MMJ & Meditation to Naturally Promote Sleep
Suffering from Insomnia? Cannabis + Meditation Techniques to Naturally Promote Sleep
Almost everyone can relate to losing sleep over stresses about work, family, or other personal issues at some time or another. For others living with chronic pain or autoimmune disorders, sleep may be elusive for physical reasons. While sleep disturbances are a common problem, sleep is unquestionably one of the most important aspects to overall health. Yet, the CDC estimates that 50-70 million people suffer with insomnia and other sleep disorders on a regular or occasional basis. Insomnia is also more common in women, says the Cleveland Clinic.
What are the Health Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep?
Lack of sleep (especially cumulative loss of sleep) can have negative effects on both physical and emotional well-being. Sleep-deprived drivers are said to be at a three-fold risk for car accidents, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Lowered immunity, cardiovascular problems, and weight gain are some of the most common consequences of chronic sleep deprivation, says the National Institutes of Health.
Conventional & Holistic Treatments for Insomnia and Sleep Problems
Prescription sleep aids can have serious health risks, including daytime memory and performance problems, allergic reactions, prolonged drowsiness, weight gain, and more, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Lifestyle changes can also help improve sleep quality, including establishing a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading or taking a bath. During the day, getting adequate exercise can help, avoiding activity too close to bedtime.
How Cannabis + Meditation Techniques Can Help Naturally Promote Sleep
Cannabis has been shown to be an effective and safe sleep aid for many people, with certain strains reported to be especially beneficial, reports Leafly. Cannabis can help address nearly all the common reasons behind sleep problems, from relaxing anxious thoughts to reducing pain and more. Combined with use of meditation techniques, insomnia sufferers have an even greater chance of overcoming prevalent sleep issues by forming healthier long-term habits and patterns.
Best Cannabis Strains for Sleep and Insomnia
The two most common cannabinoids in cannabis are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD is well-known for its health benefits without the “high”, versus THC, which has psychoactive properties, reports Healthline. As a general rule of thumb, when looking for a cannabis strain for sleep, look for high-THC, indica-dominant strains.
Some of Leafly’s top picks for sleep-inducing cannabis strains include:
- Granddaddy Purple – ideal for pain-related sleep loss, this relaxing indica strain helps induce sleepiness and ease aches, with a berry and grape flavor.
- Afghan Kush – also great for assisting with falling sleep, this heavily bodied indica calms racing thoughts and melts away pain for a soothed night’s rest.
- Northern Lights – perhaps the most well-known strain for insomnia, this decades’ old classic has garnered fame for its potent THC effects, which can help cure chronic sleeplessness in even the toughest cases. Note: Not a beginner strain due to high THC content. Always start slow and increase dosage for best results.
How Mantras and Meditation Can Help You Sleep
Unless edibles or other long-acting cannabis products are used, which are not always available in all medical marijuana states, staying asleep for the entire duration of the night may not be possible with a single cannabis night cap alone.
As a result, this can mean having to get up and out of bed for another dose in the middle of the night, which can be undesirable for many people. Utilizing a meditation technique at this point can be a beneficial way to extend the relaxation effects without leaving the comfortable covers behind.
A combination of meditation and mantra techniques can work effectively for both falling asleep as well as staying asleep, both which are pretty common with insomnia. With repeated practice the results often get better with time.
Meditation to Help Fall Asleep (Or Stay Asleep)
Guided meditations are amazing for rest, as you're encouraged to close your eyes, sink into a comfortable position, and relax your muscle groups. From instrumental music to visualization, to gentle spoken words, there are guided meditations for everyone. Sometimes, the mind still wanders, despite the sound of a soothing voice or soft music. However, hearing the music or voice of a guided mediation can help stop clock watching and encourage the mind and body to return to a sleepy state. Get one of the many apps available to quickly turn one on, then get your head back on the pillow.
How Mantras Can Help You Sleep (Or Stay Asleep)
Mantras have been very effective before sleep to quiet the mental to-do lists still running through the brain. Pick a simple mantra or affirmation, and just let the other thoughts go. For more tips on using a mantra, check out this blog.
Like the guided meditation, the mind may wander. It's ok, just return to repeating the mantra. Tossing and turning can induce a mini anxiety attack, with each passing minute logged as "lost sleep". Don't do this to yourself... just turn to your preferred meditation technique, and get back into a more peaceful state.
Yoga Nidra to Feel More Rested
The day after a night of insomnia can feel like a bad hangover. Energy levels are low, and the entire body feels fatigued and drained. To help feel more replenished and get through the day, many people turn to the practice of yoga nidra meditation. Many also choose to supplement their yoga practice with an uplifting sativa or hybrid cannabis strain.
Yoga nidra (Sanskrit for “yogic sleep”) is defined as a state of consciousness that lies between being awake and asleep, like the "going-to-sleep" stage. The benefits of yoga nidra are said to include both emotional and physical healing.
Yoga nidra is similar to an extended savasana, lasting about an hour. Bolsters and props may be used to make the posture more comfortable. Whether you attend a live class with an instructor or listen on an app, the experience is usually the same. The teacher assists in directing awareness to the body and breath, while often conjuring up imagery to more easily transition into a blissful and hypnotic state that leaves you feeling rested afterward.