Alcohol has a dose-related effect on parasympathetic nerve activity during sleep

Yohei Sagawa, Hideaki Kondo, Namiko Matsubuchi, Takaubu Takemura, Hironobu Kanayama, Yoshihiko Kaneko, Takashi Kanbayashi, Yasuo Hishikawa, Tetsuo Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to identify the acute effects of ethanol on the relationship between sleep and heart rate variability (HRV) during sleep. Methods: Ten healthy male university students were enrolled in this study. An alcoholic beverage was given to each subject at a dosage of 0 (control), 0.5 (low dose: LD), or 1.0g (high dose: HD) of pure ethanol/kg of body weight. All experiments were performed at 3-week intervals. On the day of the experiment, a Holter electrocardiogram was attached to the subject for a 24-hour period, and the subject was instructed to drink the above-described dosage of alcoholic beverage 100minutes before going to bed; polysomnography was then performed for 8hours. Power spectral analysis of the HRV was performed using the maximum entropy method, and the low- (LF: 0.04 to 0.15Hz) and high-frequency (HF: 0.15 to 0.4Hz) components along with LF/HF ratio were calculated. Results: As alcohol consumption increased, the heart rate increased and the spectral power of HRV measured at each frequency range decreased. Higher doses of ethanol also increased the LF/HF ratio compared with the measured ratio of the control group. Conclusions: Acute ethanol intake inhibits parasympathetic nerve activity and results in predominance of sympathetic nerve activity during sleep, in a dosage-dependent manner. The results of this study suggest that ethanol interferes with the restorative functions of sleep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2093-2100
Number of pages8
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume35
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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