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Kratom and Sleep

Can Kratom help you sleep? The relationship between Kratom, insomnia, and a good nights rest.

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-The relationship between Kratom, insomnia, and a good nights rest.

Those baggy eyes and slumped shoulders, slow turns and ambling strolls. Without even asking your friend or coworker what’s wrong, you already know; they’re tired. 

We’ve heard it for so many years that we’ve begun to filter it out. An epidemic of sleeplessness has struck our society. Now, the reasons for this can be expounded upon endlessly: a focus on hyper-productivity at any cost, overwhelming stimulation, the anxiety of financials, etc.. But the reality of it remains. Too many Americans either do not have the time to sleep, or worse yet, cannot sleep.

And so, as we endeavor to protect our most precious asset, which is not money, or status, but our health, we should be open to examining all avenues that could help alleviate these bedswept nights and groggy mornings.

Kratom and Sleep

Countless users have reported that kratom is an excellent sleep aid which has changed their life. Users report that kratom not only allows them to fall asleep more easily, but stay asleep longer, and enjoy deeper sleep. This, of course, alleviates the fatigue which can rob productivity and significantly impact quality of living. And, in a positive feedback cycle, the reduction of sleep related issues typically reduces sleep related anxiety, thus making it easier to fall asleep in the first place.

In addition to millions of Americans who take kratom as a sleep aid, numerous studies and sleep clinics have promoted the potential of kratom to act as a sleep aid. The primary mechanism in which kratom aids in sleep is by activating the mu-receptor in the brain, which induces processes which enable sleep in the user. Secondary effects that could enable sleep are the noted relaxing effects of kratom, the anti-anxiety and antidepressant potential of kratom as noted by Yale Medical, and the potential of kratom to reduce pain which may make it more difficult to fall asleep. Primarily, however, it’s the compounds in kratom, alkaloids, which interact with the receptors in the brain to induce sleep.

Dosage is recognized as a significant modifier in the overall effects felt by kratom, along with strain. As for dosage, it is important to note that the amount of kratom taken alters the impact. When taken in small doses, kratom is observed to act more as a stimulant – not unlike its close relative, the coffee tree. In larger doses, however, kratom acts more as a sedative and its analgesic properties are more apparent. 

This may seem paradoxical, and while everyone’s personal physiology reacts to different substances in a unique way, this pattern does generally seem to hold true. The dosage, and thus the predicated efficacy of kratom as a sleep aid, can be dependent on a number of factors. The strain and its potency, the weight and tolerance of the user, contents of the stomach, etc… all play a role in how kratom will impact the user. Thus, it is important to have a good understanding of how kratom affects you, based on when you take it, how much you take, and how your body reacts to it. It may sound complex, but after a few experimentations, you’ll quickly begin to understand how a kratom dose impacts you. This will allow you to take a dose and strain which imparts the best potential to aid in sleep.

Kratom Strains and Sleep

Of the two primary factors which delineates kratom’s potential as a sleep aid, the strain selected is the second of most importance. Generally speaking, kratom users have recognized that Red Vein kratom strains are the most effective at aiding in sleep; particularly, the strain Red Bali, which is arguably the most popular strain in the kratom community, is often used as a starting point for exploring the medicinal potential of kratom, as shared by users. 

Red Thai strains are also noted for the efficacy in combating insomnia. Maeng Da, another popular kratom strain, is respected for its numerous applications which could combat factors which make sleep difficult; as an analgesic, with antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties, and its relaxing attributes, Maeng Da (which is often derivative of ‘Red Vein’ is a common choice for those wishing to enjoy better sleep habits.

Bear in mind that Green Vein kratom is typically reported to act as a stimulant. While all kratom imparts similar effects – to an extent – the predominant proportion of alkaloids will typically dominate the palette – so to speak – and thus be the defining quality of that strains impact. Thus, it is generally advisable to avoid Green Vein kratom if one is looking to enjoy better sleep – though, I have heard some users swear that a certain Green Vein strain helps them with this exactly. (It could be because of a mislabelled strain, or that phenotype or genus simply is more balanced towards the ‘Red Vein’ end of the spectrum.)

White Vein kratom, typically understood to offer a balanced impact of Green and Red Vein, is also a common choice as a sleep aid. A fair portion of White Vein kratom strains will tilt more towards the properties most prevalent in Red Vein kratom, and thus be more likely to aid in sleep. This will largely be dependent on the type of strain, its potency, and how an individual reacts to it. A user may find that a White Thai is just as effective as Red Bali in fighting insomnia, but they may find that a White Malay doesn’t quite hit the spot. Once again, finding quality vendors and patient, measured experimentation is the best way to go.

A Night with Kratom

If your dosage and strain have been addressed, bear in mind some other considerations. The duration of the effects of kratom can impact your night. If you struggle to stay asleep as it is, and you take a smaller dose of kratom, or take it well before you hit the hay for the night, you may find that the effects begin to wear off in the middle of the night. While this does not seem to be a common complaint for users, those who are already deeply challenged by insomnia might find this relevant. One way to mitigate these factors would be to ensure you take kratom soon before you go to bed, or enact an increase in dosage.

 Another way to address this is to take kratom with food; many users report that taking kratom with food may lessen the ‘intensity’ of the experience, but acts to prolong it. (‘Intensity’ is hardly an appropriate word in conjunction with kratom, but I hope the point is clear.) A further consideration could be to take two different strains. If you have found that White Indo and Red Bali aid in sleep, consider taking some of each. It may have a positive impact on the quality and duration of your sleep. And finally, recall that some potentiates can increase the potency or duration of kratoms effects; many users have reported that citrus fruits like grapefruit increase the efficacy of a given dose, while watercress is reported to prolong the duration of kratoms effects. 

It should be noted that any and every sleep aid can incur a kind of dependence for the user. Whether an individual is taking benadryl, kratom, melatonin, wine, or a powerful prescription drug like ambien, allowing the body to rely on a substance to induce sleep can create a situation where the body is no longer trained to sleep on its own. For this reason, one should give careful thought to how kratom is used for sleep. While many kratom users consume kratom regularly and experience little to no side effects – and no studies to date have conclusively shown any long term harm associated with prolonged kratom use, as it has been used daily for thousands of years in Southeast Asia – it is always good to practice moderation. 

Many kratom users have found their lives greatly improved as kratom effectively combats their insomnia. But an individual in this situation may want to consider continuing to address root causes of sleeplessness, or try taking other innocuous sleep-aids like melatonin. This will not only help ensure that ones decided kratom dose will remain effective, but it will ensure that a user is not avoiding the issues which cause sleeplessness in the first place, and will not be in a tough spot should they have no access to kratom, for whatever reason (travel, etc..) 

Moderation is always a notion worth preaching. Well…actually, not always. Not with sleep. I think we could all use a little more sleep. It’s really hard to over do it with sleep, especially in our culture.  

And hopefully, your nights are long, warm, and free of thought.

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Nothing in this blog is to be taken as professional medical advice. Always consult with your doctor. Kratom does not cure any diseases. Do not cessate doctor prescribed medication in favor of kratom unless you have talked with your health care professional. Always conduct your own independent research. This blog is the conjecture of the author and is in no way intended to be used as medical advice, and makes no claims of medical knowledge or the medical efficacy of any substances. This blog shares research and anecdotal reports from regular people, not medical professionals. 

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