Behav Sleep Med. 2022 Feb 12:1-13. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2022.2040505. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Young adults may use alcohol and cannabis as sleep aids, a risky behavior that can worsen sleep health over time and lead to substance dependence. Perceived norms for such risky behaviors are often overestimated and related to one’s own use. This cross-sectional study examined: (a) the extent to which college students overestimated the prevalence of alcohol and cannabis use as sleep aids (i.e., perceived descriptive norms), and (b) the extent to which perceived descriptive norms were associated with students’ own use of alcohol and cannabis as sleep aids.

METHODS: 2,642 undergraduate college students (Mage = 18.84 years) reported past 30-day use of alcohol and cannabis as sleep aids. Participants also estimated the percent of college students who use alcohol and cannabis as sleep aids (i.e., perceived descriptive norms).

RESULTS: One-sample t-tests revealed participants, on average, overestimated the norms for using alcohol and cannabis as sleep aids. Participants who endorsed past 30-day use of these substances as sleep aids overestimated these norms to an even greater extent. Count regression models showed perceived descriptive norms were associated with students’ use of alcohol and of cannabis as sleeps aids, in respective models, even when controlling for sleep difficulties.

CONCLUSIONS: College students may overestimate the prevalence of using alcohol and cannabis as sleep aids, and students who believe these behaviors are more normative report more frequent use of these substances as sleep aids. Taken together, findings may highlight the potential for norm-correcting strategies as a prudent approach to reducing/preventing the use of alcohol and cannabis as sleep aids.

PMID:35156478 | DOI:10.1080/15402002.2022.2040505


Source: ncbi 2

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