Daily marijuana users reported more sleep disturbance than people who used marijuana less often or not at all, countering the perception that the drug helps to treat insomnia, according to a new study co-authored by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher.
The study, in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, found that daily marijuana users scored higher on the Insomnia Severity Index and sleep-disturbance measures than non-daily users. Ninety-eight marijuana users, most in their early 20s, participated in the study, which was co-authored by Dr. Michael Stein, chair of health law, policy & management at BUSPH and the study’s principal investigator.
“Better sleep is one of the positive effects that marijuana users swear by, but there has been relatively little careful research on this topic,” Dr. Stein said.
In the study, he and colleagues cited previous research indicating that as many as one-third of young adults, ages 18 to 25, complain of sleep problems. The findings showed an association between heavy marijuana use and such sleep difficulties.
“The effects of marijuana on sleep in intermittent users may be similar, in part, to those of alcohol, where improvements in sleep continuity measures have been reported with intermittent use, (but) daily use results in the worsening of sleep,” the researchers wrote.
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