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Friday, July 1, 2022

Study casts doubt on idea that marijuana improves sleep

Scientists say using marijuana could harm sleeping habits, according to a new study published Monday.

The study, published in the journal BMJ, showed that adults who used marijuana at least 20 times in the last month were 64 percent more likely to sleep less than six hours per night and 76 percent more likely to sleep over nine hours per night. 

It included 21,729 adults between the ages of 20 and 59, and its data, which was gathered by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, is considered representative of over 146 million Americans.

“Large population-based studies show that both short sleep and long sleep are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as the long-term progression of things like atherosclerosis, diabetes, coronary artery disease and any of the major cardiovascular diseases,” the study’s lead author, Calvin Diep, said, according to CNN.

“It seems with sleep there’s kind of this ‘Goldilocks phenomenon’ where there’s an amount that ‘just right,'” Diep added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that adults sleep at least seven hours a night.

Wendy Troxel, a sleep specialist and senior behavioral scientist at RAND Corporation who was not involved with the study, called this area of research “an understudied but important area, as many people are increasingly turning to cannabis products as sleep aids.” 

“But we really lack solid evidence demonstrating whether cannabis helps or hurts sleep,” Troxel added.

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