Do Sleep Patterns Relate to the Desire for Alcohol?

  • Richard P. Allen
  • Althea M. Wagman
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 59)


Sleep research on drugs of abuse has often been at least implicitly justified by a presumed relation between sleep disturbances and the development of addiction, particularly for hypnotics. Some relation between sleep changes and addiction seems compelling when it is noted that most short-acting hypnotics are drugs of abuse. Smith and Wesson (1974), for example, recently advanced the not unusual opinion that all short-acting hypnotics have abuse potential. Alcohol sleep research in particular has been, on occasion, explicitly justified by this apparent relation between sleep and addiction. Gross et al (1966) and Gross and Goodenough (1968) noted a possible causai Félation between excessive drinking and sleep onset insomnia. Lester et al. (1973) similarly indicated that alcoholics may start or continue drinking in order to reduce their sleep disturbance. These arguments suggest that an alcoholic’s sleep disturbances may be one of the significant factors contributing to his disposition to drink. But aside from general observations there has been no attempt to directly test for this relation. Indeed, there has been relatively little experimental work on factors affecting an alcoholic’s disposition to drink.


Progressive Ratio Progressive Ratio Schedule Variable Interval Schedule Alcohol Abstinence Sleep Onset Insomnia 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard P. Allen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Althea M. Wagman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryBaltimore City HospitalUSA
  2. 2.Maryland Psychiatric Research CenterBaltimoreUSA

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