How does Marijuana disrupt your sleep?


Marijuana, specifically its component THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), disrupts the architecture of sleep, affecting the depth and the electrical brainwave signature of sleep. THC can speed the onset of non-consciousness but also blocks REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, leading to fewer dreams or dream recall. This suppression of REM sleep can trigger a rebound mechanism, where intense dreams occur once THC is discontinued 1. Additionally, regular use of THC for sleep can result in dependency and tolerance, where more THC is needed for the same sleep-inducing effect, and stopping its usage can lead to severe rebound insomnia 2.

Furthermore, mentions that substances that increase serotonin or GABA, like alcohol and THC, will disrupt the overall sequencing of sleep—diminishing both slow-wave sleep early in the night and REM sleep later in the night 3. Therefore, while some individuals may feel that they can fall asleep faster with THC, the quality of sleep is compromised, and the sleep is not as restorative as it should be.

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