A new study published in Behavioral Sleep Medicine (2022) 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.
Participants who endorsed past 30-day use of alcohol and cannabis as sleep aids overestimated these norms to a greater extent.
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.
The authors concluded that 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.
These results suggest that college students should be presented with prevention messages that aim to correct overestimated perceptions that alcohol and cannabis are used by college students as sleep aids.
In addition, students need to become made more aware of the negative effects of sleep problems on their health, performance and relationships.
Read the entire research abstract: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15402002.2022.2040505