How does Marijuana disrupt your sleep?

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Marijuana, particularly THC, can significantly disrupt sleep in several ways. One major impact is on REM sleep. THC tends to block REM sleep, which is crucial for dreaming and overall sleep quality. Consequently, users often experience fewer dreams or don't remember their dreams. When they stop using THC, there's a rebound effect leading to vivid and intense dreams as the brain tries to recover the REM sleep it missed 1 2.

Moreover, while THC can help individuals fall asleep faster, this benefit diminishes over time as tolerance builds, requiring higher doses for the same effect. This can lead to dependency and potentially severe rebound insomnia when stopping use. Insomnia during withdrawal is so common that it is included in the clinical diagnostic criteria for cannabis withdrawal 3 2.

Marijuana and Sleep

Matt explains that THC in marijuana can speed up the onset of non-consciousness, but it disrupts the architecture of sleep and blocks REM sleep. People using THC may not remember their dreams, but when they stop using it, they experience a rebound mechanism, leading to intense dreams.

Huberman Lab

Dr. Matthew Walker: The Science & Practice of Perfecting Your Sleep | Huberman Lab Podcast #31
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Both THC and alcohol can induce a state that feels like sleep but disrupt the overall architecture and depth of sleep, leading to less restorative sleep overall. This impacts the natural progression of sleep stages, particularly the slow-wave sleep early in the night and REM sleep later on 3 1.

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