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Aviat Space Environ Med. 2007 Jan;78(1):10-20.

Cognitive performance following premature awakening from zolpidem or melatonin induced daytime sleep.

Author information

1
NTI, Inc., Brooks City-Base, TX 78235-5105, USA. william.storm.ctr@brooks.af.mil

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The hypnotic zolpidem and the hormone melatonin were evaluated and directly compared for their effects on performance when subjects sleeping under their influence were prematurely awakened from daytime sleep.

METHOD:

Non-sleep deprived volunteers (eight men and five women) received single oral doses of 5 or 10 mg melatonin (Mel-5; Mel-10), 10 or 20 mg zolpidem (Zol-10; Zol-20), or placebo immediately before retiring at 13:00. Performance testing and subjective evaluations occurred prior to dosing and following forced awakening at 15:00, 2 h after dosing.

RESULTS:

Compared with placebo, on being awakened under Zol-20, significant performance decrements were prevalent on 9 of 10 cognitive tasks, including grammatical reasoning, mathematical processing, and word memory. Recovery required up to 6 h post-awakening for the more complex tasks. Loss of coordination and nausea were also present on awakening under Zol-20. On being awakened under Zol-10, significant but relatively less severe and shorter duration performance decrements occurred for 4 of the 10 tasks and recovered by 4 h post-awakening. Under Mel-5 or Mel-10, performance decrements seldom occurred and were considerably less severe, briefer, and less systematic than for zolpidem.

CONCLUSION:

Findings indicated that when operational personnel sleeping with the aid of either 10 or 20 mg zolpidem are prematurely awakened, it would be prudent to evaluate their general well-being and possible need for assistance prior to their being permitted to depart crew-rest or to perform tasks and duties. In contrast, we found little to no evidence of deteriorated well-being or need for assistance when awakened while sleeping under the influence of melatonin.

PMID:
17225476
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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