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J Clin Sleep Med. 2014 Jan 15;10(1):27-34. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.3352.

The effect of two benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics on sleep-dependent memory consolidation.

Author information

1
Sleep Medicine and Research Center, St. Luke's Hospital, Chesterfield, MO.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Numerous studies have demonstrated that sleep promotes memory consolidation, but there is little research on the effect of hypnotics on sleep-dependent memory consolidation. We compared bedtime administration of zolpidem-ER 12.5 mg (6- to 8-h duration of action), middle-of-the-night administration of zaleplon 10 mg (3- to 4-h duration of action), and placebo to examine the effect of different durations of hypnotic drug exposure on memory consolidation during sleep.

METHODS:

Twenty-two participants with no sleep complaints underwent 3 conditions in a counterbalanced crossover study: (1) zolpidem-ER 12.5 mg (bedtime dosing), (2) zaleplon 10 mg (middle-of-the-night dosing), and (3) placebo. Memory testing was conducted before and after an 8-h sleep period, using a word pair association task (WPT; declarative memory) and a finger-tapping task (FTT; procedural memory).

RESULTS:

ANOVA revealed a significant condition effect for the WPT (p = 0.025) and a trend for the FTT (p = 0.067), which was significant when sex was added to the model (p = 0.014). Improvement in memory performance following sleep was lower with bedtime dosing of zolpidem-ER compared to placebo and middle-of-the-night dosing of zaleplon. There were no differences between placebo and zaleplon.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest that in some circumstances hypnotics may have the potential to reduce the degree of sleep-dependent memory consolidation and that drug-free sleep early in the night may ameliorate this effect.

KEYWORDS:

Hypnotics; memory consolidation; sleep

PMID:
24426817
PMCID:
PMC3869065
DOI:
10.5664/jcsm.3352
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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