According to research by the National Sleep Foundation, 48 percent of Americans suffer from occasional insomnia while 22 percent report insomnia on a nightly basis. To combat these symptoms, approximately 10 million Americans use prescriptions sleep aids every year. These medications have a variety of side effects including headache, heartburn, stomach pain, shaking, constipation and tingling sensations. Furthermore, these drugs are both physically and psychologically addictive.
I have suffered from insomnia for over a decade. While I generally have no trouble falling asleep, the chronic insomnia that I experience is characterized by awakening 2 to 3 hours after I have gone to sleep, and then every 1 to 2 hours after that. Sometimes I will be awake for just 10 - 15 minutes, while other times I may be awake for over an hour, or perhaps not go back to sleep at all. It was during one of these prolonged periods of being awake in the middle of the night that I discovered that smoking a small amount of marijuana caused enough of a change in my mind and body to allow me to fall back asleep within minutes.
I'm not sure if this treatment method works for all types of insomnia or if it works the same for everyone, but I can assure you that using marijuana to treat my insomnia has increased my quality of life dramatically. It is widely known that indica strains have more of a calming effect than sativas, and perhaps the method with which the drug is administered could also affect treatment. Although I prefer the fast-acting effect that smoking marijuana provides, it is possible that edibles and tinctures, while having a slower onset, might have longer lasting effects.
Unfortunately, even in states where medical marijuana is legal, the use of marijuana to treat insomnia is not common practice, and there has been very little research done regarding the use of marijuana as a treatment for insomnia. If you have used marijuana to treat a sleep disorder or have other knowledge that might be useful to others suffering from sleep problems, please leave your comments here.