Marijuana makes sleep worse? Cannabis users MORE likely to have sleeping issues

TORONTO — Marijuana is often a treatment of choice for people who struggle catching enough shut-eye. But a surprising new study says cannabis may actually be worsening sleeping problems among users.

Researchers warn that regular marijuana users may be getting either too little sleep or too much. a study has discovered. In the U.S., more than half of adults have tried cannabis once, and twelve percent of people say they smoke it regularly.

In this latest study of 21,729 adults ages 20-59, nearly 15 percent of people (3,132 participants) reported using cannabis in the previous month. After being polled on their sleeping habits, researchers say these individuals were 34 percent more likely to report getting fewer than six hours of sleep than those who hadn’t used cannabis in the preceding 30 days.. Conversely, marijuana users were also 56 percent more likely to report logging more than nine of sleep — which doctors say is also not good for health.

Regular marijuana users were also 31 percent more likely to report difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much in the preceding two weeks. Interestingly, users were 29 percent more likely to have discussed a sleeping problem with a doctor.

Meanwhile, heavy users — defined as using cannabis products on 20 or more out of the preceding 30 days — were 64 percent more likely to experience short sleep, and 76 percent more likely to experience too much shut-eye compared with non-users.

“Increasing prevalence of both cannabis use and sleep deprivation in the population is a potential cause for concern. Despite the current literature demonstrating mixed effects of cannabis and various cannabinoid formulations on sleep architecture and quality, these agents are being increasingly used as both prescribed and unprescribed experimental therapies for sleep disturbances,” notes Dr. Karim Ladha at the University of Toronto, in a statement. “Our findings highlight the need to further characterize the sleep health of regular cannabis users in the population. Sleep-wake physiology and regulation is complex and research about related endocannabinoid pathways is in its early stages.”

The study is published in the journal Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.

South West News Service writer Joe Morgan contributed to this report.