Sleep can be a little hard to come by this time of the year. Even if you’re trying to take it easy preparing for the holidays, it can be nearly impossible.
Many people turn to marijuana to help them relax and get a little shuteye, but new research shows it might not be having the desired effect. Much like alcohol, it appears that the anecdotal evidence suggesting marijuana’s positive effect on sleep isn’t justified.
Researchers from the University of Toronto recently analyzed data to show how marijuana can impact sleep, and they found that it may not be much of positive sleep aid.
Sleep experts generally recommend getting between seven and nine hours per night. Going under or over that sweet spot is associated with a host of health problems, including a higher risk for heart disease.
Looking at survey results from more than 22,000 people, the team found that cannabis use took a high percentage out of the sweet spot and led to either too little or too much sleep.
They found that of the 14.5 percent of participants who’d used cannabis on the previous 30 days:
• 34 percent were likely to report they were not getting enough sleep
• 56 percent were likely to report they were getting too much sleep
• Were 31 percent more likely to have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much
• Were 29 percent more likely to have spoken to their doctor about sleep problems
Upon further analysis, they learned that:
• Moderate uses (who had used it on fewer than 20 of the previous 30 days) were 47 percent more likely to sleep too much
• Heavy users (used it on at least 20 of the previous 30 days) were 64 percent more likely to sleep too little and 76 percent more likely to sleep too much.
Although the study did not prove that marijuana can degrade sleep quality, it does suggest that dosing and usage levels can influence sleep in a variety of ways.
If you’re thinking about using marijuana to help you get better sleep, it might not do the trick. Talk to your doctor about options that may be more effective.