BIPHASIC EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL AS A FUNCTION OF CIRCADIAN PHASE
Biphasic Effects of Alcohol as a Function of Circadian Phase
Eliza Van Reen, PhD1,2; Tracy L. Rupp, PhD1,2; Christine Acebo, PhD1,2; Ronald Seifer, PhD1,3,4; Mary A. Carskadon, PhD1,2
1Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI; 2E.P. Bradley Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory,Providence, RI; 3Center for the Study of Human Development at Brown University, Providence, RI; 4E.P. Bradley Hospital, Providence, RI
To assess how alcohol affects multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT) and subjective measures of stimulation/sedation when alcohol is given at different circadian phases.
Twenty-seven healthy young adults (age 21-26 yr) were studied.
Double-blind placebo and alcohol (vodka tonic targeting 0.05 g% concentration) beverages were each administered three times during the 20-h forced desynchrony protocol. Sleep latency tests and Biphasic Effects of Alcohol Scale (BAES) were administered on each forced desynchrony day. The outcome variables for this study include sleep onset latency (SOL) and stimulation and sedation value (from the BAES). Each outcome variable was associated with the ascending or descending limb of the breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) curve and assigned a circadian phase within a 90° bin.
Measurements and Results:
BrAC confirmed targeted maximal levels. Only outcome variables associated with the ascending and descending limb of the alcohol curve were analyzed for this article. Alcohol administered at a circadian time associated with greatest sleepiness showed longer SOL compared with placebo when measured on the ascending limb of the BrAC curve. We also found longer SOL with alcohol on the ascending limb of the BrAC curve in a circadian bin that favors greatest alertness. We observed shorter SOLs on the descending limb of the BrAC curve, but with no circadian phase interaction. The subjective data were partially consistent with the objective data.
The physiologic findings in this study support the biphasic stimulating and sedating properties of alcohol, but limit the effect to specific circadian times.
Van Reen E; Rupp TL; Acebo C; Seifer R; Carskadon MA. Biphasic effects of alcohol as a function of circadian phase. SLEEP 2013;36(1):137-145.