In a world of ever-increasing anxiety, distractions, and demands on our time, it’s hard to get enough sleep or to wake feeling rested. At least one in every three Americans fails to get enough sleep each night. We live off of caffeine and spend all day staring at phones and computers that produce sleep-disrupting blue light—so it’s little wonder that we struggle every night to get the seven hours recommended for a good night’s sleep!
Falling asleep might be challenging, but some of us even have difficulty staying asleep. Chronic pain, insomnia, and other struggles can ruin a night’s sleep even if you get to bed on time. A lack of sound sleep can lead to a host of problems—irritability, difficulty focusing, and chronic fatigue are the most common, but it can also worsen existing health problems and contribute to new ones.
If you’re afflicted with sleeplessness, cannabis can help you drift off by calming your racing thoughts, relaxing your muscles, and easing your pain. Even after you fall asleep, cannabis can keep you from waking prematurely, so you can get a peaceful night’s rest.
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all strain of cannabis. Some strains are meant to help you unwind and get drowsy, while others do the reverse. Indica-dominant strains are generally the best for helping people get to sleep. Sativa-dominant strains can boost your energy (which means they can even heighten anxiety for some people), so you should be careful with strains high in THC. When you are trying to improve your sleep, it’s best to start with a moderate dose, or you could sample a strain that has a higher ratio of CBD to THC.
You also have to consider how you’ll ingest the strain you’ve chosen. Inhaling delivers results the fastest (usually within 15 minutes), but edible forms provide longer-lasting effects, which is desirable if you are trying to stay asleep longer. Research is necessary, and you’ll need to carefully assess your needs and consult with a doctor. You may have to try a few different strains before you find the one that works best for you.
You can start by looking into these tried-and-true strains:
- 9 Pound Hammer: A fruity strain with strong, long-lasting effects well suited to knocking out those who struggle to fall asleep.
- Afghan Kush: A nearly 100% indica strain, earthy and piney, with a taste and a sedative effect similar to hashish.
- Big Bud: A strain known for the size of its buds, it quickly provides a deep sleep.
- God’s Gift: A strain that helps provide a peaceful night’s sleep and delivers a marked high.
- Godfather OG: A typical indica strain with a strong sedative effect, used to alleviate pain and to treat sleep problems.
- Granddaddy Purple: A popular strain with a sweet berry or grape savor, it is recommended for pain, anxiety, and insomnia due to its high levels of myrcene (a terpene that promotes relaxation).
- Northern Lights: An old, psychoactive indica strain that relieves pain and induces sleep.
- Ogre: A sweet, lemony hybrid strain with high THC levels, it provides stress relief and a body-numbing high.
- Purple Urkle: A heavy, fruity indica strain with significant relaxation properties that make it excellent for falling asleep.
- Remedy: A CBD-dominant strain for those wary of getting high, it can help reduce pain, stress, and other sleep-inhibiting symptoms.
- Skywalker: A 50/50 hybrid with a fruity aroma, best used at night because of its sleepy, lazy, indica-style high.
- Sweet and Sour Widow: A strain with balanced THC and CBD levels to avoid anxiety-inducing effects and to subdue the turbulent thoughts that make it so hard to fall asleep.
- Tahoe OG Kush: A hybrid strain that is more potent than the average OG Kush, it takes effect quickly as it relaxes the muscles and slows down the body with its lazy, heavy-body effects.
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