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January 1967

Alcohol Administration Prior to Sleep: The Effect on EEG Sleep Stages

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(1):94-97. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730190096012

THE DISCOVERY that alterations in electroencephalographic (EEG) sleep patterns can be quantified has provoked numerous studies of the relationship of changes in sleep-stage control, to a variety of biochemical parameters and clinical problems. Ethyl alcohol,1,2 as well as a number of psychotropic drugs,3,4 have been found to affect the control of sleep stages. When ethyl alcohol was administered orally immediately before retiring to three subjects for five consecutive nights, EEG stage I rapid eye movement (REM) sleep time was depressed the first night, but over the next three alcohol nights returned to control levels; on the fifth alcohol night, REM time exceeded control levels and remained at a high level for the following two recovery nights. By the fourth recovery night REM time finally returned to control levels.1 The present study was undertaken to determine if similar effects on REM time occurred if

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