As marijuana becomes legalized (and decriminalized) in an increasing number of states, there is growing concern on how it will influence and affect our children’s behavior.
Previous studies have indicated that obesity, asthma and anxiety/depression are only a few of the negative consequences that result from daytime sleepiness in young people.
Now, a new published study examined teenagers over 13 years of age who were referred to pediatric experts to explain their excessive daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy).
Past research on sleep patterns involving adults has revealed that a variety of different medications and illicit drugs may affect the results of sleep studies. Could similar findings be discovered in our youth?
A recent 10-year retrospective study of 383 children is the first to examine the prevalence of positive drug screens in adolescent patients undergoing MSLT (multiple sleep latency tests).
The results find that 43% of children testing positive for marijuana also had results consistent with narcolepsy or abnormal REM (rapid eye movement) sleep patterns.
The American Association of Pediatrics takes this issue of daytime sleepiness in adolescents very seriously.
This reputable medical organization stated in peer-reviewed research that “This excessive sleepiness can have a profound negative effect on school performance, cognitive function, and mood and has been associated with other serious consequences such as an increased incidence of automobile crashes.”
The authors of the current report stated, "A key finding of this study is that marijuana use may be associated with excessive daytime sleepiness in teenagers. A negative urine drug screen finding is…important before accepting a diagnosis (of excessive daytime sleepiness) and prior to starting treatment in a teenager."