Sleep pattern and sleep disorders in alcohol use disorders
Darcin, AE (2010) Sleep pattern and sleep disorders in alcohol use disorders. Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry (Anadolu Psikiyatri Dergisi), 11 (4). pp. 335-342.
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Insomnia has been hypothesized to play an important role in the course of alcoholism. Sleep problems, which can have significant clinical and economic consequences, are more common among alcoholics than nonalcoholics. During both drinking periods and withdrawal, alcoholics commonly experience virtually every type of problems about sleep. Typically, these individuals take a longer time to fall asleep and have decreased sleep efficiency, shorter sleep duration and reduced amounts of slow wave sleep when compared with healthy controls. In addition, their sleep patterns are fragmented and the amount of REM sleep may be reduced or increased. Sleep changes can persist during months or years of abstinence, and recent studies indicate that certain alterations in sleep architecture, as well as subjective sleep complaints, predict relapse to alcoholism. While only a few pharmacological and nonpharmacological strategies to improve or normalise disturbed sleep in individuals who have recovered from alcoholism have been studied, the use of benzodiazepines, some other hypnosedatives or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors is not recommended. Further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between sleep, sleep abnormalities and alcoholism, and to establish new approaches to improve sleep in alcohol-dependent patients and to prevent withdrawal reactions that affect sleep during abstinence. This article has been written by using information obtained from previous research and reviews that focused on the relationship between alcohol use disorders and sleep pattern, and it aims to remind the reader about the sleep disturbances associated with alcoholism process and to summarize the related treatment approaches in the literature.
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