, Volume 235, Issue 6, pp 1775–1782 | Cite as

A history of binge drinking during adolescence is associated with poorer sleep quality in young adult Mexican Americans and American Indians

  • Cindy L. Ehlers
  • Derek Wills
  • David A. Gilder
Original Investigation



Binge drinking during adolescence is common, and adolescents and young adults with alcohol problems may also have sleep difficulties. However, few studies have documented the effects of a history of adolescent binge drinking on sleep in young adulthood in high-risk minority populations.


To quantify sleep disturbance, as indexed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), in a sample of young adult Mexican American and American Indian men and women (18–30 years, n = 800) with and without a history of alcohol binge drinking during adolescence, controlling for age, gender, and race.


Gender was found to affect PSQI responses with females reporting waking up at night, having more bad dreams, and later habitual bedtimes than males, and males reporting more problems with breathing and snoring. Increasing age was associated with snoring or coughing, less hours spent in bed, and later evening bedtimes. Race also influenced the PSQI with American Indians reporting longer sleep latencies and sleep durations, more hours spent in bed, and more trouble with coughing and snoring than Mexican Americans, and Mexican Americans reporting later bedtimes. A history of adolescent regular binge drinking was associated with longer sleep latencies, more problems with breathing, bad dreams, and an overall higher PSQI total score, when controlling for age, race, and gender.


This report suggests, like what has been found in young adults in general population samples, that binge drinking during adolescence is associated with deleterious consequences on sleep quality in young adulthood in these high-risk and understudied ethnic groups.


Adolescence Alcohol Binge drinking Sleep PSQI 



The authors wish to acknowledge the technical support of Corrine Kim, Evie Phillips, Jessica Benedict, Mellany Santos, and Philip Lau.

Funding sources

National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for this study was provided by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) AA006420, 5R37 AA010201, to CLE.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cindy L. Ehlers
    • 1
  • Derek Wills
    • 1
  • David A. Gilder
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosciencesThe Scripps Research InstituteLa JollaUSA

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