Cannabis and Alcohol Use for Sleep Aid: A Daily Diary Investigation

Patricia A. Goodhines, Les A. Gellis, Emily B. Ansell, Aesoon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: One in 5 college students use substances such as cannabis and/or alcohol to help sleep. Despite this high prevalence of sleep aid use, there remains a lack of research on the potential day-to-day sleepand substance-related consequences. The current study examined associations of cannabis and alcohol sleep aid use with subsequent sleep and substance use consequences among college students. Method: Of a baseline sample of 217 college students endorsing past-month cannabis and/or alcohol use (1% cannabis only, 42% alcohol only, 58% both), 83 students endorsing past-month cannabis and/or alcohol use for sleep aid (Mage = 19.33 [SD = 1.11], 30% male, 72% White) completed online questionnaires for 14 consecutive days to report daily sleep, substance use, and negative substance consequences. Results: Multilevel models demonstrated that nights of cannabis sleep aid use predicted longer samenight sleep duration, shorter same-night wake time after sleep onset, and greater next-day daytime fatigue within person, after controlling for daily cannabis frequency. Alcohol sleep aid use was not associated with sleep-related outcomes or negative drinking consequences after controlling for daily alcohol quantity; these null results may be due to a low frequency of alcohol sleep aid use (1% of observations) over 14 days of assessment. Conclusions: Results highlight daytime fatigue as a potential adverse short-term outcome of cannabis sleep aid use, despite its proximal sleep-related benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1036-1047
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2019


  • alcohol
  • cannabis
  • multilevel analysis
  • self-medication
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology


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