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Alcohol use disorders and sleep disruption

Poor sleep can affect multiple aspects of quality of life, and is associated with conditions like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and depression. This month we are addressing the bidirectional relationship that exists between sleep disruption and alcohol. Among patients with alcohol use disorder, sleep disturbances are common during phases of active drinking, withdrawal, and abstinence, with more than of half of alcohol-dependent patients suffering from symptomatic insomnia. Co-occurrence of alcohol dependence and insomnia is associated with greater psychosocial problem severity, impacting personal and professional relationships.

As Professor Timothy Roehrs explains in his video presentations, alcohol can disrupt circadian rhythms and circadian disruption can promote alcohol intake. The causal mechanisms of how they interact as risk factors for one another remain unclear. This reciprocal interaction can result in a vicious circle of alcohol intake causing poor sleep and self-administration of alcohol for sleep problems. Disruptions in circadian rhythms can persist during abstinence for several weeks to months and increase the risk for relapse. Physicians should address alcohol with patients who present in general practice with sleep problems. In our article section you will find practical information for assessment of sleep problems and an overview of treatments.

For more information, please go to the articles and videos on the Alcohol use disorders and sleep disruption topic page.

Latest Articles

Circadian clock genes: Effects on dopamine, reward and addiction

Puja K. Parekh, Angela R. Ozburn, Colleen A. McClung

Alcohol 2015, Volume 49, pages 341-349

Editorial comment:
Decades of research supports the notion that there exists a bidirectional relationship between alcohol abuse and circadian...

Sleep and use of alcohol and drug in adolescence. A large population-based study of Norwegian adolescents aged 16 to 19 years

Børge Sivertsen, Jens Christoffer Skogen, Reidar Jakobsen, Mari Hysing

Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2015, Volume 149, pages 180-186

Editorial comment:
The authors report on a large population-based study from Norway conducted in 2012 in which 9328 adolescents...

Assessment and treatment of insomnia in adult patients with alcohol use disorders

Kirk J. Brower

Alcohol 2015, Volume 49, pages 417-427

Editorial comment:
This article focuses on assessing and treating insomnia that persists despite 4 or more weeks of sobriety...

Insomnia in alcohol dependent subjects is associated with greater psychosocial problem severity

Ninad S. Chaudhary, Kyle M. Kampman, Henry R. Kranzler, Michael A. Grandner, Swarnalata Debbarma, Subhajit Chakravorty

Addictive Behaviors 2015, Volume 50, pages 165-172

Editorial comment:
The authors investigated the association between insomnia and psychosocial problems from a qualitative and a quantitative perspective...


About the Resource Centre

The Elsevier Progress in Mind: Focus on Alcohol Use Disorders Resource Centre will examine various topics related to alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Over the course of 1 year, one particular theme will be highlighted monthly, with the goal of increasing awareness from a general practice, psychiatric, and public health point of view.

To achieve this goal, the newest and most relevant scientific publications, video vignettes, and commentary from experts will be freely available on the Resource Centre. Examples of monthly topics include: the relationship between alcohol and hypertension; the societal burden of AUDs; and putative new treatments for patients with AUD. Elsevier aims to provide a comprehensive, educational space in which to explore the many facets of AUDs, in order to improve the identification of, and care for, patients with this brain disorder.


Editor-in-Chief of the Resource Centre

  • Philip Gorwood

    MD, PhD

    philip_gorwood.jpg Philip Gorwood MD, PhD Editor-in-Chief of the Resource Centre Philip Gorwood is Professor of Psychiatry and head of the...

Associate Editor of the Resource Centre

  • Steve Brinksman

    MD

    Dr Steve Brinksman, Birmingham CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group, Birmingham, UK, is Associate Editor of the Resource Centre. Dr Brinksman has...

Steering Commitee

David Nutt

david_nutt.png Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Hammersmith Hospital, London, and Imperial College London, UK David Nutt won an...

Jürgen Rehm

jurgen-rehm.jpg Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada Institute...

Wim van den Brink

wimvdbrink2.jpg Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, and Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research, Netherlands Wim van den Brink received his...

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Progress in Mind Symposium

The presentations and related content from the ‘Progress in Mind: focus on alcohol use disorders’ symposium, which was held in November 2014 in Paris, have served as the starting point for our Resource Centre.