Certain psychotropic effects of caffeine were investigated in doubleblind placebo-controlled experiments with 230 medical students.
Caffeine prolonged the time required to fall asleep and disturbed the soundness of sleep when administered in a dose of 150 or 200 mg in decaffeinated coffee shortly before bedtime.
Caffeine caused distinctly less wakefulness in subjects who habitually drank a great deal of coffee.
Some subjects among those who drank most coffee manifested morning headache after about 18 hours abstinence and this headache was prevented by a single dose of 150 mg the previous evening.
An interesting “reverse placebo effect” was revealed, whereby subjects receiving known caffeine tended to minimize its sleep-disturbing effects.
Important advantages in the use of medical students as subjects in experiments of this kind are pointed out, quite apart from any didactic value of such exercises.
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Dedicated to my teacher, colleague, and friend, Professor Otto Krayer, on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday. A preliminary report of this work has been published (Goldstein and Warren 1961).
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Goldstein, A. Wakefulness caused by caffeine. Naunyn-Schmiedebergs Arch. exp. Path. u. Pharmak. 248, 269–278 (1964). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00348597
- Single Dose
- Medical Student
- Placebo Effect