June 1987

Ingestion of Either Scotch or Vodka Induces Equal Effects on Sleep and Breathing of Asymptomatic Subjects

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Dr Block and Mr Hellard) and Anesthesiology (Dr Block), University of Florida College of Medicine, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center (Dr Block and Mr Hellard), Gainesville, Fla.

Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(6):1145-1147. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370060141023

• Polysomnography was performed on 13 asymptomatic men and four women on three consecutive nights in our sleep laboratory. In random order, the subjects ingested either orange juice alone or the equivalent of 1 mL of 100-proof alcoholic beverage (scotch or vodka) per pound of body weight in 1.5 hours or less. All subjects ingested a different beverage on each of the three nights. Blood alcohol level in the subjects before sleep was, for vodka, 73 mg/100 mL, and, for scotch, 74 mg/100 mL. On control nights the subjects showed significantly more time in bed, sleep period time, and total sleep time, and more rapid eye movement sleep. On the scotch and vodka nights, oxygen saturation was significantly lower; there were more episodes of oxygen desaturation in which there was greater than 4% decrease in saturation, more desaturation to levels of less than 90%, and more hypopnea. Comparison of data of scotch with vodka nights showed no significant differences in any variable. Both scotch and vodka ingestion in equal dosage induced sleep-disordered breathing and nocturnal oxygen desaturation in asymptomatic volunteers, and the beverages had equal effects.

(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:1145-1147)