The effects of acute alcohol withdrawal on sleep

Christopher J. Hodges, Rowan P. Ogeil, Dan I. Lubman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Although sleep disturbances are prominent during alcohol withdrawal, less is known about the specific components of sleep that are disturbed prior to and during acute detoxification. This study aimed to determine whether specific sleep components are affected prior to and during acute detoxification and their relationship to psychological distress. Methods: Twenty-nine participants were recruited from a residential detoxification service in Melbourne, Australia, and completed both subjective methods of sleep and distress, in addition to wearing an actigraphy device. Results: Daytime dysfunction, sleep quality, and sleep disturbances were the components that were most disturbed in the month prior to admission, and poor sleep efficiency was detected during acute withdrawal using actigraphy. A significant association was found between sleep and psychological distress in this group. Conclusions: Specific disturbances in sleep are experienced prior to and during acute alcohol withdrawal, suggesting that tailored interventions may be effective in the treatment of sleep deficits during these periods.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2657
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • alcohol
  • daytime dysfunction
  • detoxification
  • insomnia
  • sleep
  • withdrawal

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