January 1979

Flurazepam Effects on Sleep EEGVisual, Computer, and Cycle Analysis

Author Affiliations

From the San Francisco Veterans Administration Hospital (Drs Feinberg, Fein, and Price; and Messrs Floyd and March); and the University of California at San Francisco (Drs Feinberg, Fein, and Price); and Thimann Laboratories, Crowne College, University of California at Santa Cruz (Dr Walker).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(1):95-102. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780010101012

• Analysis of sleep effects of flurazepam hydrochloride on four normal subjects confirmed that this drug substantially suppresses both REM and stage 4 sleep. Computer analysis disclosed that delta wave amplitude was greatly reduced by flurazepam. However, low density delta wave activity (ie, stage 2 sleep, which was increased in duration beyond the reduction in stage 4), permitted the number of delta waves and the time they occupied per night to remain at baseline levels. This finding suggests that sedative-hypnotics increase total sleep time by slowing the metabolic processes of sleep so that a longer sleep duration is required for the same biological effects. New observations on the induction times of REM and stage 4 effects are also presented. In general, the distortions in sleep EEG produced by flurazepam qualitatively resemble, but are quantitatively greater than, those produced by barbiturates in equivalent hypnotic doses.