Intoxicated Teenage Rats Wearing “Fitbits” Experience Sleep Disturbance Long After Withdrawing from Alcohol, Underlining Ongoing Struggles for Humans who Drink Heavily in Adolescence

Adolescent rats exposed to alcohol vapor experience persistent sleep disruption after withdrawal, as measured by Fitbit-like tracking devices, a new study has shown. The findings, published in Alcohol: Clinical & Experimental Research, provide insight into the relationship between sleep disturbance and heavy drinking in humans. Although adolescents and young adults may be particularly affected by sleep disturbances associated with drinking, little is known about that connection or its mechanisms. Plausibly, the link between disrupted circadian rhythm and substance use may operate in both directions; for example, irregular sleep cycles, including daytime sleepiness, have been implicated in teen substance use. Daytime sleepiness and disrupted activity in humans can be measured using wearable tracking devices, complementing EEG metrics taken at night. Nevertheless, genetic and lifestyle factors make the relationship between alcohol and sleep problems challenging to study in humans, and ro

Soldiers in Recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder Who Experience Cardiovascular Withdrawal Symptoms May Benefit from Medication Targeting Brain Stress Response

Prazosin, a medication FDA-approved for hypertension and used off-label for alcohol use disorder, may help prevent drinking relapse in people with cardiovascular or behavioral symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, according to a new study involving active-duty soldiers.