People Who Sleep Less Drink More

Earlier this week I blogged about the possible deleterious impact that sleep deprivation, alcohol intake and TV watching can have on food intake.

Now a paper by Jean-Phillipe Chaput and colleagues from the University of Ottawa, published in the APPETITE, suggests that sleep deprivation in turn may contribute to increased alcohol consumption.

This cross-sectional study looked at the association between sleep duration and alcohol consumption in adults (301 men and 402 women aged 18 to 64 years) from the greater Quebec City area.

Participants categorized as short- (⩽6 h), compared to average- (7-8 h) or long- (⩾9 h) duration sleepers, consumed significantly more alcohol and had greater odds of odds of exceeding the recommendations for sensible weekly alcohol intake of 14 drinks for men and 7 drinks for women, even after adjusting for relevant confounders.

While this relationship was evident in both sexes, binge drinking (i.e. ⩾5 drinks on one occasion) was more common in men than women. Thus, men sleeping less than 6 hours per night with a disinhibited eating behavior were more likely to report binge drinking (41%).

Based on these findings the authors suggest that the combination of short sleep duration with disinhibited eating behavior is associated with greater alcohol intake in adults, findings that can certainly further explain the strong relationship between not getting enough sleep and weight gain.

Perhaps counselling patients on sleep hygiene may do more for them than asking them to simply eat less and move more.

Edmonton, Alberta
ResearchBlogging.orgChaput JP, McNeil J, Després JP, Bouchard C, & Tremblay A (2012). Short sleep duration is associated with greater alcohol consumption in adults. Appetite PMID: 22841812