It has been suggested that drugs of addiction, e.g. barbiturates, cause suppression of REM sleep followed by immediate withdrawal rebound. In rats it has been demonstrated that morphine will suppress REM sleep and, in a pilot study of withdrawal in humans, there was a delayed REM sleep rebound.
- A: Four normal male volunteers had a subcutaneous injection of 7.5 mg heroin on 3 successive nights. During this period the percentage of REM sleep was decreased with respect to baseline values for these subjects and showed a trend back to control values over the 3 nights. On withdrawal there was a moderate but immediate percentage of REM sleep increase which, over the first 3 h of sleep, was significant. more