Are you a fan of marijuana and also value a restful night’s sleep? Well, unfortunately, you might not be able to have the best of both worlds. While it might make you feel tired and relaxed in the moment, smoking pot or trying it out in any other forms before bed might not be helping you in terms of your sleep health.
A new online survey administered by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) reveals that 49 percent of the 2,005 American adults who participated reported losing sleep due to marijuana usage. Other results from the study indicated that the majority of this report came from millennials (58 percent) and Gen Z (56 percent). (1)
Although 50 percent of Americans stated that marijuana impacts their sleep, a quarter of the respondents reported using marijuana specifically to aid in falling asleep or staying asleep.
“Some people think that using marijuana will help them sleep, but research has actually shown that marijuana use is associated with impaired sleep quality” Dr. Andrea Matsumura, a sleep medicine doctor and representative for the AASM said in a Newswise article. “Getting at least seven hours of healthy sleep each night is crucial to allow our bodies to recharge, repair and rejuvenate.” (2)
So should weed be a concern for your sleep health? We decided to talk with some experts to see if it’s time to start maybe laying off the pot and focusing more on other ways to feel relaxed for bedtime.
What Do The Experts Say?
Leadley said that people use marijuana for a multitude of reasons from smoking before a workout sesh to reduce inflammation to helping cope with anxiety. However, she said that studies have shown a correlation between marijuana use and insomnia.
“More specifically, studies have discovered a direct correlation between CBD and benefits for insomnia symptoms, potentially answering every insomniac’s question of how to sleep restfully,” she told Sleepopolis.
She mentioned that the survey results might be influenced by the fact that most of the participants were Millennials and Gen Z, suggesting that individuals from these particular age groups could be opting to get high instead of hitting the pillow.
“That means they are caught up in the activity of getting high at the cost of bedtime procrastination,” she said. “That’s never a good plan and can easily be compared to gaming, social engagement, and even watching TV until all hours.”
While marijuana may offer potential relief from pain, anxiety, and seizures, it’s not worth it to stay awake and endure insomnia just for the sake of getting high. Although it may provide momentary relaxation, neglecting the benefits of sleep will not leave you happy the next day.
1. AASM Sleep Prioritization Survey lost sleep due to marijuana use. Accessed September 27, 2023. https://aasm.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/sleep-prioritization-survey-2023-lost-sleep-due-to-marijuana-use.pdf.
2. American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Marijuana use leads to lost sleep for half of Americans. Newswise. September 26, 2023. Accessed September 27, 2023. https://www.newswise.com/articles/marijuana-use-leads-to-lost-sleep-for-half-of-americans.
3. Sleep study, sleep clinic: Valley sleep center: Arizona. Sleep Study, Sleep Clinic | Valley Sleep Center | Arizona. Accessed September 27, 2023. https://valleysleepcenter.com/.
Leadley, Lauri. Personal Interview. September 27, 2023.