Sleep in Alcoholic Patients: Longitudinal Findings

  • O. H. Rundell
  • Harold L. Williams
  • Boyd K. Lester
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 85B)


Alterations of sleep associated with both acute and chronic ingestion of alcohol have received a good deal of attention in the past few years. The picture that has emerged from this work suggests an initial sedative effect of alcohol with brisk sleep onset, decreased stage REM, and enhanced slow-wave sleep (Rundell, Lester, Griffiths, and Williams, 1972; Yules, Freedman, and Chandler, 1966; Gross, Goodenough, Nagarajan, and Hastey, 1973; Lester, Rundell, Cowden, and Williams, 1976). As blood levels decline following a moderate dose of alcohol, the sedative effects disappear, and the second half of the night’s sleep usually shows enhanced stage REM and increased sleep disturbance (Yules et al., 1966; Knowles, Laverty, and Kuechler, 1968; Rundell et al., 1972). If drinking continues, the sedative effects lessen after a few nights, and increased doses are required to obtain sedation (Gross, et al., 1972; Lester, et al., 1976; Rundell, et al., 1972).


Heavy Drinking Sleep Onset Alcohol Intoxication Alcoholic Patient Sleep Onset Latency 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. H. Rundell
    • 1
  • Harold L. Williams
    • 1
  • Boyd K. Lester
    • 1
  1. 1.Oklahoma Center for Alcohol & Drug-Related Studies and Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA

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