People who regularly ingest marijuana before going to sleep generally have a hard time recalling their dreams in the morning. Because cannabis effects receptors in the brain, it can drastically impact the quality of your sleep and dreams. Conversely, when someone has been smoking marijuana for long periods of time and they stop abruptly, it can lead to them having extremely vivid dreams.
How Does Cannabis Affect My Dreams?
Marijuana affects the sleep cycle, specifically a stage known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. While medical marijuana extends the length that a person stays in deep sleep, it lessens the amount of time that is spent in REM sleep. This leads to less dreams being experienced/remembered. For people who suffer from insomnia, cannabis can provide a long relaxing nights rest, even if it’s not full of dreams! Studies show that day-to-day activities and feelings of restfulness are not affected even with a lack of REM sleep.
Nightmares During Weed Withdrawal
Regular users of marijuana experience a drastic increase in REM sleep when they stop smoking weed. This is called the REM rebound effect, which leads to longer and denser periods of REM sleep. This REM rebound explains why cannabis users often experience highly vivid dreaming when trying to quit. These dreams can sometimes be lucid, very vivid and sometimes frightening.
How do I regulate my marijuana nightmares?
There’s enough evidence to conclude that ‘REM rebound’ after halting cannabis use is real. Conversely, many people use marijuana to suppress ongoing nightmares triggered by PTSD or anxiety disorders. For people who suffer from recurring nightmares, marijuana use before bed can provide immense relief from these episodes. If you’re trying to stop smoking weed and want to avoid the REM rebound, it’s advised to taper off the amount of weed you ingest everyday and slowly extend the amount of time between when you last smoke and going to bed. This could lead to having a slow build up of the REM cycle, helping curve the outcome of having nightmares.