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August 7, 1981

A drink a night keeps good slumber at bay

JAMA. 1981;246(6):589. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320060009003

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Nipping before slipping into bed may be unwise for persons with serious pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases, say Gainesville, Fla, investigators who detected sleep disturbances even in apparently healthy volunteers after a vodka nightcap.

The University of Florida College of Medicine and Veterans Administration Medical Center researchers conducted a two-night study (one hour of drinking each night) with 20 asymptomatic men ranging in age from the 20s to the mid-60s. Eleven drank orange juice alone on the first night and orange juice containing 100-proof vodka (2 mL/kg of body weight) on the second night. The other nine volunteers drank the scientific screwdriver the first night and orange juice alone the second night.

The investigators told the American Lung Association meeting in Detroit that with continuous monitoring of respiratory patterns, blood oxygen saturation, and sleep EEGs, they noted the following:

A total of 110 apneic events (in which breathing through the