Can Sleep Difficulties Cause Drug, Alcohol Addiction?

For all of us, sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep; it can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function. However, in a subset of cases sleep deprivation can, paradoxically, lead to increased energy and alertness and enhanced mood; it has even been used as a treatment for depression.

Below you will read about specific teenager problems uncovered due to lack of sufficient sleep. New research pinpoints specific major long term problems which stem from insufficient sleep. Even if you aren’t concerned – you need to be able to discuss the problem.

Sleep-deprived teenagers find it difficult to focus in class, and they’re more likely get sick. They are also more likely to develop problems with alcohol later on, according to a study published Friday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical Experimental Research.

The study included teens who suffered from conditions like insomnia as well as those who simply weren’t getting enough sleep. Teenagers ages 14 through 16 who had trouble falling or staying asleep were 47 percent more likely to binge drink than their well-rested peers.

Sleep problems were linked to even more issues with alcohol later on.

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A new study has found that difficulties in sleep as well as the sleeping hours can foretell us about a number of specific health problems, such as binge drinking, risky sexual behavior and others. According to the researchers, they have found a close link between poor sleep and substance use in younger people.

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Prof. Maria Wong, of Idaho State University, said, “Sleep difficulties at the first wave … interpersonal problems, binge drinking, getting drunk on alcohol, driving under the influence of alcohol, getting into sexual situations one later regretted due to drinking, and using illicit drugs and drug-related problems at the second wave.”

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‘This paper is important in that it advances our understanding of the relation of sleep to substance use problems to include not only problems sleeping, that is, trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep, but also insufficient sleep, addressed here as hours of sleep,’ concluded Tim Roehrs from Henry Ford Hospital.

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photo credit Flickr

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