Teen Sleep Patterns Linked To Alcohol, Marijuana Use

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

New research suggests that teens with sleep problems are more likely to have use drugs and alcohol than teens who have better sleep patterns.

Researchers found that an extra 10 minutes of shuteye meant a 4 to 6 percent "jump in likeliness that the teen used alcohol and marijuana in the past month," The New York Daily News reported. The association between sleep and alcohol and marijuana use was consistent even after controlling for other known risk factors, such as depression.

"Our findings suggest that sleep issues are independently associated with alcohol and marijuana use for teens, not just a marker for other risk factors, such as depression," Wendy Troxel, the study's lead author and a behavioral scientist at RAND Corporation, said in a statement. "Better understanding of the association between sleep and substance use is important for parents, schools and others involved in alcohol and drug prevention efforts for this age group."

For the study, researchers collected and analyzed data from more than 2,500 teens who self-reported their total sleep time and bedtime via a single assessment Web survey, as well as alcohol or marijuana use, when the teens were in high school. The surveys were completed between May 2013 and April 2014.

The research team cautions that although the findings show an association between sleep and the use of alcohol and marijuana, it is not possible to determine cause from effect without additional research.

The findings are detailed in the journal Sleep Health

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