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Binge-drinking alcohol during the pandemic is associated with poor sleep quality: a population-based study, COVID-Inconfidentes


The high consumption of alcoholic beverages contributes to the etiology and maintenance of several health problems. Binge-drinking is used to define the episodic excessive use of alcohol when a person consumes large doses of alcoholic beverages on a single episode. In adults, frequent alcohol consumption is associated with circadian and sleep misalignment, compromising functions in all physiological systems.


To evaluate the association of binge-drinking alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic with sleep quality.


Cross-sectional, population-based study, between October and December 2020 in two medium-sized cities in Minas Gerais. Sleep was assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, with a global score from 0 to 21. Scores of 5-10 indicate poor sleep quality. Alcohol consumption was evaluated by the frequency of consumption, and binge-drinking was evaluated by the question: "In the last 30 days, have you consumed 5 or more doses of alcoholic beverages (men) or 4 or more doses of alcoholic beverages (women) on a single occasion? One dose of alcohol is equivalent to one can of beer or one glass of wine, or one dose of distilled alcoholic beverage?”. Multivariate logistic regression was used to verify the association of binge-drinking alcohol with sleep quality.


Of the individuals evaluated, more than half had poor sleep quality (52.5%), were female (51.9%), black or brown (67.9%), with minimum high school education (56.5%), and family income below 5 minimum wages (60.4%). Alcohol consumption, was reported by 58.2%, and prevalence of binge-drinking was 30.2%. In multivariate analysis, adjusted for sex, age, income and anxiety and frequency of alcohol consumption, individuals in binge-drinking had double the chance of had poor sleep quality (OR=2.06; 95% CI 1.15-3.70).


Individuals in binge-drinking during covid-19 pandemic are more likely to have poor sleep quality. Our results are important because the pandemic may have increased stress due to loss of income and employment, as well as increased social isolation. This stress can lead to increased binge-drinking and increased chances of having poor quality sleep.


Sleep, binge alcohol consumption, alcoholic beverages, covid-19.


Área Clínica


Luiz Antônio Alves Menezes-Júnior, Amanda Cristina Souza, George Luiz Lins Machado Coelho, Adriana Lucia Meireles