Study Suggests Teen Sleep Issues Lead to Cannabis Use and Binge Drinking

Factors including sleep timing and sleep duration in teens and young adults are associated with an increased risk of cannabis use and binge drinking, according to recently published research.

An abstract of the study, “Self-Reported Sleep and Circadian Characteristics Predict Future Substance Use: A Longitudinal Analysis from the NCANDA Study,” was published last month in an online supplement to the journal Sleep.

To complete the study, researchers analyzed data from the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) study to examine whether multiple sleep factors in any year predict substance use the following year. The authors of the study noted in their introduction that mounting “evidence indicates that sleep characteristics predict later substance use and related problems during adolescence and young adulthood.”

Most previous studies, however, have assessed a limited range of sleep characteristics, included study subjects of a limited age range, and had relatively few follow-up assessments. For this research, data from 831 participants of NCANDA, including 431 females, was reviewed. Subjects were 12 to 21 years old at the onset of the study.

The research revealed that greater eveningness (late-night preference and delayed sleep time) and a shorter weekday sleep duration predicted an increased risk for additional days of cannabis

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