Finding My Sleep Pattern and Experiencing a Restorative Sleep
Last updated: April 2022
When I was combatting pain with prescription pain pills, I either slept all the time or not at all. There was no in-between. There were times when I would only sleep for 20-minute intervals for days at a time.
No matter what I did or how many prescription sleep aids I tried, I never experienced a deep restorative sleep.
What does my sleep pattern even look like?
Soon after detoxing from all of my prescriptions, I discovered my body's sleep pattern. Without taking any medication or over-the-counter meds, I began sleeping 6-8 hours at a time. This was an improvement considering I used to be lucky to get 4-6 hours on a good night.
However, the hours that my body chose to sleep were anything but ideal. My body's sleep pattern dictated that I went to bed between 2 AM and 6 AM and often slept past noon. With this approach, I wasn't achieving a restorative sleep either.
So even though I was following my sleep pattern, I still felt groggy and experienced a higher pain level throughout my "day."
A welcomed relief
It wasn't until I began medicating with medical marijuana (MMJ) that I first experienced a deep restorative sleep. With MMJ, I not only fell into a deep sleep, but all of my muscles relaxed.
I would wake up feeling like my body was rusted in the past. I felt like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, begging for oil. With MMJ, I rarely wake up feeling stiffer than before falling asleep. I usually feel better.
In the past, I awoke with more pain because the rest of my body was reacting to the pain I was in. For example, if my spine and feet were hurting when I went to sleep, the muscles surrounding them would harden or spasm throughout the night. With MMJ, I rarely experience reactionary pain.
Incorporating MMJ into my lifestyle
The best part of utilizing MMJ for sleep is that I can count the amount of groggy days I experience in a month on one hand. The only reasons I experience them is when I have pushed my body too far, fail to medicate heavy enough, or am experiencing a flare.
For the most part, MMJ has made it possible to sleep during hours that are considered normal sleeping hours. I still experience a few sleepless nights each month; however, I never go without sleep. Even if I am unable to sleep during the night, I will eventually fall asleep and experience the same level of sleep that I do the rest of the month.
This used to drive me crazy, but I have learned to accept my body's sleep pattern over time. Finding a medication that grants me a deep restorative sleep and accepting the hours that my body wants that sleep has improved the quality of my chronic life.
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