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Sleeping Problems Linger for Recovering Alcoholics

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People in recovery from alcohol addictions can suffer sleep disruptions for months or years after they stop drinking, Reuters reported Oct. 2.

Researchers at SRI International monitored the brain activity during sleep of a group of 42 people in recovery and compared the results to brain scans of nondrinkers. They found that men and women in recovery spent significantly less time in light, stage-one sleep and slow-wave sleep — the latter essential for memory — and somewhat more time in REM sleep, when dreaming normally occurs.

Researcher Ian Colrain and colleagues said the sleep disruptions probably worsen the mental problems associated with long-term drinking.

The study appears in the Oct. 1, 2009 issue of the journal Sleep.

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