What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Energy drinks don’t blunt alcohol effect, says study

A new study has suggested that mixing caffeinated 'energy' drinks with alcohol has no effect on enhancing performance on a driving test or improving sustained attention or reaction times.

 "There appears to be little or no protective benefit from the addition of caffeine to alcohol, with respect to the safe execution of activities that require sustained attention with rapid, accurate decisions," said the study conducted by Boston University School of Public Health and the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University.
 The study, headed by Jonathan Howland, BUSPH, comes amid increased government scrutiny of energy drinks, particularly when mixed with alcohol.

 The results indicated that caffeine does not mitigate the impairment effects of alcohol. On the driving test, the effect of alcohol on performance was significant-but the addition of caffeine did not make a noticeable difference. On the test for sustained attention and reaction times, the addition of caffeine made only a slight difference that the study deemed "borderline significant."

Multiple consequences of sleep disorders

A new study at the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Institute for Health Services Research has examined the socio-economic consequences of the sleep disorder hypersomnia, revealing that it has far-reaching consequences for both the individual and society as a whole.

 People suffering from the disorder are extremely sleepy and need to take a nap several times a day.

 Hypersomnia is often a symptom of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, sleep apnoea, restless leg syndrome, violent snoring and/or obesity-related breathing difficulties, explains Professor of Clinical Neurophysiology Poul Jennum from the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen.

 The study shows that people who snore violently but especially those who suffer from sleep apnoea, narcolepsy and obesity-related breathing difficulties use the health services more frequently, take more medicine, and are more frequently unemployed. The more serious the sleep disorder the higher the socio-economic cost. This can be a help to patients because we know that there are a lot of people who go around incredibly tired during the day who do suffer from hypersomnia, but have never been diagnosed or discovered the reason for their tiredness.

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