Many marijuana users believe that toking up before bedtime will help them reach cloud nine in no time. Although research on the matter is somewhat inconsistent, past studies show that pot use improves the ability to fall and stay asleep, and for some, even increased slow wave sleep. But new research suggests that chronic cannabis use could have a negative impact on sleep quality over time.
Researchers from the University of Michigan wanted to study the difference of sleep quality between daily cannabis users, occasional users, and those who don’t smoke at all. To do so, they surveyed and observed 98 young and healthy male volunteers. The participants answered questions, kept sleep diaries, and also wore accelerometers for one week.
The results showed that frequency of use had a major impact on the effects of sleep. Of those that use cannabis on a daily basis, 39 percent complained of clinically significant insomnia, while only 10 percent of occasional pot users reported the same issue. Notably, there were also no differences in sleep complaints between non-users and occasional users.
But the research also showed that cannabis’ impact on sleep patterns extends far beyond frequency of use. For instance, when there was a presence of anxiety and depression in the subject, the difference suddenly vanished, suggesting that cannabis use may help people with certain mental disorders to sleep.
Other studies also support the conclusion that there are a lot of variables at play when it comes to the impact that cannabis has on sleep quality. Another group is currently observing certain cannabis types and concentrations to find which strains might relieve insomnia. Additional research hints that medical cannabis users with insomnia tend to use higher concentrations of CBD.
While research on this topic is increasing, federal illegality continues to hinder the ability to properly study marijuana’s impact on sleep. However, this recent study ultimately suggests that the effects vary depending on multiple factors, including the individual, frequency of use, cannabis type and concentration, and mode of ingestion.
So next time you get ready to spark up before hitting the sack, keep in mind that the amount and type of cannabis you use, as well as your own mental state, will likely impact your overall quality of sleep.