Chronic Drinking Impairs Sleep Patterns

Monday 30th August 2010

Chronic drinking badly damages the body's sleep wake cycle, according to new research due to be published in the November issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. The new report suggests that regularly drinking to excess can alter the genes that regulate the circadian body clock, causing them to produce lower levels of RNA or 'messenger' proteins than non or moderate drinkers.

Scientists measuring levels of RNA proteins as an indicator of circadian clock genes found that alcohol dependent males were more likely to have circadian rhythm dysfunction which, in turn, increased their risk of developing serious health problems including depression and cancer.

And researchers suggest that drinking cause long term and perhaps irreversible damage as withdrawing from alcohol did not restore a 'normal' sleep-wake rhythm in alcohol dependent patients.

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