Sobering up is tough on hamsters
Odd facts about hamsters and alcohol:
1. Given the choice between drinking water and drinking water laced with alcohol, hamsters prefer the alcohol.
2. Hamsters drink more heavily after dark.
3. After having knocked back as much alcohol as they wanted to for a couple of days, hamsters have considerable difficulty telling what time of day it is.
In a study published by the American Physiological Society, researchers tested three groups of hamsters: those drinking only water, those drinking water laced with 10 per cent alcohol, and those party animals imbibing water with 20 per cent alcohol.
After being exposed to artificial light about three hours before they would normally be going to sleep, it was the hamsters who drank the most alcohol that had the toughest time adjusting their body's natural clock.
Among the important implications for chronic human drinkers, according to ScienceDaily.com:
"Chronic drinking continues to affect the biological clock even after withdrawal from alcohol. The hamsters withdrawn from alcohol woke up much earlier in response to light than they normally would, just like people who are trying to stop drinking. Getting a person's circadian rhythm back in line after quitting may be why staying abstinent is so difficult."
Sep 08, 2009 04:30 AM