Absence of REM Rebound after Barbiturate Withdrawal

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Science  09 Aug 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4150, pp. 534-535
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4150.534


Administration of three different barbiturates reduced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Drug withdrawal led to a return to baseline REM] values without significant overshoot. Similar results are observed with administration of benzodiazepines in pharmacologically equivalent dosages; therefore, a distinction between these two drug classes on the basis of withdrawal effects on the sleep electroencephalogram appears unwarranted. Further investigation is required determine why high REM levels are sometimes associated with the withdrawal of sedative-hypnotic agents.