Is time elapsed between cannabis use and sleep start time associated with sleep continuity? An experience sampling method

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: A substantial proportion of people using cannabis report using it to improve sleep. Yet, little research exists on the associations between the timing of cannabis use and sleep. This study examines the time elapsed between cannabis use and sleep start time and its association with two of the main indicators of sleep continuity: (1) sleep onset latency (SOL) and (2) number of awakenings (NOA) throughout the night. Methods: Each morning, for 7 consecutive days, daily cannabis users (n = 54) reported on the timing of previous night's cannabis use and sleep indicators on their smartphones. Mixed effects models examined the relations of within- and between-subjects’ time elapsed between previous night cannabis use and sleep start time, with (1) SOL and (2) NOA. Results: Within subjects, shorter time elapsed between cannabis use and sleep start time was associated with shorter SOL (β = 0.519, p = 0.010), but not NOA (β = -0.030, p = 0.535). Furthermore, between individuals, the time gap between the previous night cannabis use and sleep start time was not associated with SOL or NOA (p > 0.05). Conclusions: It is possible that cannabis use proximal to bedtime is associated with shorted sleep onset latency but not nighttime awakenings. Cannabis users should be informed about both the potential sleep aid effects of cannabis and its limitations. Pending further evidence of the effects of cannabis on sleep, cannabis users experiencing sleep problems should be provided with evidence-based alternatives to improve sleep, e.g., pharmacological and behavioral treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107846
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume208
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Oren Lebovitch, the Israeli Cannabis Magazine moderator for hosting the survey and helping with recruitment. The authors would also like to thank the respondents who shared their experiences through taking part in the survey. The study was partly funded by an internal grant by the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa. The funders were not involved in designing or interpreting results of the study. The authors would like to thank Oren Lebovitch, the Israeli Cannabis Magazine moderator for hosting the survey and helping with recruitment. The authors would also like to thank the respondents who shared their experiences through taking part in the survey.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

Keywords

  • Cannabis
  • Experience sampling method
  • Insomnia
  • Nightly awakenings
  • Sleep
  • Sleep onset latency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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