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Sleep is one of the most important parts of your day. A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your health. In fact, it’s just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Unfortunately, there’s a lot that can interfere with natural sleep patterns.
People are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well.
There is an overwhelming abundance of scientific data bolstering the importance of sleep:
Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function. This includes cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance.
Insomnia is a very common problem in today’s world of cell phones, iPads, and screens that give off blue light which suppress melatonin, the sleep hormone, and disrupt circadian rhythms. About 30% of the adult population in America qualifies as an insomniac, suffering from the inability to achieve a long and restful night’s sleep. A plethora of health issues can stem from poor sleep such as depression, bipolar disorder, cardiovascular issues, obesity, diabetes, among many others. Are you among that 30%?
Consider trying terpenes, essential oils, or cannabis to achieve longer, deeper, more restful sleep.
Terpinolene has a multilayered aroma with an array of smells common in cannabis; floral, piney, herbaceous, and citrusy. The scent is very clean and fresh, and for that reason terpinolene is an ingredient in many soaps and fragrances. Terpinolene is one of the least common terpenes in cannabis but plays an integral role in determining the scent and flavor of the plant. Extracted from tea tree, apples, nutmeg, conifers, and lilacs, the terpene has a sleepy effect and a proven sedative effect on mice. This quality makes terpinolene a great ingredient in a late dinner or midnight snack, especially during periods of restless, sleepless nights. Look for strains like Sensi Star, Dutch Treat, and Ace of Spades if you want the sleep-inducing effects of terpinolene.
Caryophyllene is known for its ability to relieve stress, anxiety, pain, and insomnia because of its relaxing analgesic properties. It also has a unique ability to bind directly with cannabinoid receptors, acting as both a terpene and a cannabinoid. It’s got a spicy, peppery aroma that gives black pepper and cloves their flavorful kick. You’ll find this sleep-inducing terpene in strains like Cherry Pie, Death Star, Chemdog, Sour Diesel, and Candyland.
Known for its sedative effects, myrcene is one of the most commonly occurring terpenes found in cannabis. The terpene is what dictates a strain being an indica, so strains loaded with myrcene (like Blueberry, Granddaddy Purple) are the ones to look for.
This fruity, earthy terpene can also be found in many plants like basil, thyme, lemongrass, and mangos. Certain sleep-inducing botanicals like hops and ylang-ylang contain high amounts of myrcene, and it’s thought to contribute to the “couch-lock” effect of indica strains. It’s easy to find cannabis with high amounts of myrcene, including strains like Granddaddy Purple, OG Kush, and Purple Kush.
Lavender is most commonly known for its relaxing and sedative effects. Linalool is what gives lavender it’s unique fragrance and is known for its ability to promote restful sleep. Studies show it can reduce anxiety, slow down the body, and help guard it against the damage from stress. Linalool can also increase the sedating hormone adenosine, which can aid the falling asleep faster. Linalool-rich cannabis has a beautiful floral aroma and includes strains in the Kush family, LA Confidential, and Lavender.
A bath before bed, especially loaded with a signature terpene blend, is all you'll need to achieve a deep and restorative slumber.
A warm bath has as many positive physical benefits as it does psychological. Neil Morris, a psychologist from University of Wolverhampton, found that bathing radically improved general psychological wellness and men who took warm baths every night for a fortnight experienced a reduction in depression and pessimism. Morris attributed this to the nightly combination of isolation, quiet, and comfort, to our once peaceful and carefree existence in the womb. It could also have something to do with a warm bath’s ability to reduce muscle pain, lower blood pressure, and induce production of the sleep hormone melatonin as the body’s temperature drops after exiting a warm bath too.
A warm bath with the following oils will ease tension and calm the mind for a healthy night’s sleep:
Another useful technique is dabbing a tissue with lavender oil and placing it under the pillowcase. Lavender oil contains linalool, a terpene which boosts sleep efficacy and reduces anxiety.
Sleepy Blend- Bergamot, Chamomile, Lemongrass, Lavender, Marjoram, Neroli, Sandalwood. Any combination of these oils will provide a calming, relaxing night's sleep.
Psychologists at Wesleyan University in Connecticut had 31 men and women sniff lavender essential oil one night – and then distilled water the following night. Researchers monitored their sleep cycles with brain scans and found that lavender increased slow-wave sleep, instrumental for slowing heartbeat and relaxing muscles.
Maintaining a sleep pattern is integral in maintaining energy and expelling lethargy. Hitting the snooze button is one of the worst ways to start your day. When your alarm goes off in the morning, you’re usually nearing the end of your last REM cycle. If you wake up and get yourself out of bed, the REM cycle ends. If you hit the snooze button and go back to sleep, though, you go right back into the REM cycle. But when your alarm clock goes off a second, third, or fourth time it wakes you up in the middle of REM instead of at the end of REM. As a result, you end up feeling foggy, groggy, and disoriented. Not the best way to start your day.
For those who struggle to get out of bed, there are alarm clock diffusers which you can purchase and program to vaporize terpenes a few minutes before waking you to provide a morning boost of energy. These oils can provide an additional energy enhancement but should not be relied upon. Besides for the oils, a healthy diet, restful, habitual sleep, and maintaining an active lifestyle are other natural ways to obtain natural energy.
Also, consider reducing the amount of blue light you take in everyday. Try lowering the settings on any devices, purchasing blue light filtering glasses, and making sure you never hit the snooze button.
Whether you're looking for an insomnia cure, or simply aim to create a more structured sleep schedule, consider experimenting with terpenes and essential oils.