Key words REM sleep
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract Objective: To study the acute effect of clonidine, an α2-adrenoceptor agonist, and yohimbine, an α2-adrenoceptor antagonist, on nocturnal sleep in healthy men. Setting: McGuire Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Richmond, Virginia, USA. Subjects: Eight healthy male volunteers. Methods: Each subject slept in the sleep laboratory for 2 consecutive nights on three separate sessions, at 3-week intervals. On the 2nd night of each session, the subjects received yohimbine (5.4 mg), clonidine (0.1 mg), or placebo in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover design. Results: There were no apparent effects of yohimbine. In contrast, clonidine completely suppressed rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in one subject and reduced REM sleep in the remaining seven subjects. Conclusion: Our study confirms that clonidine markedly decreases REM, even at a low single dose, and supports the hypothesis of the important role of α2-receptors in controlling REM sleep.
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