The study in question, which was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, involved monitoring the sleep of 93 men and women in their twenties after a night of drinking and a night of stimulated drinking.
The study was conducted in a sleep lab, and required the participants to drink either Wild Turkey bourbon or Absolut vodka mixed with caffeine-free Coke on the first night until their blood-alcohol level reached one (the level at which most people are visibly drunk). In the next week the participants were asked to drink a placebo drink, which only had a few drops of alcohol in each glass.
The results showed that the male volunteers slept equally as soundly when they had been drinking alcohol as when they were sober. However, when the female volunteers had alcohol in their system they slept an average of 20 minutes less and woke more often and for longer periods.
Sleep disruption has been previously linked to alcoholism and relapses in some individuals who are trying to overcome their addiction. Experts hope that further research will be able to reveal how alcohol-related sleep issues may contribute to problem drinking.
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