Some people who get high regularly notice that they seldom dream, and many people who quit smoking find they are plagued by nightmares. What exactly is the science behind this phenomenon? Dr. Elliott Lee of the Royal Sleep Disorders Clinic in Ottawa has some answers.
He divides sleep into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) cycles of sleep. Both of these cycles produce dreams, although dreaming in NREM is less likely; 80% of dreams occurr in REM sleep, and the dreams which occur in REM are much more exciting (NREM sleep dreams are typically about routine events and occurrences).
Cannabis helps induce a type of NREM sleep called slow wave sleep (or SWS) which happens to be the deepest, most restorative type of sleep. Beware though, the body has a reaction to lack of REM sleep called REM rebound, a sort of “catching up” period for the subconscious (which is why people who stop using cannabis experience vivid, and sometimes disturbing dreams, as the subconscious makes up for lost time, as it were).
Want to learn more? Click here to read the full article on broadly.vice.com