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Keywords:

  • dextroamphetamine;
  • sleep architecture;
  • sleep deprivation;
  • recovery

Twelve subjects were studied to determine the after-effects of using three 10-mg doses of dextroamphetamine to sustain alertness during sleep deprivation. Sleep architecture during recovery sleep was evaluated by comparing post-deprivation sleep beginning 15 h after the last dextroamphetamine dose to post-deprivation sleep after placebo. Performance and mood recovery were assessed by comparing volunteers who received dextroamphetamine first (during sleep deprivation) to those who received placebo first. Stages 1 and 2 sleep, movement time, REM latency, and sleep latency increased on the night after sleep deprivation with dextroamphetamine vs. placebo. Stage 4 was unaffected. Comparisons to baseline revealed more stage 1 during baseline than during either post-deprivation sleep period and more stage 2 during baseline than during sleep following placebo. Stage 4 sleep was lower during baseline than it was after either dose, and REM sleep was lower during baseline and after dextroamphetamine than after placebo. Sleep onset was slowest on the baseline night. Next-day performance and mood were not different as a function of whether subjects received dextroamphetamine or placebo during deprivation. These data suggest dextroamphetamine alters post-deprivation sleep architecture when used to sustain alertness during acute sleep loss, but next-day performance and subjective mood ratings are not substantially affected. A recovery sleep period of only 8 h appears to be adequate to regain baseline performance levels after short-term sleep deprivation.