NCBI ROFL: Want worse hangovers? Drink bourbon!

By ncbi rofl | April 19, 2011 7:00 pm

Intoxication with bourbon versus vodka: effects on hangover, sleep, and next-day neurocognitive performance in young adults.

“BACKGROUND: This study assessed the effects of heavy drinking with high or low congener beverages on next-day neurocognitive performance, and the extent to which these effects were mediated by alcohol-related sleep disturbance or alcoholic beverage congeners, and correlated with the intensity of hangover. METHODS: Healthy heavy drinkers age 21 to 33 (n = 95) participated in 2 drinking nights after an acclimatization night. They drank to a mean of 0.11 g% breath alcohol concentration on vodka or bourbon one night with matched placebo the other night, randomized for type and order. Polysomnography recordings were made overnight; self-report and neurocognitive measures were assessed the next morning. RESULTS: After alcohol, people had more hangover and more decrements in tests requiring both sustained attention and speed. Hangover correlated with poorer performance on these measures. Alcohol decreased sleep efficiency and rapid eye movement sleep, and increased wake time and next-day sleepiness. Alcohol effects on sleep correlated with hangover but did not mediate the effects on performance. No effect of beverage congeners was found except on hangover severity, with people feeling worse after bourbon. Virtually no sex differences appeared. CONCLUSIONS: As drinking to this level affects complex cognitive abilities, safety could be affected, with implications for driving and for safety-sensitive occupations. Congener content affects only how people feel the next day so does not increase risk. The sleep disrupting effects of alcohol did not account for the impaired performance so other mechanisms of effect need to be sought. As hangover symptoms correlate with impaired performance, these might be contributing to the impairment.”

Photo: flickr/ Toms Bauģis

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: election week, NCBI ROFL, told you so
  • Draa

    This is something I’ve known for a long time. When I was a heavy drinker I tried to stick with Vodka if I had anything planned for the next day. A lot less trouble when you had to function early. However, if you drink too much it won’t matter what you drink, the next day will suck.

  • Kees

    What’s to point of doing a placebo in such studies? 0.11 g% breath alcohol is 4-5 drinks, right? If you consume that amount of alcohol, off course you’re going to notice it. Wouldn’t it be better to do a placebo-like experiment by gradually watering down the alcohol on one night? Maybe then, people aren’t going to notice the difference.

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