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Teen Insomnia Linked to Alcohol Use

Teen Insomnia Linked to Alcohol Use

Emerging research finds that insomnia is linked to alcohol use among early adolescents.

Investigators at Rutgers University-Camden examined the associations between alcohol use and four sleep-related issues. Conditions reviewed included, initial insomnia; daytime sleepiness; sleep irregularity, defined as the difference in weekday and weekend bedtimes; and disturbed sleep, characterized as nightmares, snoring, sleepwalking, wetting the bed, and talking in sleep.

“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 researcher Dr. Naomi Marmorstein, a professor of psychology.

The study appears in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

When sleep problems were found to be associated with frequency of alcohol use, she examined whether symptoms of mental health problems or levels of parental monitoring accounted for these associations.

The research focused on seventh- and eighth-grade students participating in the Camden Youth Development Study, an initiative funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. The study examines the development of mental health problems and resilience among at-risk youth.

Youth completed questionnaires in the classroom that asked several specific questions. Teens were 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. In addition, students answered questions which were used to assess depressive symptoms, as well as evidence of conduct disorder symptoms.

Teachers also completed questionnaires, which were analyzed to determine the presence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms.

Overall, there were associations between alcohol and both insomnia and daytime sleepiness. Importantly, Marmorstein determined that symptoms of mental health problems and parental monitoring did not account for the link between insomnia and alcohol use.

“These findings indicate that insomnia may be a unique risk marker for alcohol use among young adolescents,” she said.

Marmorstein notes that the findings are consistent with associations found between insomnia and alcohol among older adolescents and adults.

Source: Rutgers University-Camden

Teen Insomnia Linked to Alcohol Use

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2017). Teen Insomnia Linked to Alcohol Use. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2017/11/13/teen-insomnia-linked-to-alcohol-use/128698.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 13 Nov 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Nov 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.