Often when I first engage with clients wishing to quit using cannabis products they raise the topic of how to achieve a proper nights rest without smoking their regular pre-bedtime ‘joint’ ;.In many cases there is evidence to declare that the grim feeling arising from sleep deprivation acts since the catalyst for relapse. So the question for anyone wishing to smooth the passage right through to becoming free of a dependence on marijuana is: What can be done to get that great night’s sleep that seems so elusive?
Why Can’t I Sleep! – Whoever has been via a period inside their life when they’ve experienced insomnia will vouch regarding the affect it has on a person’s overall well-being. It is simple to imagine therefore the increased impact that fitful sleep patterns have on those also struggling with the myriad of other consequences arising when breaking away from a dependence on cannabis. In my practice as a Cannabis Cessation Specialist the first step is to comprehend in every person case to what ratio the issues are physical versus psychological.
For example ‘Bob’, in his capacity as a cafe Owner, has for many years spent his evenings consuming large volumes of coffee and then returning home and smoking marijuana for 2 hours just before sleep. Bob’s attempt to quit smoking without adjusting his evening caffeine intake leaves him with a largely physical reason for his insomnia.
In another case ‘Tony’ is becoming used to using cannabis in the evenings as a way of expelling the huge stress he feels whilst performing his job as a Stockbroker. When he doesn’t smoke in the evening his anxiety levels raise to such a height that dispelling active thoughts related to work becomes impossible, as does then sleep.
Exactly what do I really do? – Long lasting primary reason for your sleep issues the kick off point has to be an honest appraisal of precisely what your routine is. It is essential to detail all facets of one’s typical evening activity. So begin by assessing your own personal situation and remember to add; your mood patterns; food intake; exercise; alcohol consumption; any brain energizing intensive computer gaming; the conventional time period between going to bed and sleeping; reading habits; TV time. Then try and apply these useful rules:
No caffeine after 6.00pm. This means all drinks containing caffeine and vast quantities of sugar. So beware not only coffee and various kinds of tea, but in addition avoid most fizzy drinks and hot chocolate products too. Remember a lot of ‘off the shelf’ painkillers are packed saturated in caffeine so read the label carefully or avoid altogether.
Get ‘ready’ for bed. A routine of drifting off to sleep before the T.V. then waking in the early hours and trudging upstairs to bed won’t give you the quality unbroken sleep period that you might want to feel fresh and energized in the morning. So set a period (no later than 11.30 is a good general rule), brush your teeth, climb into your chosen sleep clothes and hit the bedroom.
Clear your brain and relax into sleep. 15 minutes reading whilst in bed is acceptable, as is listening for some mood music. Personalized hypnotic suggestion recordings can be a valuable aid to sleep (avoid the off the shelf mass market products – weed delivery only those produced designed for you are of any value). Computers and televisions are a certain no in the bedroom. Mobile phones need to be left in another room (no excuses on this 1 – if you want to use the alarm function on your mobile phone then go buy yourself an alarm clock. In terms of sleeping with it under your pillow – forget it!)
Don’t swap dope for booze! Yes two bottles of red wine may appear to be a good way to doze off but you are simply exchanging one bad situation with another. Go with a green tea instead and you’ll enjoy the relaxing feeling that arises from a component called Theanine. Of course, keep fluid intake in moderation as needing to wake three times in the night to see the bathroom is going to do nothing for your sense of vitality in the morning.
Avoid nicotine. I usually recommend that clients quit all smoking when they are withdrawing from cannabis use. Late night nicotine acquired through tobacco smoking will sabotage any effort that’s made to gain restful sleep. If you are using nicotine ‘patches’ as part of your tobacco smoking cessation (there are better methods for nearly all people) then these must be removed in the early evening – wanting to sleep with nicotine pouring into the body is hopeless, and the bizarre dreams that patch users report offer no help those seeking sleep.
Correct your melatonin levels. When you have not been fuelling the body with healthy foods and providing the right vitamins and nutrients for melatonin to be naturally produced, then there might well be a case for giving your levels a ‘boost’ ;.Make no mistake you will need this hormone to sleep. If it is dark (a dark bedroom is a ‘must have’ for a restful night) melatonin begins to work its magic inside your brain and enables you to sleep quicker and maintain deep sleep longer. Take as a complement around one hour before you desire to sleep. You’ll feel far more refresh whenever you awake. I would recommend my clients always buy a synthetic melatonin product not just one that’s labelled as natural. ‘Natural’ melatonin supplements are produced from extracts of the pineal gland of animals (mostly sheep) and must be avoided.
Add exercise to your life. Even it is just a brisk walk for twenty minutes the addition of daily exercise gives structure to your internal body clock. The fitter you are the higher your sleep will be. The only real exception to the ‘exercise is good’ rule is late evening high heartrate activity. If the sole time you may get to work through is in the evening then allow the absolute minimum 3 hours between exercise and sleep, or you’ll be wanting to rest whilst the body is still in a charged state. Of course you can find types of exercise which are ideally suitable for making a more enjoyable mind and body such as for example Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi – all are strongly suggested by those clients of mine who’ve adopted them as part of their overall commitment to personal well-being.