Objective: To investigate the association between energy drink (ED) use and sleep-related disturbances in a population-based sample of young adults from the Raine Study. Design: Analysis of cross-sectional data obtained from self-administered questionnaires to assess ED use and sleep disturbance (Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire (FOSQ-10) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Symptoms Questionnaire-Insomnia (PSSQ-I)). Regression modelling was used to estimate the effect of ED use on sleep disturbances. All models adjusted for various potential confounders. Setting: Western Australia.Participants:Males and females, aged 22 years, from Raine Study Gen2-22 year follow-up.Results:Of the 1115 participants, 66 % were never/rare users (i.e. <once/month) of ED, 17·0 % were occasional users (i.e. >once/month to <once/week) and 17 % were frequent users (≥once/week). Compared with females, a greater proportion of males used ED occasionally (19 % v. 15 %) or frequently (24 % v. 11 %). Among females, frequent ED users experienced significantly higher symptoms of daytime sleepiness (FOSQ-10: β = 0·93, 95 % CI 0·32, 1·54, P = 0·003) and were five times more likely to experience insomnia (PSSQ-I: OR = 5·10, 95 % CI 1·81, 14·35, P = 0·002) compared with never/rare users. No significant associations were observed in males for any sleep outcomes. Conclusions: We found a positive association between ED use and sleep disturbances in young adult females. Given the importance of sleep for overall health, and ever-increasing ED use, intervention strategies are needed to curb ED use in young adults, particularly females. Further research is needed to determine causation and elucidate reasons for gender-specific findings.