Sleep and gambling severity in a community sample of gamblers

Abstract

Although sleep has been extensively studied in substance related disorders, it has yet to be examined as thoroughly in gambling-related disorders. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between gambling severity and sleep disturbances in a sample of non-treatment seeking gamblers (N = 96) using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Mean ESS scores for recreational, problem, and pathological gamblers were 4.13, 5.81, and 8.69, respectively, with a significant difference between pathological gamblers and both problem (P = .007) and recreational gamblers (P < .001). Mean PSQI scores for recreational, problem, and pathological gamblers were 3.35, 5.30, and 5.44, respectively, with a significant difference in sleep quality between recreational and problem gamblers (P = .018), as well as recreational and pathological gamblers (P = .008). As the first study to use objective sleep measures, these findings will not only increase awareness of this relationship, but also provide a foundation on which others can investigate the benefits of screening and adjunct treatment for sleep disorders in the gambling population.

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