Binge drinking and sleep problems among young adults

Ioana Popovici, Michael T. French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objective: As most of the literature exploring the relationships between alcohol use and sleep problems is descriptive and with small sample sizes, the present study seeks to provide new information on the topic by employing a large, nationally representative dataset with several waves of data and a broad set of measures for binge drinking and sleep problems. Methods: We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a nationally representative survey of adolescents and young adults. The analysis sample consists of all Wave 4 observations without missing values for the sleep problems variables (N= 14,089, 53% females). We estimate gender-specific multivariate probit models with a rich set of socioeconomic, demographic, physical, and mental health variables to control for confounding factors. Results: Our results confirm that alcohol use, and specifically binge drinking, is positively and significantly associated with various types of sleep problems. The detrimental effects on sleep increase in magnitude with frequency of binge drinking, suggesting a dose-response relationship. Moreover, binge drinking is associated with sleep problems independent of psychiatric conditions. Conclusions: The statistically strong association between sleep problems and binge drinking found in this study is a first step in understanding these relationships. Future research is needed to determine the causal links between alcohol misuse and sleep problems to inform appropriate clinical and policy responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-215
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013


  • Alcohol use
  • Binge drinking
  • National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health)
  • Sleep problems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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