Whether someone consciously decides to stop taking a drug or is forced to do so for legal or health reasons, the process can bring about a variety of symptoms that range from unpleasant, to painful, to downright life-threatening. Therefore, it is almost never encouraged to detox by oneself. One such example of the phenomenon is the effect that withdrawing from marijuana can have on a person’s ability to sleep, which is something that can feed into the cycle of relapse and addiction. Banyan’s Heartland treatment center is looking at the relationship between insomnia and THC withdrawal.
It is widely known that smoking cannabis can bring about a variety of effects, depending on many varied factors. This can include the physical and mental faculties of the user, their ability to operate with and without the drug, how long they have been using it, and so on. One example is the effect that marijuana is known to have on insomnia. While some find themselves on edge, disoriented and anxious upon using, others find the drug to be helpful in making them fall and stay asleep.
This can be attributed to the ability of THC to act on the CB1 receptors in the central nervous system. In low doses, it has been associated with a greater ability to fall asleep and an increase in the total amount of time spent sleeping.1 This can have a positive effect on someone that struggles to sleep, but it can also present its own set of issues to be dealt with.
For instance, there are still many countries, states, and regions where cannabis is outlawed. This means that a cannabis user that travels to any of these locations runs the risk of either going for an extended period without the ability to fall asleep. Even worse, attempting to get marijuana in one of these places can put you at risk of getting into serious trouble.
If you are in a position that forces you to abstain from cannabis use, whether that be due to an addiction or other factors, there are some steps you can take to help alleviate the lack of sleep.
A key aspect of addiction recovery is replacing unhealthy habits with more beneficial ones. When trying to fall asleep, there are steps you can take to foster a more relaxed environment for a good night's rest. This can include having a set schedule of when you plan to go to bed and wake up. You can purchase candles with calming scents like lavender, which can be dedicated to getting you in the right headspace to fall asleep.
One of our favorite tactics is staying active throughout your day, like with exercise. This will help the body to grow more tired when the time comes to go to bed at night. Other options include yoga, meditation, and a warm cup of caffeine-free tea to help center your mind and ground you for the intention of rest and relaxation.
This is a big one. Technology almost acts as a stimulant, producing many of the same neurological effects that certain drugs do. This can make scrolling more addictive, while it is also proven that using electronic devices can minimize the duration of rest and cause a delay in the time that you are able to fall asleep. Even if a phone is put on silent, having the temptation right at your fingertips can be enough to send you down a night-long spiral that leaves you exhausted the following day.2
For those that find themselves caught in a cycle of relapse, insomnia, and THC withdrawal, our Heartland Detox offers a variety of resources that can help you manage your symptoms. We seek to break that cycle and replace it with more fulfilling and healthy alternatives that you can take with you once programs have been completed.