Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Use of alcohol as a sleep aid, unhealthy drinking behaviors, and sleeping pill use among women veterans.

Schweizer CA, Hoggatt KJ, Washington DL, Bean-Mayberry B, Yano EM, Mitchell MN, Alessi CA, Martin JL. Use of alcohol as a sleep aid, unhealthy drinking behaviors, and sleeping pill use among women veterans. Sleep health. 2019 Oct 1; 5(5):495-500.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: Sleep complaints, such as insomnia and sleep disturbances caused by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are more common among women veterans than nonveteran women. Alcohol use among some women may be partially motivated by the desire to improve sleep. This study evaluated rates of alcohol use as a sleep aid among women veterans and explored the relationship between alcohol use to aid sleep and drinking frequency and sleeping pill use. DESIGN AND SETTING: National cross-sectional population-based residential mail survey on sleep and other symptoms. PARTICIPANTS: Random sample of women veteran VA users who completed a postal survey (N? = 1533). INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS: The survey included demographics, Insomnia Severity Index, Primary Care PTSD screen, and items on alcohol use frequency (days/week), use of prescription or over-the-counter sleep medications, and use of alcohol as a sleep aid (yes/no for each item) over the past month. RESULTS: A total of 14.3% of respondents endorsed using alcohol to aid sleep. Logistic regression models showed more severe insomnia (odds ratio [OR]? = 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.01-1.06) and PTSD (OR? = 2.11; 95% CI: 1.49-2.97) were associated with increased odds of using alcohol to aid sleep. Alcohol use to aid sleep was associated with increased odds of daily drinking (OR? = 8.46; 95% CI: 4.00-17.87) and prescription (OR? = 1.79; 95% CI: 1.34-2.38) and over-the-counter sleep aid use (OR? = 1.54; 95% CI: 1.12-2.11). CONCLUSIONS: Insomnia and PTSD may increase risk for using alcohol as a sleep aid, which may increase risk for unhealthy drinking and for mixing alcohol with sleep medications. Findings highlight the need for alcohol use screening in the context of insomnia and for delivery of cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia to women veterans with insomnia.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.