Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Preferred Name

Charles Cowan

Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Jeff Dyche

Daniel D. Holt

S. Jeanne Horst


Alcohol is a psychoactive drug with a large userbase among adults across the globe. However, alcohol use also reduces the quality of sleep in the user. Historically, research has focused on the effects of alcohol on sleep architecture, but recent research has started to examine the effects of sleep deprivation on alcohol consumption. This research examines the effects of sleep deprivation on voluntary alcohol consumption in adult rats. Twelve Sprague Dawley rats were given ad libitum access to food, alcohol (7% solution), and water for the duration of this study. Subjects were then placed into non-moving forced exercise wheels to acclimate the environment in which they would be sleep deprived. Subjects then experienced 18 and 6 hours of sleep deprivation every day for 7 consecutive days for each condition. Subjects were then experienced the non-moving forced exercise wheel for a final control condition. There was a significant effect of experimental condition on voluntary alcohol consumption. Post-hoc comparisons using a Bonferroni correction showed that during the 18 and 6-hour conditions subjects drank a significantly larger amount of alcohol than in their home cage environment. Subjects also consumed a visibly larger amount of alcohol during the final control condition than the first, which may be due to a conditioned compensatory response.