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Effects of emerging alcohol use on developmental trajectories of functional sleep measures in adolescents.

  • Kiss, Orsolya1
  • Goldstone, Aimée1
  • de Zambotti, Massimiliano1
  • Yüksel, Dilara1
  • Hasler, Brant P2
  • Franzen, Peter L2
  • Brown, Sandra A3
  • De Bellis, Michael D4
  • Nagel, Bonnie J5
  • Nooner, Kate B6
  • Tapert, Susan F3
  • Colrain, Ian M1
  • Clark, Duncan B2
  • Baker, Fiona C1, 7
  • 1 Center for Health Sciences, Bioscience Division, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA, USA.
  • 2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
  • 3 Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.
  • 4 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.
  • 5 School of Medicine, Division of Clinical Psychology, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, OR, USA.
  • 6 Psychology Department, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, USA.
  • 7 Brain Function Research Group, School of Physiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. , (South Africa)
Published Article
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Sep 08, 2023
DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsad113
PMID: 37058610


Adolescence is characterized by significant brain development, accompanied by changes in sleep timing and architecture. It also is a period of profound psychosocial changes, including the initiation of alcohol use; however, it is unknown how alcohol use affects sleep architecture in the context of adolescent development. We tracked developmental changes in polysomnographic (PSG) and electroencephalographic (EEG) sleep measures and their relationship with emergent alcohol use in adolescents considering confounding effects (e.g. cannabis use). Adolescents (n = 94, 43% female, age: 12-21 years) in the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) study had annual laboratory PSG recordings across 4-years. Participants were no/low drinkers at baseline. Linear mixed effect models showed developmental changes in sleep macrostructure and EEG, including a decrease in slow wave sleep and slow wave (delta) EEG activity with advancing age. Emergent moderate/heavy alcohol use across three follow-up years was associated with a decline in percentage rapid eye movement (REM) sleep over time, a longer sleep onset latency (SOL) and shorter total sleep time (TST) in older adolescents, and lower non-REM delta and theta power in males. These longitudinal data show substantial developmental changes in sleep architecture. Emergent alcohol use during this period was associated with altered sleep continuity, architecture, and EEG measures, with some effects dependent on age and sex. These effects, in part, could be attributed to the effects of alcohol on underlying brain maturation processes involved in sleep-wake regulation. © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected].

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