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Keywords:

  • Athens Insomnia Scale;
  • Alcohol Dependence;
  • Childhood Abuse

Background

Insomnia is an important symptom in alcohol-dependent patients because it may persist despite abstinence and predispose to relapse to drinking. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence and clinical correlates of insomnia in a sample of 302 alcohol-dependent patients admitted to treatment programs in Poland.

Methods

Participants were mostly men (73.8%) with a mean (SD) age of 43.5 (9.7) years. Insomnia in the past 1 month was assessed using a total score of 6 or higher on the Athens Insomnia Scale.

Results

Insomnia affected 62.9% of patients, and delayed sleep induction was the most common subtype. Insomnia was associated in bivariate analyses with less education, inadequate finances, problem drinking at an earlier age of onset, drinking frequency and quantity, drinking-related consequences, severity of alcohol and nicotine dependence, psychiatric and physical severity, and a childhood history of sexual or physical abuse (< 0.05). Logistic regression analysis showed that mental and physical health status, severity of alcohol dependence, number of drinking days in the past 3 months, and childhood abuse were independent predictors of insomnia, explaining approximately 30 to 40% of the variance.

Conclusions

More than 60% of alcohol-dependent patients in a Polish sample screened positive for insomnia using a validated scale, a rate similar to those assessed with other scales in other countries. The study also showed that insomnia in alcohol-dependent patients is associated with poor physical health and childhood abuse, similar to the general population. The multifactorial nature of insomnia in alcohol-dependent patients has treatment implications.