Sleep Inhibitors Part II: Alcohol and Marijuana
The Dreamers Company wants to help you get your best night’s sleep. Good sleep is the foundation of great health, so we designed the DreamTech Sleep Lens. Our sleep glasses block 99.9% of artificial blue and green light allowing your body to naturally produce the sleep hormone melatonin.
One of the side effects of ageing is the gradual narrowing of our own horizons. The more we learn and understand the more we choose to disregard information. The more we ignore the obvious. This isn’t, by a rule, a bad thing. We overlook things about our friends, partners, family, jobs, we scan for what we know and like, while ignoring what we don’t. Understanding the psychology behind this wilful blindness can help us fight the impulses of habits we wish we could change.
ALCOHOL & MARIJUANA:
There are a number of misconceptions around alcohol consumption and marijuana usage and how they can affect our sleep patterns – ‘A night cap helps me sleep,’ ‘Alcohol/Marijuana reduces my anxiety and helps me sleep,’ or even ‘I have the craziest dreams when I drink.’ While none of these are scientifically true, they all defiantly prioritise sleep quantity over quality.
Both alcohol and marijuana are classified as depressants, and alcohol is further classified as a sedative. However, being a sedative is very different to being a sleep agent. While both substances may help you sleep for a long period of time, they also impede your brain’s ability to reach Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. During REM sleep your cardiovascular system is subject to immense acceleration and deceleration, your sympathetic nervous system is kicked into overdrive – preparing your body to respond to external threats, and your arms and legs will suffer temporary paralysis, and skipping this stage of your sleep can be incredibly harmful to your overall well being.
Each stage of sleep has unique and separate functions, and short-changing or skipping a stage is hardly advantageous. When we deny our brain from reaching REM sleep it cleverly keeps track of how much dream sleep that we have missed, waiting until the alcohol or marijuana is out of our system. Once sober we are flooded with vivid dreams that may be exciting but again, drastically impact our quality of sleep.
We continue to try and find ways around the necessity of sleep, excuses to tell ourselves what we need and don’t need. But the truth that we are sometimes wilfully blind to realise is that we are not smarter than the process of evolutionary sleep. We here at Dreamers believe we all need to reclaim our right to a full night of sleep.
Image credit: Rachael Rae Show