use weed to help them relax and nod off. Hearing about the negative effects quitting weed can have on sleep can make quitting a scary prospect, but it pays to learn more about it rather than relying on scare stories and rumours.
What is insomnia?
There are all kinds of annoying things that come under the umbrella of insomnia. You may find it difficult to drop off, or fall asleep easily but struggle to stay that way. Or your sleep may be fine for a few hours then you wake up and just lie there for hours checking the clock every few minutes. Anyone can suffer from insomnia, and for those withdrawing from marijuana use the chances of falling victim to it are pretty high.
The risk of sleep problems during the quitting process
Current research pegs this figure at around 50-50 for insomnia, plus in some cases there may be other sleep issues like vivid dreams or nightmares thrown into the mix. Of course, not everyone who stops smoking weed experiences sleep problems, but the following factors make it more likely.
- Age – older people have a much higher chance of insomnia
- A heavy smoking habit, ex, more than once daily
- A long term weed smoking history – using for months or years
- Top grade weed smokers
- Pre – existing tendencies towards depression or anxiety
Why does quitting weed mess with your sleep?
The most obvious way is anxiety triggered by the general withdrawal process. This makes sleeping difficult, which in turn makes insomnia more likely. Another big problem is that the THC in weed interferes with normal sleep patterns, causing users to actually get too relaxed while sleeping. No wonder so many people make strong associations between smoking weed and good sleep, or find they have problems getting to sleep after quitting.
Struggling with sleep problems is the most common reason people fail to give up weed, so being prepared before deciding to quit is vital. While younger, light and short term weed smokers may be able to escape the perils of sleep problems after they stop, other simply need to go with it, and allow their brain time to adjust to a new way of functioning. The good news is that the worst of these sleep disturbances should pass in a few days, or definitely by two weeks has passed for previously heavy weed smokers.