Women Lose Sleep Over Drinking
A new study seems to show that alcohol causes more sleep problems in women than in men. It was a relatively small study — only 59 women and 34 men in their 20s, who consumed alcohol until they were drunk. A control group drank a non-alcoholic beverage before they went to bed. The size of the study makes it likely that larger controlled studies will need to be done to confirm these findings. Researchers noted the differences in the way men and women sleep responded to alcohol; apparently this is a relatively unstudied area of research.
The women who had consumed alcohol had fewer hours of sleep, they woke up more frequently and for a longer time during the night, and had more disrupted sleep compared to the men. The differences may have to do with how the alcohol is metabolized in the body. "Women show a more rapid decline in BrAC (breath alcohol concentration) following alcohol consumption than men," stated lead author J. Todd Arnedt, an assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Michigan. They did adjust for equivalent breath alcohol concentration in both males and females. Prior use of alcohol was also equivalent, so neither account for the poor sleep results in women.
The researches hope that the results of this study may have implications for further research on any link between sleep quality and alcoholism; and if the ability to stay on the wagon relates to the quality of sleep that individual is experiencing. I find that further implications may be that alcohol use could lead to other problems for women in daily life. It would be interesting to take the study further and test things such as attention span, reflex response and immunity markers in the blood, as all relate to some degree with quality of sleep. Gives one pause that perhaps going on a wild spree is not best the night before a important event where one is on the spot — especially for women.