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The Association of Alcohol Severity and Sleep Quality in Problem Drinkers.


AIMS:The association between alcohol use and sleep problems is well established and clinically meaningful, particularly as predictors of relapse. This study aims to elucidate the relationship between sleep disturbances and alcohol problems in a non-treatment-seeking community sample using an alcoholism problem severity factor. METHODS:Participants were problem drinkers (N = 295) from the Los Angeles community who had a breath alcohol content (BrAC) of 0.00 g/dl when they completed an in-person assessment battery comprised of measures of sleep quality, anxiety and depression, cigarette smoking, as well as multiple assessments of alcohol use and alcohol use problems. RESULTS:A series of hierarchical regressions showed that alcohol problem severity explained a significant amount of variance in sleep disturbance beyond demographic, mood and smoking variables. Alcohol problem severity was predictive of the PSQI global score (B = 1.11, P < 0.001), perceived sleep quality factor (B = 0.18, P < 0.001) and daily disturbance factor (B = 0.28, P < 0.001). However, contrary to study hypothesis, alcohol problem severity was predictive of improved sleep efficiency (B = -0.14, P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS:In sum, alcohol problem severity may be predictive of sleep disturbances. Given the complex nature of these relationships, further work is needed to develop adequate treatment for sleep disturbance during alcohol recovery. Nonetheless, this study suggests that as alcohol problem severity increases so do sleep problems. Thus, attending to sleep problems at early stages of alcohol problems may be warranted.

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