Sleep quality and alcohol-use disorders in a select population of young-adult mexican americans

Cindy L. Ehlers, David A. Gilder, Jose R. Criado, Raul Caetano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective: Adult male Hispanics, particularly those born in the United States, are more likely to drink frequently and to consume larger quantities of alcohol than Whites or Blacks. Because alcohol and other substance-use disorders are frequently associated with disturbances in sleep, this study investigated measures of sleep quality and substanceuse disorders in a select sample of young-adult Mexican Americans. Method: Diagnoses of alcohol-use disorders and other psychiatric disorders (based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised), results from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), family history of alcohol dependence, and measures of acculturation stress were obtained from 294 Mexican American young adults, ages 18-30, who were literate in English and were residing legally in San Diego County. Results: Lifetime diagnoses of alcohol-use disorders, family history of alcohol dependence, acculturation stress, and lifetime diagnoses of major depressive disorder were all correlated with signifi cantly poorer quality sleep as indexed by the global score on the PSQI. Regression analyses also revealed that gender was correlated with habitual bedtime, whereas drug dependence (cannabis, stimulants, and/or opiates) was signifi cantly correlated with how long it took to fall asleep, major depressive disorder with the number of hours spent sleeping a night, and anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder with waking up in the early morning or middle of the night. Conclusions: These data suggest that alcohol-use disorders are signifi cantly associated with poorer quality of sleep in this population of young adults and that substance-use disorders may affect different aspects of sleep than anxiety and depressive disorders do. These fi ndings may be helpful in designing prevention and intervention programs for alcohol-use disorders in this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-884
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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