No, I am not Bill Maher’s physician, but I watched his show a couple of nights ago and during his interview with Ariana Huffington discussed her new book on “Sleep”, Bill mentioned that if he awakens for any reason during the middle of the night, his brain turns on and he has difficulty getting back to sleep.

After nearly 40 years of practicing Internal Medicine, I have seen hundreds of patients whose sleep disorder is Early Morning Awakening. Even if a 50 or 60 y/o man awakens to urinate during the night, the “normal sleepers” just go right back to sleep. The patients who do not easily go back to sleep are nearly always patients with daytime anxiety.

I think it is safe to assume Bill uses some cannabis for sleep, but still he awakens. In fact, sleeping pills or a LOT of THC will help the person fall asleep, but not stay asleep. So, what is the cause of the Early Morning Awakening – daytime anxiety. Nearly all the time.

From a cannabis perspective, this means daytime CBD for EMA. Patients are often confused when I suggest daytime CBD for a night time problem, but there is some logic here.

  1. I have seen this literally hundreds of times and successfully treated many, many patients with JUST daytime  CBD
  2. At 1 AM, 3 AM and 5 AM, approximately, there are cortisol spikes in the body and brain. We are more alert. So, if some chemistry from daytime anxiety is circulating or wired, patients awaken with a start – almost overly awake.

Bill, if you are reading….please call my office.

Allan Frankel, MD

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