What Happens When You Sleep High

What Happens When You Sleep High?

Sleeping after consuming marijuana is a common practice for many people. However, there is an ongoing debate about the safety and effects of sleeping while high. With approximately 16% of Americans using cannabis or THC products, it’s important to understand the potential risks and benefits of this practice.

If you’re looking for the answers to such questions as “Does weed make you tired?”, “Does weed make you sleep?” and, most importantly, “Is it safe to sleep when you’re high?” you will find them in this comprehensive guide. Let’s dive in and uncover the facts about sleeping while high.

Understanding the Effects of Different Cannabis Strains on Sleep

When it comes to the effects of cannabis on sleep, the strain of marijuana plays a significant role. The two main strains of marijuana are Indica and Sativa, each with its distinct characteristics.

Indica strains are known for their relaxing properties, making them the preferred choice for sleep. On the other hand, Sativa strains are believed to be more energizing. The differences in effects are attributed to the varying composition of cannabinoids and terpenes in each strain.

Cannabis interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which are responsible for regulating anxiety and the body’s fight-or-flight response. When these receptors are activated, they induce a sense of calmness and fatigue, making you feel sleepy.

Why Does Weed Make You Sleepy?

The sleep-inducing effects of cannabis can be attributed to the interaction between cannabinoids and the brain’s receptors. When cannabinoids bind to these receptors, they signal the brain to increase the production of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Additionally, cannabinoids also suppress the brain’s arousal system, further promoting a sedative effect.

The primary active compounds in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is responsible for the sedating effects of cannabis, although it can also stimulate some individuals, leading to difficulties in falling asleep. On the other hand, CBD promotes alertness at lower doses and sleepiness at higher doses. The combined effects of THC and CBD can vary from person to person, making it easier for some individuals to fall asleep while others may experience difficulty.

Indica vs. Sativa: Which Makes You Sleepy?

Cannabis in a jar

As mentioned earlier, Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sleep-inducing properties. These strains are often preferred by individuals looking for pain management or relief from insomnia symptoms. Indica strains can contribute to feelings of relaxation and tiredness, making them an ideal choice for those seeking a good night’s sleep.

On the other hand, Sativa strains are typically associated with energizing effects. While Sativa strains may provide an energy boost and even feelings of euphoria, they are generally less effective at promoting sleep compared to Indica strains. However, the effects of Sativa strains can vary depending on the THC content and other factors, such as hybrid strains.

The Impact of Sleeping While High

Now that we understand the effects of cannabis on sleep, let’s explore what happens when you sleep while high. It’s important to note that there is limited scientific research in this area due to cannabis bans, so much of the evidence is anecdotal.

During sleep, the body goes through different sleep cycles, with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep being the most crucial for feeling refreshed upon waking. However, cannabis use has been found to potentially impact REM sleep. Some studies suggest that cannabis users spend less time in REM sleep, which may affect dream recall and memory consolidation.

Additionally, cannabis use can extend the duration of stage three sleep, also known as deep or slow-wave sleep. While this stage allows the body to renew and repair itself, an extended stage three sleep can reduce the amount of time spent in REM sleep. This may explain why marijuana and REM sleep may not be compatible.

The Safety of Sleeping While High

The question of whether it is safe to sleep while high is a valid concern. While there is no evidence to suggest that sleeping while high can lead to immediate health-threatening side effects, it’s important to consider the long-term implications and potential effects on sleep quality.

Regularly relying on cannabis to sleep may result in a decreased ability to achieve restful sleep without it. This can lead to symptoms of insomnia when cannabis is not available or not used. It is essential to evaluate your sleep habits and consider the potential consequences of relying on cannabis for sleep.

Can You Sleep Off a High?

woman sitting on bed smoking a joint

It is a common misconception that sleep can help “sober up” or reduce the effects of being high. However, this is not the case. The presence of THC in your bloodstream remains unaffected by sleep. Regardless of whether you are awake or asleep, the THC will still be metabolized at the same rate.

The duration of the high depends on various factors, including the potency of the marijuana, the method of consumption, and the timing of sleep after consumption. Edibles, for example, can have effects that last up to 12 hours, while smoking typically results in a high lasting around three to four hours. Therefore, even if you take a nap after consuming an edible, you will still wake up with the effects of the high.

Weed and REM Sleep: How Does Weed Affect Sleep Quality?

As mentioned earlier, REM sleep is crucial for feeling refreshed and well-rested. While there is limited research on the effects of weed on REM sleep, some studies suggest that cannabis use may impact REM sleep in the long term.

Regular and heavy cannabis use has been associated with a reduction in dream recall and the ability to establish new memories. Additionally, cannabis use may affect emotional processing during sleep. These effects are more commonly observed in heavy smokers, and occasional or casual users may not experience the same level of impact on their REM sleep.

The Impact of Weed on the Brain During Sleep

Sleeping while high can have various effects on the brain, but the research in this area is limited. However, it is known that cannabis use can have both short-term and long-term effects on sleep and brain function.

In the short term, cannabis use may lead to short-term memory loss, a lack of restful sleep, dreamless sleep, and poor emotional regulation. These effects are more commonly observed in heavy smokers. Casual users, on the other hand, may still experience benefits to their sleep due to the interaction between cannabinoids and the brain’s receptors.

It is important to note that the effects of cannabis on sleep and the brain can vary from person to person. Medical marijuana patients, for example, may find that the benefits of cannabis outweigh any potential drawbacks, especially if they have chronic sleep issues.

Does Weed Disrupt REM Sleep?

Limited evidence suggests that cannabis use may disrupt REM sleep. Spending less time in REM sleep can affect the body’s ability to rest and recover fully. However, it is crucial to note that this research is still in its early stages, and more studies are needed to establish a definitive link between cannabis use and REM sleep disruption.

The Influence of THC on Sleep Patterns

THC alone has not been directly shown to impact sleep patterns. Changes in sleep patterns are more likely to be attributed to individual behavior and lifestyle factors. For example, maintaining a regular sleep schedule can be challenging if cannabis is consumed throughout the day. However, occasional and controlled use of cannabis, such as using the best edibles for sleep, may even enhance sleep quality for some individuals.

If you are concerned about maintaining your existing sleep pattern while using cannabis, consider consuming cannabis close to your usual bedtime to minimize any potential disruption.

Can Weed Help with Insomnia?

The use of cannabis for insomnia is a topic that requires further research. While cannabis can help individuals with insomnia fall asleep, its effects on sleep quality can vary depending on the strain, dosage, and method of consumption.

Individuals suffering from insomnia may experience significant benefits from incorporating cannabis into their nightly routine. However, it is important to note that developing a reliance on cannabis for sleep may have long-term implications. It is best to consult with a healthcare professional to explore other potential treatment options for insomnia.

The Day-After Effects: Feeling Sleepy After Consuming Weed

It is not uncommon to feel sleepy the day after consuming cannabis. This can be attributed to waking up while still under the influence of THC or developing an inconsistent sleep pattern that reduces overall sleep quality.

If you regularly wake up feeling sleepy, it may be a sign that you need to adjust your cannabis consumption habits or that an underlying medical condition is causing your fatigue. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the cause of your sleepiness and explore potential solutions.

The Bottom Line

The effects of sleeping while high on cannabis can vary from person to person. While Indica strains are known for their sleep-inducing properties, Sativa strains are generally less effective at promoting sleep. The impact of cannabis on sleep quality, REM sleep, and overall brain function is still an area of ongoing research.

While there is no immediate evidence suggesting that sleeping while high is unsafe, it is important to consider the potential long-term implications and the potential for developing a reliance on cannabis for sleep. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to explore other potential treatment options for sleep issues and to ensure that your sleep habits promote overall well-being.

Remember, everyone’s experience with cannabis is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s essential to listen to your body, monitor your sleep quality, and make informed decisions about your cannabis use. Using marijuana from trustworthy distributors, like Get Kush, is also a crucial step. Get Kush provides a wide range of reputable brands and cannabis strains, enabling you to discover secure and dependable products that cater to your individual requirements.


McCarthy, J. (2023) What percentage of Americans smoke marijuana?, Gallup.com. Available at: https://news.gallup.com/poll/284135/percentage-americans-smoke-marijuana.aspx

Indica vs. sativa: What’s the difference? (no date) Medical News Today. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/indica-vs-sativa

Cannabis for sleep: Benefits and risks (2023) Sleep Foundation. Available at: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-aids/cannabis-and-sleep

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