A Rutgers-Camden researcher has discovered an important link between insomnia among early adolescents and alcohol use frequency.

Dr. Naomi Marmorstein says the 7th and 8th graders participating in the Camden Youth Development study filled out questionnaires.

"These were early adolescents, so none of them are particularly heavy drinkers, but some of them had started drinking already," she said.

"We looked at sleepiness during the daytime. We looked at sleep irregularity, and we looked at disturbed sleep, which we defined as things like nightmares, snoring, sleep walking, things like that. We looked at how those were or were not associated with the frequency of alcohol use among these youth."

She says in searching for a link between sleep problems and alcohol use, they found what Marmorstein categorizes as factors that could have accounted for that link.

"Specifically, those were symptoms of attention deficit disorder, symptoms of conduct disorder and symptoms of depression. What we found was overall, both insomnia and daytime sleepiness were linked to the frequency of alcohol use among these youth."

The study was funded by The National Institute on Drug Abuse at The National Institutes of Health.

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