Alcohol Abuse Leads to Severe Sleep Disturbances

While we’ve warned here at SleepBetter about how drinking alcohol can lead to disrupted sleep, new research is looking at how abuse of the drink can lead to significant sleep issues even after the individual isn’t drinking anymore.

The research, conducted at Boston University School of Medicine, led to a hypothesis that chronic alcohol use leads to dysfunction of cholinergic cells (cells that synthesize neurotransmitter acetylcholine) in an area of the brain stem called the pedunculopontine tegmentum, which is involved in regulating many aspects of sleep.  In plain English, individuals who drink to much over a prolonged period end up with an over-activity of brain chemicals in the brain, causing a disruption in the normal sleep cycle.

The research’s senior author says these sleep disruptions can last as much as years after someone stops drinking for good, which indicates that chronic alcohol abuse could cause long-term negative effects on sleep.

Source: Medical Xpress