Can stop smoking weed cause weird dreams is a query that smokers quitting marijuana often seek an answer to.
In the United States alone, almost 49 million people have smoked weed at least once.
So, marijuana is undoubtedly the most commonly used drug in USA.
With so many people smoking weed, side effects attached to its rampant usage are inevitable. Getting weird dreams at night is one such side effect.
Nonetheless, not everyone out there suffers from this side effect. Those that do are definitely experiencing withdrawal effects of quitting weed.
In this article, I shall be discussing what causes dreams. I also discuss whether bad dreams are a part and parcel of quitting weed or not.
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Can Stop Smoking Weed Cause Weird Dreams Write-Up Contents:
1) What is Main Reason behind Your Dream?
- How Long does a Dream Last?
- What is Rapid Eye Movement?
2) What are the Different Types of Dreams that a Smoker Quitting Weed May Experience?
- Dreams Involving Physical Movement
- Past Experience based Dream
- Sad or Anxious Dreams Laced with Fear
- Hypnopompic Dreams
- Scary Dreams
3) What are the Different Stages of Dreams that Smokers Quitting Weed Often Experience?
- The First Sleeping Stage of a Smoker who has Recently Quit Smoking
- The Second Sleeping Stage of a Smoker who has Recently Quit Smoking
- The Third Sleeping Stage of a Smoker who has Recently Quit Smoking
- The Final Sleeping Stage of a Smoker who has Recently Quit Smoking
4) Fun Facts on International Weed Consumption
5) What Causes Bad Dreams to Smokers who Quit Weed?
- Scientific Reason on why Smokers Quitting Weed Witness Bad Dreams
6) Can Smokers who have Quit Smoking Stop Seeing Bad Dreams via Medicine?
- Strengthening the Mind
- Psycho Social Therapy
- Help via Friends and Family
7) Final Words
What is Main Reason Behind Your Dream?
A dream can be defined as a series of ideas and visual imagery that stems from an individual’s emotional quotient. The ideas witnessed by you are expressed visually at night.
This visual description of emotionally charged sensations is termed as a dream. Dreams are quit vivid. Every person tends to dream something different. So ideally, two dreams are not similar to one another.
How Long does a Dream Last?
When we talk about the duration of dreams then, they usually differ. Simply put, a single dream can last as less as 4 minute. It can also be as long as 25 minutes. Interestingly, people experience more than one dream per night.
Statistical data claims that the dreams usually last 120 minutes at night. This in turn implies that almost each and every individual shall dream for 120 minutes every night. This is an approximate figure.
Ironically, men and women who recall their dream tend to claim that they have dreamt almost the entire night. In reality, they have dreamt an hour or maximum ‘two hours’ at night.
Dreams apparently appear way-longer than their natural shelf-life.
What is Rapid Eye Movement?
Rapid eye movement is a mental state wherein the human eyes are blinking at a fast pace. The concerned individual is fast asleep when this happens. Muscle tone is minimalist at this time. You also tend to dream when you experience rapid eye movement.
During rapid eye movement, your blood pressure & heart rate increases. You also tend to breathe heavily. It has also been noted that your blood pressure is raised. This is when you begin to dream.
Your eyeballs are moving everywhere when you sleep. So, rapid eye movement is an ideal way to recognize weather you are having a dream or not.
What are the Different Types of Dreams that a Smoker Quitting Weed May Experience?
When a smoker decides to quit smoking a cigarette then, he/she is subject to withdrawal symptoms. This is when, the individual’s mind and body starts to play games with him/her.
One such withdrawal symptom is dreaming while sleeping at night. Here are the main types of dreams that a smoker (quitting smoking) witnesses:
This is a dream type wherein you tend to start visualizing right after you sleep. This is the first type of dream that a smoker usually experiences.
Hypnopompic dream are also experienced by smokers right before they awaken in the morning. There is absolutely no involvement of rapid eye movement here. The duration of such dreams is in between 1 to 3 minutes (on an average).
The second category of dreams that a smoker (quitting weed) often experiences is related to terror. These are scary dreams that tend to showcase a living or non-living object.
Even an incident (practical or fictitious) that terrorizes a smoker is often witnessed (during the dream). Such dreams have the ability ‘scare the hell’ out of the concerned smoker.
Physical Movement while Dreaming:
In this type of dream, the concerned smoker tends to perform an act while sleeping. I am not implying that he or she begins to sleep walk. Nonetheless, an act of reaching out for a pack of cigarette and then starting to smoke one is a classic example of such a dream.
So while the smoker cannot actually smoke a cigarette, he is performing this act out of impulse. Such dreams are also termed as ‘impulse’ and ‘craving’ related nightmares.
An outcome of such dreams is a feeling of shame. This is what a smoker who quits smoking tends to feel. The feeling of shame happens when the smoker awakens from the dream.
Dream Based on Past Experience or Incident:
The next category of dream that the concerned smoker suffers from is based on past experiences. This could be any incident that has affected the mind of the concerned smoker.
For example, a smoker recalls the very first time he smoked a cigarette. This is an incident that is etched in the mind of the individual. So when he decides to quit smoking, this episode tends to play itself visually via the means of a dream.
Sad or Anxious Dreams Laced with Fear:
Another type of dream that smokers (quitting smoking) often suffer from are based on unfortunate events. These are often negative, sad and filled with melancholy.
Smokers also dream of events that are filled with terror. So, the dreams are scary and sad. The effect of such dreams on a smoker is terrible indeed.
He/she wakes up in the morning feeling guilt and depressed. When the dream breaks, it is also possible that the concerned smoker is unable to sleep again. So, it is not wrong to say that smoking causes anxiety.
If he/she does so then, the time taken to reclaim that peaceful sleep is rather lengthy. So, after a sad and scary dream, the concerned smoker usually has a gap of an hour (or even more) before he/she can sleep again.
What are the Different Stages of Dreams that Smokers Quitting Weed Often Experience?
A smoker tends to sleep in a two-faceted pattern. There are ‘rapid eye movement’ sleep pattern and ‘non- rapid eye movement’ sleep pattern.
When a smoker experiences rapid eye movement then, he is dreaming. Here, the eye of the smoker tends to move rapidly. No visual signal is dispatched to the brain.
When a smoker is in the non- rapid eye movement stage of sleep then, he does not dream. He is in deep sleep and visual images are being constantly dispatched to the brain (while asleep).
What are the Different Stages of a (Quit Smoking) Smoker’s Sleep Pattern?
There are 4 stages to the regular sleep pattern as exhibited by a smoker who has recently quit smoking weed. Let us a closer look at each stage in brief:
The First Sleeping Stage of a Smoker who has Recently Quit Smoking:
@ During the first stage, a smoker who has recently quit smoking tends to drift towards sleep.
@ This is a gradual process that usually takes 8 to 12 minutes of your time.
@ Your brain waves have slowed down considerably.
@ The breathing pattern of a smoker (who has recently stopped smoking) is also slowed.
@ The normal movement of the eye also tends to slow down considerably.
@ A smoker’s heart beat also tends to become slow during this time period.
@ Lastly, in the first stage of sleep, the fibers of a smoker’s muscles tend to reduce their normal twitching pattern. Apparently, they are all set to relax.
The Second Sleeping Stage of a Smoker who has Recently Quit Smoking:
@ After about 12 minutes into sleep, a smoker’s body starts to relax even further.
@ Your body temperature shall dip to an all-time low. It (internal body temperature) is nowhere even close to what it normally is when you are awake and active.
@ About 25 minutes into your sleep routine and a smoker shall experience sleep spindles. This is defined as the brain working rapidly for split seconds before idling (for a long duration).
@ Your eyeballs start to stabilize. They are not moving like they were during the first stage of sleep.
@ This stage of sleep starts from the 10th minute and extends till the 35th minute (this is an approximate figure).
The Third Sleeping Stage of a Smoker who has Recently Quit Smoking:
@ This is the moment when a smoker (who has just quit smoking) finally reaches the deep sleep stage.
@ It starts from the 30th minute and extends to the 45th minute of your sleep. These are just approximate figures. The time and duration may vary from one smoker to another.
@ In the third stage, a smoker has achieved deep sleep.
@ In this phase of sleep, the smoker’s body tends to carry out its repair process.
@ Your muscles are re-built and your bone repaired. Even the body tissues are rebuilt in this stage of sleep.
The Final Sleeping Stage of a Smoker who has Quit Smoking:
@ This is the last and final stage of a smoker’s sleep cycle.
@ The body is slightly tense and the heart rate is high.
@ Blood pressure tends to increase and the smoker starts to experience rapid eye movement.
@ In this stage, the smoker starts to dream. The mind of the smoker starts to store and evaluate information that is provided to it via the dream.
@ A Smoker (who has just stopped smoking) tends to achieve the final sleep stage in about 2 hours after falling sleep.
Fun Facts on International Weed Consumption
Marijuana consumption is on the rise. After this drug was given ‘legal status’ in various countries (especially the United States), its usage has ramped up.
Here are some interesting facts on weed consumption across the globe:
@ Close to 159 million people in the world are using marijuana. This is close to 4% of the world’s total population.
@ In the United States alone, almost 95 million people have used marijuana.
@ Weed has been used by 18% Americans at least once in their lifetime.
@ Ironically, one in every three Americans tends to be addicted to marijuana.
@ Marijuana consumption tends to affect the brain of the user. Your motor skills are impacted if you tend to overuse weed.
@ It is possible that your ability learn, absorb and recall activities may be compromised owing to marijuana abuse.
@ Your reaction time and co-ordination may be compromised when you are addicted to marijuana.
@ If kids are consuming weed then, they have a greater chance of under-developing their brain.
@ Women that are expecting should avoid marijuana as it adversely affects their pregnancy.
@ Weed abusers have been known to develop schizophrenia.
What Causes Bad Dreams to Smokers who Quit Weed?
When you decide to quit marijuana then, you would suffer withdrawal symptoms. Well, at least 50% people do suffer symptoms that can be termed as ‘terrible’.
Your level of withdrawal symptoms depends on how much you have smoked weed in the past. If you have smoked truckloads of it then, the withdrawal symptoms are chronic (and vice versa).
Sweating at night is a common withdrawal symptom faced by cannabis addicts. Another pronounced withdrawal symptom is experiencing weird dreams at night.
What causes Bad Dreams to Marijuana Addicts when they Quit Weed?
Cannabinoids present in weed are produced in the human brain. So, when you smoke weed, the Cannabinoids are complimented. As their numbers rise (owing to marijuana intake), they tend to adversely affect the human brain.
Cannabinoids tend to influence the cortex of the brain. So, all your emotional and rational thought processes are controlled via marijuana consumption.
You can start seeing nightmares when you face the following withdrawal effects:
>>> You shall start to feel irritated at no obvious reason.
>>> You tend to become tense way too soon (again for no obvious reason).
>>> Your mood is always at an all-time low. Apart from mood swings, you also suffer from depressive tendencies.
>>> Sleeping on time takes a while. In fact, you take ages to fall asleep.
>>> Apart from being irritable, you tend to also become fidgety.
>>> You cannot eat food so easily. In fact, your food intake reduces by almost 50%.
>>> When your mind is negative, you have trouble falling asleep.
Scientific Reason on why Smokers Quitting Weed Witness Bad Dreams:
Scientists are of the opinion that a smoker who has just quit weed is in the process of re-wiring his/her brain. Owing to this very reason, you begin to witness bad dreams.
These dreams evolve from a smoker’s ‘bad opinion’ about smoking weed/marijuana/cigarettes. This creates a horrific illusion (such the images on the pack of cigarettes) in the minds of smokers.
This horror illusion is then replayed via dreams (when the smoker falls asleep). So, the smoker’s brain is trying to re-set itself, which is why, these dreams come into process.
The frustration as well as craving for smoking weed or cigarettes give rise to such dreams. These emotions are not present in the conscious mind. They dwell in the subconscious mind of the concerned individual (who has recently quit smoking).
Can Smokers who have Quit Weed Stop Seeing Bad Dreams via Medicine?
When you have decided to quit weed then, bad dreams are a part of the withdrawal symptoms that you experience. Stress, anxiety and depression are what give rise to bad dreams in smokers.
Nonetheless, the big question arises – can this be stopped?
Well scientifically, it is not possible to stop a brain that is trying to re-wire itself. After all, getting cured of marijuana addiction is not an easy task.
The craving (for cigarette) for weed or marijuana is what prompts smokers to view horror images while they are fast asleep. Withdrawal symptoms (such as this one) are perfectly normal.
The frequency and intensity of these dreams shall reduce with time. In most cases, a smoker shall stop seeing these dreams after the first month of quitting weed or cigarettes.
Few Methods to Reduce or even Stop Bad Dreams for Smokers who have Recently Quit Weed:
There are a few tried and tested methods that can reduce such nightmares. While there is no guarantee that your dreams shall stop yet, it is a great way to heal from the painful withdrawal symptoms.
Strengthening the Mind:
The first method (that I too approve of) is to strengthen your mind. The idea here is to teach smokers (who have recently quit smoking) the art of making their mind stronger.
Psychological training is essential to allow smokers to develop a positive mind-set. When their negative tendencies shall reduce, bad dream too shall reduce.
Psychological training can be performed via your peers, family members or via a trained therapist. It all depends on your surroundings. If your family and friends are super-motivating then, you need not to go anywhere else.
Psycho Social Therapy:
The second form of treatment is performed by a psychologist. In certain rare cases, the help of a psychiatrist may also be needed. The idea here is to help the concerned smoker change his/her social and behavioral skills (to cope with the nicotine withdrawal effects).
Over here, the therapist works on your current behavior and thought process. Your feelings are also taken into consideration. These are then matched with your core beliefs.
The end result is to change your limiting self-beliefs and move forward in life. When your feelings and behaviors change then, you can cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms far easily.
@ The therapist first analyses the smoker’s psychological make-up.
@ After analyzing the smoker’s physiology, the therapist works on changing the existing concepts (that are damaging in nature).
@ The smoker (who has recently stopped smoking) is then taught new skills. These are to cope with the existing withdrawal symptoms.
@ Once the smoker acquires the new skills, he/she is taught, the art of implementing these in a practical scenario is the next step.
@ Over a period of time, these newly acquired behavioral skills are to be practiced. The therapist determines their intensity.
@ Bad dreams usually vanish after a few weeks into this treatment.
Help via Friends and Family:
@ The biggest support system that a smoker has is his/her own family.
@ Ask your family members to motivate you to reduce weed or cigarette cravings.
@ Have your parents or siblings by your side for the first 2 weeks of quitting weed. Doing so ensures that you shall never be alone when you crave for a smoke.
@ Share your dreams with them and have them support you during this crucial time.
The query, ‘can stop smoking weed cause weird dreams’, has hopefully been answered to your satisfaction. While night dreams may not be completely stopped, it is quite possible that they are reduced considerably.
With that being said, it is suggested that a smoker pays attention to the therapist’s advice. If you follow the ground rules (established by quit smoking therapists) your night dreams shall reduce considerably.
The ghastly nightmares would certainly reduce before finally vanishing. You simply need to learn the art of patience and dedication (to quit smoking weed permanently).