Alcohol consumption can negatively affect sleep quality. The current study examined the impact of an evening of alcohol consumption on sleep, and next day activity levels and alcohol hangover. n
= 25 healthy social drinkers participated in a naturalistic study, consisting of an alcohol and alcohol-free test day. On both days, a GENEactiv watch recorded sleep and wake, and corresponding activity levels. In addition, subjective assessments of sleep duration and quality were made, and hangover severity, and the amount of consumed alcoholic beverages were assessed. Alcohol consumption was also assessed in real-time during the drinking session, using smartphone technology. The results confirmed, by using both objective and subjective assessments, that consuming a large amount of alcohol has a negative impact on sleep, including a significant reduction in objective sleep efficiency and significantly lower self-reported sleep quality. Activity levels during the hangover day were significantly reduced compared to the alcohol-free control day. Of note, next-morning retrospective alcohol consumption assessments underestimated real-time beverage recordings. In conclusion, heavy alcohol consumption impairs sleep quality, which is associated with increased next day hangover severity and reduced activity levels. The outcome of this study underlines that, in addition to retrospectively reported data, real-time objective assessments are needed to fully understand the effects of heavy drinking.
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