5 ways to get to sleep without weed

Do you use cannabis when you can’t sleep? Here are some alternatives to consider.

One of the biggest worries people have when they decide to quit weed is that they won’t be able to sleep. They think weed has helped them fall asleep and stay asleep, and without it, they’ll never have a good nights’ rest again. In fact, sleep and fear of not getting enough, is a major reason cannabis users call our Helpline – they know they are suffering some of the unwanted side effects of heavy or regular cannabis use, they want to cut down or quit, but every time they try, they end up having restless nights that seemingly can only be cured by lighting up a joint. 

The bad news is, for heavy and/or regular smokers quitting cannabis often brings with it a range of withdrawal symptoms, and one of them is that sleep can be a bit elusive and dreams can be vivid and not so pleasant. The good news is that this stage passes, and many people find once they are completely weed-free they have much better sleep than they did while they were using. The trick is persevering through the withdrawal stages, knowing there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Insomnia: When you can’t sleep

Insomnia, or not being able to sleep can be horrible, can’t it? You can spend hours tossing and turning, checking the clock and counting sheep – or just counting the endless hours until morning finally arrives. The reported causes of insomnia are many and varied – too much caffeine, overwhelming worry, lack of exercise, eating too late, or just the way your brain is wired. The list goes on and on. Drugs (such as cannabis) and alcohol can also have a significant impact on the quality of our sleep, as shown by our Helpline calls, despite many people believing a night cap or joint will help them sleep more soundly. So how can you get some sound sleep without lighting up?

Can’t sleep? Improve your sleep hygiene and clean out those bad sleep habits!

‘Sleep hygiene’ is a tool that actually encompasses a whole raft of sleepy solutions that will have you dreaming up a storm in no time. Here are five proven tips to help you sleep like a baby.

1. Avoid caffeine after noon

Sorry but that includes chocolate – particularly the dark variety! Coffee, tea, chocolate, hot chocolate, cocoa, energy drinks – they all contain caffeine and are the enemy of getting a decent night’s rest. Caffeine is a stimulant and will not do you any favours in trying to beat insomnia. Try to limit your caffeine intake and only consume it before lunchtime.

2. Make your bed as comfy as possible

Have you ever watched a dog before it settles down to sleep? Turning round and round in circles before finally curling up in a ball and drifting off into doggie dream world? What the dog is actually doing is attempting to make its bed as comfortable as possible. In the wild, this motion would have cleared leaves and other vegetation into a nice little hollow to snuggle into for the night. Try making your bed as comfy as possible, get some nice clean cosy sheets and a fluffy doona, make sure your pillows aren’t too hard or soft and use nice dim lamps to create a sleepy mood.

3. Exercise

The key here is to exercise daily, but in the morning rather than the evening. Studies have shown that evening exercise isn’t the best for sleep, as is no exercise at all.

4. Avoid drugs and alcohol

Despite many people believing a night cap or joint will help them sleep, it has been shown that using drugs such as these will not result in good quality sleep, even though they may make you feel drowsy in the short term.

5. Limit your screen time before bed

Avoiding stimulating activities before bed like playing video games, using your iPhone or laptop and watching TV will help your brain tune down and get ready for sleep. That means no TV in the bedroom or working on the laptop in bed.

If none of these ideas are helping and you’re quickly becoming comatose from lack of sleep, try not to reach for a bong or joint. Instead, go see your doctor who might be able to offer some more solutions. Beating your weed addiction is going to help in the long run too – so despite worrying that without weed you won’t get any sleep, just remember that sometimes the ‘quick fix’ solution isn’t always the most effective or long lasting. 

 

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