Even though marijuana users are inclined to believe that weed helps them sleep better, a study published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases suggests otherwise. The study discovered that habitual users of marijuana were more likely to be insomniacs and suffer from sleep-disturbance related issues as compared to those who were not habituated to weed.  

Study Results

The study was conducted on 98 subjects, most of whom were in their early twenties. The participants were divided into three groups. The first group consisted of 49 people who used weed daily, the second group consisted of 29 people who did not consume weed daily, and the third group was a control group that had 20 people. The gender breakup was 45 men and 53 women.

The study shows that contrary to the purported positive effects of marijuana in aiding sleep, the weed actually leads to sleep-related issues. This happens when marijuana is consumed daily. Irregular use of this plant does not impact sleep. The effect of marijuana on sleep is akin to that of alcohol; irregular use may offer improved sleep but regular consumption of liquor interferes with sleep patterns.

Sleeping Patterns

The research found no significant differences in the sleep patterns of the second and third groups. Daytime sleep behavior was similar for regular users, occasional users, and those who did not use marijuana at all. Nearly 40% of daily users met the criteria for insomnia. They also exhibited sleep disturbance patterns that were more significant than those shown by irregular pot smokers. Regular users smoked weed during daytime and at night, whereas occasional smokers prefered to smoke only during night time.

For daily users, the only way to determine the effects of marijuana on their sleep is by stopping weed consumption for a few days and then noting the changes in their sleep behavior.

Anxiety Issues

Researchers conjecture that marijuana taken daily or in high amounts may contribute to anxiety, which in turn results in insomnia. This study also relied on existing information arrived at from previous studies. Older studies too have shown a relationship between high marijuana use, anxiety, and disturbed sleep patterns. This study also considered the possibility that anxiety and mood disorders may be driving people to marijuana for relief, which in turn affects sleep.  

Women in the group were revealed to have more problems with sleep as compared to men. This, the researchers said, was expected because insomnia is more likely to affect women than men.

The study suggested further research on the effect of marijuana on sleep so that treatment providers are in a better position to help regular weed users overcome insomnia and sleep deprivation issues.

Marijuana use in the United States is most common in the 18-25 years age group. People turn to marijuana for pain relief, anxiety relief, and to counter a number of other medical conditions.


If you are struggling with marijuana use and are finding it difficult to cope with its side effects, then Hired Power can help you. Our addictions counselors will assist you in transitioning from being dependent on marijuana to a more fulfilled life with peaceful sleep. Call us at 800-910-9299

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