A Comparison of the Sleep-Inducing Power of Melatonin, Zaleplon, Zopiclone and Temazepam


  1. Paul, M.A.
  2. Gray, G.W.
  3. MacLellan, M.
  4. Pigeau, R.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Current military operations often require pharmaceutical methods to sustain alertness and facilitate sleep in order to maintain operational readiness. This study was designed to compare the sleep-inducing power of zaleplon, zopiclone, temazepam and melatonin. Method. Twenty-three subjects (9 males, 14 females) aged 21-53 were assessed for psychomotor performance on two test batteries (4 tasks) that included a sleepiness questionnaire. Psychomotor testing was conducted prior to, and for 7 hours after ingestion of a single dose of each of placebo, zaleplon 10 mg, zopiclone 7.5 mg, temazepam 15 mg, and time-released melatonin 6 mg. The psychomotor data has been reported elsewhere. In order to assess the sleep-inducing power of each of these medications, immediately before and immediately after each psychomotor test session, all subjects underwent a 4-minute eyes-closed session. The subjects wore polysomnographic electrodes in order to record total sleep and sleep latency during these 4-minute eyes-closed sessions. Subjective drowsiness was assessed by questionnaire. The experimental design was a double blind cross over with counter-balanced treatment order. Results. There were drug x trials interactions for each of zaleplon, zopiclone and temazepam conditions for total sleep, sleep latency and subjective drowsiness. More sleep, shorter sleep latency, and more drowsiness occurred immediately after psychomotor testing relative to before psychomotor testing for all medication condi

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zaleplon;zopiclone;temazepam;melatonin;sleep-induction;military operations
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2003-150 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Jun 2004
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, vol 75, no 6, 2004, p 512-519

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