Heavy drinking slows performance several hours after alcohol leaves the body

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It may come as no surprise to you, but binge drinking affects both one’s attention and reaction time several hours after alcohol has left the body; a study reported online in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research now confirms this finding. Regardless of whether or not participants felt that their driving was affected by the previous nights drinking, all binge drinkers scored poorer in their performance in driving tests measuring both sustained attention and reaction time. Although poor sleep quality was not correlated with the performance of tasks, the researchers also found that heavy drinking disrupted sleep. Damaris Rohsenow, PhD, of Brown University in Providence, R.I., commenting, stated, “I would hope that individuals realize that the morning after the night before, their performance is going to be impaired, particularly in some tasks that may be involved in safety-sensitive behaviors, such as driving a car in heavy traffic and operating dangerous machinery.” Click here to read an article from the Los Angeles Times that discusses this study more.

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