Work out every morning. I usually do a cardio workout—like a bootcamp style class, or a run or fast walk—to get my heart pumping, and ensure that my body is tired enough to fall asleep that night. If I don't work out and spend most of the day sitting at my desk, I often find that I'm just buzzing at bedtime from excess energy. If I work out in the evening, I try to stick to something relaxing like yoga so that I can unwind after work.
A quick word on sleep aids. First of all, if you're considering prescription sleep aids, you should talk to your doctor about all of the options because there are so many. All I can share with you is my personal experience with them: In college, I was prescribed Ambien, which I took so rarely that I still have about 15 from the bottle of 30 I was prescribed. That being said, it worked like a charm and could knock me out in 30 seconds flat (really). A subsequent doctor told me that Ambien may be linked to Alzheimer's and instead prescribed me Trazodone, an anti-anxiety medication that's less effective for me but, according to my own doctor, safer. The only time I ever take Trazodone is to help me sleep on long flights, but I usually just take my THC/CBD tincture at home.
Counting sheep doesn't work, but this does. The most important thing about waking up in the middle of the night is training yourself to recognize it right away, then do the following trick while you're still groggy, before you've started going through your mental to-do list. My boyfriend's mom taught me to think of a category like "Things you'd find a farmers market" and begin naming items that you'd find there, that start with each letter of the alphabet in order ("Apples, beets, carrots, Daikon radish. "). It takes up just enough brain capacity that it holds your mind on it, and off of your racing thoughts, until you're able to fall back asleep.
What better a place to begin a post on insomnia than at four in the morning, typing into the glow of my laptop at the tail-end of a sleepless night? I've struggled with sleep for my entire life. My mom claims that all of my baby photos are of me sleeping because it was so rare that she would snap a photo any time it happened. In elementary school, I went to a therapist who recommended I try "counting sheep," as if the imagery of bellwethers prancing over a fence was the key I'd been missing. In high school, I went to a sleep specialist who essentially confirmed, "It looks like you're a restless sleeper."
The most well-known and probably most researched cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). We know that THC is the cannabinoid that leads to the “buzz or high” from cannabis use.
Cannabinoids attach to these cells and have various effects. As far as how they may affect sleep, some research indicates that the cannabinoid CBD may interact with specific receptors, potentially affecting the sleep/wake cycle.
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The participants were treated using the cannabis flower with varied combustion methods including vape, pipe, and joint. THC potency on average was 20 percent and limited to 30 percent. CBD potency was on average 5.7 percent and limited to 30 percent. After using cannabis, participants rated symptoms on average to be 2.2, which was a decrease of 4.5.