Alcohol Increases Sleep Intensity In Young Women

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Quality of Sleep and Alcohol

While numerous studies have linked alcohol abuse to sleep disruption, especially in males, there has been little research on alcohol and its effects on sleep in females. Now, a new study shows that a moderate amount of alcohol, taken before bed, can impact the quality of sleep for young women.

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"We found that a moderate dose of alcohol consumed by a young woman an hour before bed is associated with increased sleep intensity in the first couple hours of the sleep episode," says author Mary A. Carskadon, PhD, with the Bradley Hospital Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory and Brown Medical School.

This phenomenon was observed in well-slept women using an alcohol dose of 0.49 g/kg, equivalent to two to three standard drinks (in the form of vodka tonics), in the hour before bedtime, or 0.5 g/% below the legal limit for driving while intoxicated in many states.

Appearing in the June 2006 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, this study looked at the sleep habits of young women (between ages 22 to 25) who drank alcohol before bed, over the course of three nights. Researchers monitored the women's sleep and sleep electroencephalograms (EEGs), a graphic record of the electrical activity of the brain

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