Nonetheless, the current effort focused solely on the comparative impact of drinking bourbon vs. drinking vodka.
The research team monitored 95 healthy heavy drinkers between the ages of 21 and 33 (male and female) residing in the greater Boston region.
None had ever been treated for alcohol-related problems, and none had experienced any form of sleep disorder prior to the study.
Over the course of two overnight sessions, the participants consumed either vodka (100 proof Absolut, the low-congener alcohol) or bourbon (101 proof Wild Turkey, the high congener alcohol) on one night, and a placebo beverage (caffeine-free soda, containing no alcohol) the second.
The researchers repeatedly measured breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) levels among all the participants until everyone had obtained a reading reflective of inebriation.
The following morning participants were asked to rate their hangover in terms of severity, ranging from little or no impact to incapacitating. Neuropsychological tests were conducted to assess speed, vigilance and concentration skills during the hangover. Sleep quality over prior evening was also assessed.
Rohsenow and her team found that drinking to inebriation resulted in cognitive impairment the following morning.
Furthermore, higher congener levels appeared to increase the intensity of the hangover, as bourbon drinkers had a worse experience than vodka drinkers.
However, higher congener levels did not cause people to perform worse on cognitive tasks. Nor did higher congener levels have any impact on sleep the night before.
"Certainly a lot of the effects of a hangover are just due to alcohol itself," stressed Rohsenow. "So, most performance impa
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