Dear Miss Grass,
I’m a 29-year-old female and, in the words of Hannah Gadsby, I identify as tired. I try to go to bed at a normal time, but I wake up in the middle of the night, like every night, and end up on Instagram again. It screws up the whole next day too and I just feel like I’m in a vicious cycle! I know cannabis and melatonin helps a lot of people, but where do I start, and what products do you suggest? I don’t want to feel high or groggy. Help please?
x Sleepless in NYC
Bless your little heart, you sleepless girl in a big city. That’s no way to live! Alas, it is the way that too many of us live. The good news? Rather than accepting it, you’re doing something about it—and I applaud you.
There are heaps of ways to get around those sleepless nights. And while eliminating them completely might be a tall order—happiness is all about expectation management—we can certainly reduce their frequency and the degree to which they disrupt your beautiful life in, well, the greatest city on earth.
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but so much of a good night’s sleep comes down to routine and what experts call “sleep hygiene.” It’s not fun, and certainly doesn’t lend itself to a party-hardy lifestyle or a whole lot of spontaneity, for that matter. But getting yourself on a schedule; waking up and going to bed at the same time every day (yes, even on the weekends) is absolute table stakes for good sleep hygiene. And in the end, for a good night’s sleep that you can count on most of the time.
If I’m honest, it sounds like discipline around sleep hygiene is our first order of business. Jumping into Instagram in the middle of the night is a sure fire way to ruin your entire night’s sleep. Once the blue light and stimuli from your phone and Instagram grip you, you can’t turn back. For a lot of people, that might mean promising yourself you won’t reach for your phone when you’re wide awake—no matter what. For others, it means a no-phones policy in the bedroom. And, if you’re someone who needs an alarm, it means getting an old-school alarm. No “buts” about it!
Now with that out of the way, let’s talk about cannabis and sleep. If getting high isn’t your thing—and it sounds like it’s not—great! There are plenty of non-intoxicating products that can help quiet the mind and getting you into your sleepy time frame of mind. I especially love the Mineral Sleep Tincture made with full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD, CBN (the sleepiest cannabinoid), and a cocktail of sleep-inducing terpenes like linalool, which is what’s found in lavender).
I also recommend drawing yourself a bath and popping in either a CBD bath bomb or this CBD Bath Soak by Homebody for an extra decadent treat. There’s also a great topical Sleep Cream with melatonin and CBD by Dr. Kerklaan, that is a huge hit around here.
And finally, consider giving a transdermal patch by The Good Patch—also with CBD and melatonin—a try. None of these products will leave you feeling high or groggy the next morning. And the best part, they’re all federally legal, so go crazy.
The next thing you should be doing, if you aren’t already, is getting your regular dose of exercise. Making sure that you’re in tip-top physical health is the best way to quiet the mind—anxious thought patterns are one of the leading causes of insomnia—and keep the energy in your body flowing in a healthy way. If you haven’t already tried meditating, download the Calm app too! You’ll be amazed at what a little mindfulness can do.
What about food? Are you eating late at night? Don’t do that. It’s not very metropolitan to cut the snacking at least two hours before bedtime—especially if you’re on the dating circuit—but it is certainly one of the more effective strategies when it comes to catching a solid night’s rest. When your digestive tract is overly active at night, it’s normal to wake up feeling restless. And no caffeine after 4 p.m.
And that’s it! I have faith in you, SNYC. Just know you’re not alone. This is all going to take some trial and error, especially with the cannabis products, but equally with some good old-fashioned discipline.
But once you get over the withdrawal of your old habits, you’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in a way that will be so damn good, you won’t miss your midnight Instagram spirals. Not even a little bit.