1. In this cross-sectional database study, there was a greater prevalence of insomnia and dissatisfaction with sleep in individuals that engaged in daily smoking and binge drinking.

2. Furthermore, the association of smoking/alcohol and insomnia and sleep duration were similar between males and females.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Poor sleep quality has been previously associated with cigarette use and alcohol abuse. With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been both increased disturbances in sleep as well as increased substance misuse noted.  The association between substance misuse and sleep disorders have been well documented in adult populations; however, there is little information about elderly populations in the community. This study sought to explore the associations of substance overuse, namely tobacco and alcohol, and poor sleep patterns in an elderly Canadian population.

This study conducted a cross-sectional database review using the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging database. This specific cohort within the study sample included individuals between 45 and 85. Those who lived on First Nations reserve or were members of the Canadian Armed Forces were excluded. Collectively, 30,100 participants were randomly selected from the database population. Informed consent for participation was gathered, and individuals were provided self-reporting surveys on sleep satisfaction, duration, disorders, and measures of substance use frequency and amount. Co-variate analyses was completed, and regression analysis was used to determine prevalence rations.

Overall, this study identified that heavy smoking and drinking were associated with a higher prevalence of insomnia symptoms. Furthermore, short sleep duration and sleep dissatisfaction were associated with binge drinking and daily smoking. There were no gender differences in insomnia symptoms, however the association between alcohol and smoking with sleep dissatisfaction and insomnia were stronger in younger age groups (45-64) compared to older groups (65+). However, this study was limited by the self-reported nature and potential misreporting of substance misuse. Nonetheless, this study provides evidence through a large sample size that binge drinking, and increased tobacco smoking may be associated with insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Click to read the study in Addictive Behaviors 

Image: PD

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