While marijuana is widely positioned as an effective natural medication for sleep disorders, a new study has found that regular weed users are twice as likely to experience problems with sleep.
There is still not enough scientific evidence to marijuana's impact on human sleep, and even the study conducted by Deirdre Conroy and other American psychiatrists does not provide us with all the answers.
The study aimed to investigate the patterns and the correlation between cannabis use and sleep disorders in young adults. The scientists surveyed 98 participants who reported to be either chronic pot users, occasional smokers, or non-smokers.
The findings revealed that nearly 40% of the seasoned consumers had problems with night sleep, while only 20% of non-users and 10% of occasional users experienced similar symptoms.
A previous study on this issue had also found that any history of pot use was associated with potential sleep problems, like troubles staying or falling asleep and experiencing daytime sleepiness. However, most of the similar studies were carried out among heavy stoners or patients with the issue of cannabis abuse.
In contrast, the new study investigated individuals with different cannabis habits, including non-smokers. The researchers concluded that daily pot users had more problems with sleep than occasional smokers or non-users. This pattern may be explained by a few theories suggested by the scientists.
Seasoned users have sleep problems because of stress or anxiety
An emotional condition may be the reason for insomnia, according to Conroy. When the researchers separated data from the participants with anxiety, they discovered that there was almost no difference between the sleep of chronic pot users and other surveyed individuals.
Though some cannabis strains are positioned as calming, marijuana may have a different effect on people depending on their emotional state. People that experience anxiety are already at a higher risk of having sleep disorders than others. They try to use cannabis to relieve their condition. It explains why the group of regular users includes many people with sleep problems: it is not necessarily that marijuana consumption leads to insomnia or sleepiness but that it fails to eliminate these issues in people who had had them prior to taking the substance.
Cannabis may cause anxiety that leads to sleep problems
Some scientists also assume that marijuana may be the reason for anxiety disorders. Mood swings may also be caused by weed consumption and afterwards lead to such problems as sleep disorders. However, there is not enough evidence that cannabis increases the risk of psychiatric illnesses. Consequently, it is only a theoretical assumption that needs to be confirmed by further studies.
Poor sleep may compel tokers to smoke more
Most cannabis users tend to have an active lifestyle and sleep less than eight hours at night. As marijuana can boost their energy for a while, tokers increase their consumption of weed. However, the recent study does not define whether smoking pot leads to poor sleep or sleep problems force people to smoke more.
Previous studies also provided contradictory findings. One study found that chronic cannabis use suppressed deep sleep, while another one discovered that marijuana might prolong the deepest stages of sleep. Convoy thinks that further investigation of this matter is necessary.
Though there is no evidence that cannabis influences your brain while you are sleeping, it is better to reconsider your marijuana habits if you have to count sheep to sleep at night.