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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1974 Jun;1(3):203-8.

Effect of caffeine on sleep: EEG study in late middle age people.

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Sleep Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland.


1 The effect of caffeine alkaloid base (300 mg) on whole night sleep was investigated by electrophysiological techniques in six late middle age subjects (mean age 56 years), comparison being made with decaffeinated coffee and with no drink prior to sleep, using each condition five times in a balanced order on non-consecutive nights. 2 After caffeine the mean total sleep time decreased on average by 2 h, the mean sleep latency increased to 66 minutes. The number of awakenings increased and the mean total intervening wakefulness was more than doubled after caffeine. 3 In the first 3 h of sleep a decreased amount of stage 3 + 4 was observed, accompanied by an increased amount of stage 2 and of intervening wakefulness, without a significant change in the amount of rapid eye movement sleep. 4 The change in sleep pattern observed suggests an increased capability for arousal and decreased ability to develop or sustain deeper stages of non-rapid eye movement sleep after caffeine.

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