Queen of Sleep

Living with narcolepsy: a personal journey

Does Alcohol Consumption Affect Quality of Sleep?

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Last week, ABC and SLEEPzine reported a study claiming that alcohol and sleep problems are not related.  The University of Missouri in Columbia unveiled that their study showed no correlation between poor sleep and alcohol. On the other hand participants that used alcohol as a sleep aid were more likely to become hazardous drinkers. SLEEPzine wrote that the study seemed a bit broad since they were based on participant’s self reports of alcohol use and sleep issues. SLEEPzine finished off their article by claiming that at least heavy drinkers can now be relieved because the alcohol does not interfere with their sleep pattern. I had to find the research paper. How can alcohol consumption not affect the quality of sleep? ABC’s short article mentioned that the study from University of Missouri was going to be published in the current edition of Annals of Family Medicine so I went to their website to find the paper. The full text is available here: Alcohol and Sleep Problems in Primary Care Patients: A Report from the AAFP National Research Network.

I read it a few times because I couldn’t quite believe the conclusion. The purpose of the study was: Hazardous and harmful drinking and sleep problems are common, but their associations among patients seen in primary care have not been examined. We hypothesized that greater levels of alcohol consumption would be associated with several self-reported sleep problems. Did the participants know the purpose of the study? I believe that people are more likely to selfreport sleep problems than they are to selfreport accurate alcohol consumption. The study is based on self- reporting, so the it assumed that participants would self -report sleep  on the same level of accuracy as their alcohol patterns.

It has been proven that we selectively self-report food consumption (Superzize vs Superskinny/Channel 4 (bit tedious ref. but still…) especially if we tend to overeat why wouldn’t the same rule apply for alcohol? The concept of over consumption varies depending on who you ask. We report a consumption that fits in with the kind of lifestyle/person with identify with especially if you associate alcohol/food with negative emotions. The expected levels of accuracy differ and therefore the study cannot be valid. It does not matter if the study is anonymous. The

ABC: Study: Alcohol does not cause sleep problems

SLEEPzine: Alcohol not Related to Sleep Problems

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Written by Queen of Sleep

November 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm

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