A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (2021) examined the association between insufficient sleep and prescription opioid misuse among 6,884 high school students who self-reported on sleep duration and prescription opioid misuse in the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Most (79.4%) participants reported sleeping less than 8 hours per night.
Among all youth, 12.9% reported lifetime prescription opioid misuse and 6.2% reported current prescription opioid misuse.
Prevalence of both lifetime and current opioid medication misuse was higher among those also reporting insufficient sleep compared to those reporting recommended sleep duration (14.3% vs 7.7% for lifetime misuse and 6.6% vs 4.3% for current misuse).
Insufficient sleep was associated with an increased odds of lifetime prescription opioid misuse but not current prescription opioid misuse.
This study identifies inadequate sleep (<8 hours/night) nearly doubles the risk for lifetime prescription opioid misuse among US adolescents.
One important implication of these findings is to integrate the promotion of adequate nightly sleep (i.e., 8-10 hours/night) as a key element of opioid misuse prevention programs for adolescents.
View research paper abstract: https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/abs/10.5664/jcsm.9418