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[News] Booze or Snooze - negative effects of alcohol on sleep
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Booze or Snooze - negative effects of alcohol on sleep
Booze or Snooze - Researchers uncover negative effects of alcohol on sleep

[Image: alc-sleepwalking_emilyzaboski1-300x192.jpg]

Written by Amanda Lucidi

Although many college students are familiar with the cautionary tales of what effects excessive alcohol consumption can have on the body, a recent study from the Boston University School of Medicine has found another area where alcohol can be detrimental: sleep.

The article, published Sept. 29 in Brain Behavior Research and partly funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, identifies brain changes that could be involved in alcohol-related sleep disturbances, giving insight into this often-overlooked symptom.

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine have found that alcohol consumption disrupts the sleep-wake cycle and can cause other problems for chronic drinkers, such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine have found that alcohol consumption disrupts the sleep-wake cycle and can cause other problems for chronic drinkers, such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

“This is the first model that explains the mechanism of sleep disorder in alcohol dependence,” said Subimal Datta, senior author of the article and professor of psychiatry and neurology at BUSM.

In an effort to understand how sleep-wake cycles are affected by chronic alcohol dependence, the researchers created a hypothetical model concerning chemical changes in brain cells.

Datta and his team reached the hypothesis that chronic drinking — the consumption of five or more drinks on five or more days of the week — could lead to the dysfunction of cholinergic cells, which are responsible for synthesizing acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that signals attention and arousal.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 4 out of 5 college students drink alcohol, and half of those students who do drink, also consume alcohol by binge drinking.

Datta said this chemical change causes a host of sleeping problems for chronic drinkers including insomnia and sleep apnea.

“Sleep apnea is a huge problem with alcohol intake and one of the most dangerous parts. If you have sleep apnea, so many other disorders come,” Datta said. “The alcohol increases sleep apnea, and when you have sleep apnea, you can get diabetes, high blood pressure and the list goes on.”

And then there are the negative health effects of sleep disturbances, which can develop during cycles of drinking, withdrawing and abstaining, Datta said.

Since there are no current treatments for sleep-wake cycle interruption, the article has the potential to provide the basis for the development of treatments in pharmacological and clinical settings, he said.

“Sleep-wake disturbances can last for months, or even years, after someone stops drinking, which indicates that chronic alcohol abuse could cause long-term negative effects on sleep,” Datta said. “The National Institutes of Health is spending money on this because it affects people all over the world.”

Sukhwinder Dhillon, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, said sleep is especially important for college students.

“For college, you really need your sleep for processing power,” he said. “I don’t know about alcohol. I don’t drink much. But I definitely think it could negatively affect grades.”

When asked if he had any warnings for BU students, Datta spoke from experience.

“I have seen many of my students fail, especially when they drink alcohol for more than three days,” he said. “REM [Rapid Eye Movement] sleep is totally gone, and you need it to develop memory. Without REM sleep, you have no serious memory.”

Considering the chemical changes in brain cells, the development of certain centers in the brain and the overall risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption, Datta recommended that people abstain from alcohol until the age of 23 because that is when the brain is done developing.

“The thing is, we are still growing,” Dhillon said. “And if you start to introduce other chemicals, there could be long-term effects.”


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10-09-2014 01:34 PM
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zonk Offline

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RE: Booze or Snooze - negative effects of alcohol on sleep
(10-09-2014 01:34 PM)ApneaNews Wrote:  “For college, you really need your sleep for processing power,” he said. “I don’t know about alcohol. I don’t drink much. But I definitely think it could negatively affect grades.”
I don't drink muck either, a little of what you fancy does you good Coffee
10-09-2014 02:33 PM
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Evpraxia Offline

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RE: Booze or Snooze - negative effects of alcohol on sleep
All things in moderation - including alcohol; I STILL like my small glass (about 4 oz) of red wine with dinner (it used to be before bed but our sleep specialist told us not at bedtime - dinner is best).

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10-09-2014 08:22 PM
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retired_guy Offline

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RE: Booze or Snooze - negative effects of alcohol on sleep
Does this mean I should not use gin in my humidifier? What about the olive?
10-10-2014 03:10 PM
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Homerec130 Offline

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RE: Booze or Snooze - negative effects of alcohol on sleep
Make sure it is a large olive so it doesn't get sucked up the tube.

This alcohol and sleep study ties in quite well with circadian rhythm and its effect on aircrews. Found from experience that if I killed too many braincells after a long flight crossing a lot of time zones, it was harder to get over the jet lag (even in props). By the end of a trip with multiple time zone changes the body was already confused and the alcohol on top of it just compounded the factor.

Just goes to show they were correct when we talked about killing brain cells.

Homer
10-11-2014 03:11 PM
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lmcrep Offline

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RE: Booze or Snooze - negative effects of alcohol on sleep
And I thought you were supposed to eat the olive before going to sleep... :o)
10-11-2014 08:17 PM
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Doc J Offline

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RE: Booze or Snooze - negative effects of alcohol on sleep
Me and patron put my P10 on upside down twice. I blame the asymmetrical headgear. I did figure it out after it would not seal as usual and flipped it over.

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10-12-2014 11:17 PM
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