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Sleep Following Alcohol Intoxication in Healthy, Young Adults: Effects of Sex and Family History of Alcoholism

Authors

  • J. Todd Arnedt,

    1. From the Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory (JTA), Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (DJR), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Department of Community Health Sciences (ABA, SKH), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Community Health Sciences and Department of Emergency Medicine (JH), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Data Coordinating Center (MG), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; and VA Boston Healthcare System and Department of Medicine (DJG), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
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  • Damaris J. Rohsenow,

    1. From the Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory (JTA), Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (DJR), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Department of Community Health Sciences (ABA, SKH), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Community Health Sciences and Department of Emergency Medicine (JH), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Data Coordinating Center (MG), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; and VA Boston Healthcare System and Department of Medicine (DJG), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
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  • Alissa B. Almeida,

    1. From the Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory (JTA), Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (DJR), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Department of Community Health Sciences (ABA, SKH), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Community Health Sciences and Department of Emergency Medicine (JH), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Data Coordinating Center (MG), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; and VA Boston Healthcare System and Department of Medicine (DJG), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
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  • Sarah K. Hunt,

    1. From the Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory (JTA), Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (DJR), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Department of Community Health Sciences (ABA, SKH), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Community Health Sciences and Department of Emergency Medicine (JH), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Data Coordinating Center (MG), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; and VA Boston Healthcare System and Department of Medicine (DJG), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
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  • Manjusha Gokhale,

    1. From the Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory (JTA), Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (DJR), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Department of Community Health Sciences (ABA, SKH), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Community Health Sciences and Department of Emergency Medicine (JH), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Data Coordinating Center (MG), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; and VA Boston Healthcare System and Department of Medicine (DJG), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
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  • Daniel J. Gottlieb,

    1. From the Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory (JTA), Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (DJR), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Department of Community Health Sciences (ABA, SKH), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Community Health Sciences and Department of Emergency Medicine (JH), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Data Coordinating Center (MG), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; and VA Boston Healthcare System and Department of Medicine (DJG), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
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  • Jonathan Howland

    1. From the Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory (JTA), Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (DJR), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Department of Community Health Sciences (ABA, SKH), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Community Health Sciences and Department of Emergency Medicine (JH), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Data Coordinating Center (MG), Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; and VA Boston Healthcare System and Department of Medicine (DJG), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
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Reprint requests: J. T. Arnedt, PhD, Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, 4250 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2700; Tel.: +734 764 1234; Fax: +734 764 1229; E-mail: tarnedt@med.umich.edu

Abstract

Background:  This study evaluated sex and family history of alcoholism as moderators of subjective ratings of sleepiness/sleep quality and polysomnography (PSG) following alcohol intoxication in healthy, young adults.

Methods:  Ninety-three healthy adults [mean age 24.4 ± 2.7 years, 59 women, 29 subjects with a positive family history of alcoholism (FH+)] were recruited. After screening PSG, participants consumed alcohol (sex/weight adjusted dosing) to intoxication [peak breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) of 0.11 ± 0.01 g% for men and women] or matching placebo between 20:30 and 22:00 hours. Sleep was monitored using PSG between 23:00 and 07:00 hours. Participants completed the Stanford Sleepiness Scale and Karolinska Sleepiness Scale at bedtime and on awakening and a validated post-sleep questionnaire.

Results:  Following alcohol, total sleep time, sleep efficiency, nighttime awakenings, and wake after sleep onset were more disrupted in women than men, with no differences by family history status. Alcohol reduced sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, and rapid eye movement sleep while increasing wakefulness and slow wave sleep across the entire night compared with placebo. Alcohol also generally increased sleep consolidation in the first half of the night, but decreased it during the second half. Sleepiness ratings were higher following alcohol, particularly in women at bedtime. Morning sleep quality ratings were lower following alcohol than placebo.

Conclusions:  Alcohol intoxication increases subjective sleepiness and disrupts sleep objectively more in healthy women than in men, with no differences evident by family history of alcoholism status. Evaluating moderators of alcohol effects on sleep may provide insight into the role of sleep in problem drinking.

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