Washington: A new study has shown that during puberty, teens may suffer from sleeping disorders and thus resort to alcohol to get sleep – increasing susceptibility to alcohol abuse at an early age.Alcohol’s pharmacological properties disrupt the deeper, more restorative stages of sleep. Sleep problems also predict the onset of alcohol abuse in healthy adults and relapse in abstinent alcoholics."Pubertal timing has been found to predict adolescent alcohol use, with early maturing adolescents being more likely to drink. Adolescent alcohol use has also been linked to sleep problems, such as trouble falling asleep, maintaining sleep, and perceived tiredness. This study combines these two separate lines of research by examining the impact of pubertal maturation on the relation between sleep problems and alcohol use,” explained Sara Pieters, a doctoral student in neuropsychology at the University Nijmegen and corresponding author for the study.
"Our advice to clinicians would be to better screen for sleep problems when adolescents seem to have other psychosocial or behavioural problems. To parents it is recommended that they monitor their offspring``s sleep, keeping in mind that sleep has an effect on so many other health domains, including risky behaviours such as alcohol consumption," said Pieters.Results will be published in the September 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View. ANI
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