The Effects of Alcohol on Quality of Sleep

Korean J Fam Med. 2015 Nov;36(6):294-9. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2015.36.6.294. Epub 2015 Nov 20.


Background: Alcohol is traditionally known to have a relaxing effect. However, persons who consume alcohol in excessive amounts suffer from poor sleep quality and patients with alcohol use disorders commonly report insomnia. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of alcohol use on sleep quality.

Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey was conducted with 234 men and 159 women who had visited a general hospital. We used structured questionnaires, including Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test-Korean revised version (AUDIT-KR) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index-Korean version (PSQI-K). We analyzed the association between scores for all subcategories of the PSQI-K and the AUDIT-KR and then analyzed the correlation between AUDIT-KR and global PSQI-K scores.

Results: The global PSQI-K score for men was positively correlated with the AUDIT-KR score (P=0.008) after adjusting for age, chronic disease, tobacco use, exercise, depression, and anxiety. The AUDIT-KR score was significantly associated with subjective sleep quality (P=0.005), sleep duration (P=0.047), and sleep disturbance (P=0.048); it was not associated with sleep latency, sleep efficiency, or daytime dysfunction. Sleep disturbances due to snoring were significantly associated with total AUDIT-KR score (P=0.008). There was no correlation between the global PSQI-K and AUDIT-KR scores for women (P=0.333). However, daytime dysfunction showed a significant association with total AUDIT-KR score (P=0.048).

Conclusion: Men with higher AUDIT-KR scores tended to suffer from poor sleep quality. AUDIT-KR scores showed significant correlations with subjective sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep disturbances in men.

Keywords: Alcohol Drinking; Sleep Disorders; Sleep Quality.