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Marijuana Affects Your Sleep

Last week, in our article “Comic Sleeping Positions,” we briefly touched on the topic of alcohol as a sleep inducer. We mentioned that alcohol may have the power to put us to bed, but ultimately, it does more damage than good. Alcohol use can disturb our sleep rhythms and cause us to wake periodically throughout the night. It also forces us to leave our beds for the bathroom, another unneeded disturbance.

This week, Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to turn our attention to another recreational relaxing agent, marijuana.

It is no secret that many British Columbians enjoy the odd toke from time to time and seems that use of the drug has increased in our Province. Public pressure has worked to relax the criminal fines surrounding marijuana use, as more and more people see it as a personal choice, not a criminal act. It is also being used to treat a number of medical ailments.

But while marijuana use may be increasing, so are the studies surrounding the side effects of pot smoking.

At a recent sleep conference in Minneapolis, University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Grandner, presented findings that showed that marijuana use can have many of the same troubling sleep side effects as alcohol.

The study was done with participants between the ages of 20 and 59. The strongest correlation between marijuana use and sleep disturbance was found with participants who had started pot smoking before the age of 15. These users were twice as likely to have severe sleep problems.

More research is definitely needed, but users should be aware of the possible damage that weed may have on their sleep schedules. With increased research, comes the need for increased education. The public needs to be better educated on the ramifications of using recreational drugs, especially when it comes to one of our basic needs: sleep.

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