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Total sleep time, alcohol consumption, and the duration and severity of alcohol hangover

Authors van Schrojenstein Lantman M, Mackus M, Roth T, Verster JC

Received 8 March 2017

Accepted for publication 25 May 2017

Published 29 June 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 181—186

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S136467

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Roumen Kirov

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Steven Shea

Marith van Schrojenstein Lantman,1 Marlou Mackus,1 Thomas Roth,2 Joris C Verster1,3,4

1Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; 2Sleep Disorders and Research Center, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan, USA; 3Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; 4Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University, Melbourne VIC, Australia


Introduction: An evening of alcohol consumption often occurs at the expense of sleep time. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between total sleep time and the duration and severity of the alcohol hangover.
Methods: A survey was conducted among Dutch University students to collect data on their latest alcohol hangover. Data on alcohol consumption, total sleep time, hangover severity, and duration were collected. Alcohol consumption and hangover severity and duration were compared for participants who (a) slept <5 hours, (b) slept between 5 and 7 hours, or (c) slept >7 hours.
Results: Data from N=578 students (40.1% men and 59.9% women) were included in the statistical analyses. Significant correlations were found between total sleep time and alcohol consumption (r=0.117, p=0.005), hangover severity (r= –0.178, p=0.0001) and hangover duration (r=0.168, p=0.0001). In contrast, total alcohol consumption did not correlate significantly with overall hangover severity or duration. Those who slept longer than 7 hours consumed significantly more alcohol (p=0.016) and reported extended hangover duration (p=0.004). However, they also reported significantly less severe hangovers (p=0.001) than students who slept <7 hours.
Conclusion: Reduced total sleep time is associated with more severe alcohol hangovers. 

Keywords: alcohol, hangover, duration, severity, total sleep time

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