Psychoactive drug and medication use among patients referred to a tertiary sleep laboratory population

Rowan P. Ogeil, Shivonne Prasad, Denise M. O'Driscoll, William Y.H. Li, Dan I. Lubman, Alan C. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Psychoactive drugs including alcohol, caffeine, and prescription medications are commonly consumed to alter sleep/wake states, however the prevalence and impact of these drugs among populations seeking assessment from sleep physicians are unknown. We investigated the prevalence of commonly used drugs (alcohol and caffeine), and medications in a population (N=120; 50 females and 70 males) attending a tertiary sleep clinic for diagnostic polysomnography (PSG) assessment. In addition to objective sleep assessment, participants completed questionnaires assessing sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, PSQI), daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale, ESS), depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS), alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, AUDIT), caffeine and medication use, as well as their experience of adverse events (motor vehicle accidents and near-miss crashes). Caffeine was consumed by 90% of the population and was associated with a reduction in excessive sleepiness symptomology; while high AUDIT scores were associated with increased near-miss crashes. Polypharmacy was common, with a greater number of medications associated with poorer sleep quality, and changes in sleep architecture. This study maps commonly used drugs in those attending a tertiary sleep clinic, and demonstrates associations between drug use and sleep outcomes assessed objectively and subjectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113545
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Hospital
  • Medication
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep quality

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