, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 153–167 | Cite as

The effects of long term administration of psychotropic drugs on human sleep: I. Methodology and the effects of placebo

  • Ernest Hartmann
  • James Cravens


These six papers present the effects on human sleep of long-term administration of reserpine (0.50 mg/day), amitriptyline (50 mg/day), chlorpromazine (50 mg/day), chloral hydrate (500 mg/day), and chlordiazepoxide (50 mg/day).

This initial paper describes in detail the methodology of the entire study which involves six 60-day drug periods for each subject completing the protocol-one period on each of the five drugs and one period on placebo, in a balanced design. Measures of laboratory sleep, home sleep, and mood were obtained throughout the study.

Comparisons between the long placebo-only period of this study and the more usual “baseline” period-laboratory nights 4-6-revealed a significantly higher total desynchronized sleep time (D-time) and D-time per cent in the placebo period. Other variables were not significantly different. Some clear changes over time within the long placebo period are also described.

Key words

Sleep Drugs Psychotropic Drugs Placebo 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest Hartmann
    • 1
  • James Cravens
    • 1
  1. 1.Sleep and Dream Laboratory, Boston State Hospital, Department of PsychiatryTufts University School of MedicineUSA

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