As per a new study, excess alcohol use among early adolescents may lead to insomnia. “These findings indicate that insomnia may be a unique risk marker for alcohol use among young adolescents,” said Naomi Marmorstein, professor at Rutgers University-Camden in the US. The researcher examined the associations between alcohol use and sleep-related issues on seventh and eighth-grade students.
When sleep problems were found to be associated with frequency of alcohol use, the researcher examined whether symptoms of mental health problems or levels of parental monitoring accounted for these associations. The study, published in the Journal Addictive Behaviours, examined the development of mental health problems and resilience among at-risk youth. The participants of the study completed questionnaires that asked how long it took for them to fall asleep, what times they usually went to bed on a weekday and on the weekend or vacation night, how often they experienced sleep disturbances and whether they ever fell asleep in class or had trouble staying awake after school. They were also asked the frequency of any alcohol use in the previous four months. The researcher determined that symptoms of mental health problems and parental monitoring did not account for the link between insomnia and alcohol use. Overall, there were associations between alcohol and both insomnia and daytime sleepiness. “Parents, educators and therapists should consider insomnia to be a risk marker for alcohol use and alcohol use a risk marker for insomnia, among early adolescents,” said Marmorstein.