Can Cannabis Help Address America’s Lack Of Sleep Crisis?

February 13, 2023by Cathy McCorquodale0

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, “In America, 70% of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night. It is estimated that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes. 

Sleep Deprivation Individual And Economic Factors

America is facing a dangerous lack of sleep crisis that has the potential to ruin one’s life. Sleep deprivation causes many physical and mental issues – obesity, diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, and anxiety. Allowing a lack of sleep to continue for long periods can weaken the immune system, making one vulnerable to illnesses. Sleep deprivation can lead to death in extreme situations, particularly for those who operate heavy machinery or have suicidal tendencies.

In addition to ruining one’s health, lack of sleep can acerbate the destruction of the US economy, which is in a precarious situation with the one-two punch of a recession and inflation. Sleep-deprived employees impact productivity, making one less alert, leading to increased mistakes. These workers tend to produce less and have higher absenteeism and workplace accidents. Healthcare costs can then skyrocket with the compounding effects of sleep deprivation across communities and a decrease in earnings and economic output.

Why America Is Sleep Deprived And Potential Remedies

Americans lead the world in having high rates of anxiety. They are under constant stress from both a personal and professional perspective. Americans are prone to poor habits – staying up late watching tv, overindulgence on their smartphones, and poor dietary and exercise habits. 

Possible ways to treat the lack of sleep disorder can include:

  • Creating a worthy sleep environment
  • Establishing a bedtime routine
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing consumption of caffeine and alcohol
  • Seeking treatment for health disorders
  • Practicing relaxation techniques

In addition to this list, cannabis is gaining popularity in helping address sleep disorders.

Using Cannabis To Alleviate A Sleep Deprived Nation

In a National Library of Medicine study, cannabis can help with one’s sleep deprivation. Its uses go back centuries for medicinal purposes, though now, as legalization grows, it is becoming more prevalent, especially in the veteran community, to deal with sleeplessness when dealing with PTSD. The THC ingredient in cannabis is responsible for the therapeutic effects helping one’s ability to sleep.

Using cannabis can help promote sleep by:

  • Reducing anxiety and stress levels which are two main factors that cause sleep disorders makes it easier to fall and stay asleep
  • Bringing down pain and inflammation, reducing the need for sleep aids or pain pills
  • Inducing a sedative effect where the THC binds to specific receptors in one’s brain, releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that’s tied to relaxation and pleasure, which promotes feelings of calm and relaxation
  • Regulating the sleep-wake cycle where cannabis can mitigate disruptions in one’s sleep patterns by controlling the release of natural hormones like melatonin

The use of cannabis is not a cure-all for sleep disorders. It can be part of a comprehensive solution that includes a pivot to a healthier lifestyle that includes diet and exercise, which many aren’t willing to change as it’s too hard and difficult.


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