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Date of Graduation
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of Graduate Psychology
Daniel D. Holt
S. Jeanne Horst
Alcohol is one of the most common psychoactive drugs and has depressant effects on the central nervous system. The vast majority of research on alcohol and sleep commonly indicates chronic alcohol use has a detrimental impact on sleep architecture and homeostasis. However, less research has been conducted investigating the effects of sleep deprivation on alcohol consumption. Our lab's previous studies have looked at a potential bi-directional relationship between sleep and alcohol with promising results. However, there was concern that the method of sleep deprivation may have resulted in stress. The present study examines the effect of sleep deprivation on voluntary alcohol consumption using two sleep deprivation methods, forced exercise wheels and the automated sleep deprivation system. Twelve male Sprague-Dawley rats had ad libitum access to a 7% alcohol solution and water. Rats experienced 6 hours of sleep deprivation for 5 consecutive days using one of the sleep deprivation methods and two sleep deprivation environment controls, one before and after sleep deprivation. We found a significant effect of Condition on voluntary alcohol consumption but did not find a difference between the two sleep deprivation methods. A post hoc analysis using a Bonferroni correction indicated that rats consumed significantly more alcohol in the sleep deprivation and second sleep deprivation control than they did in the first sleep deprivation control. The mean alcohol consumption (g/kg) also indicated a potential cumulative effect that may have been due to receptor downregulation and a conditioned compensatory effect of the sleep deprivation environment.
Khan, Aesha, "Voluntary alcohol consumption and sleep deprivation in rats" (2021). Masters Theses, 2020-current. 88.