Equivalent effects of acute tryptophan depletion on REM sleep in ecstasy users and controls
This study sought to test the association between 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine use, serotonergic function and sleep. Materials and methods Ambulatory polysomnography was used to measure three nights sleep in 12 ecstasy users and 12 controls after screening (no intervention), a tryptophan- free amino acid mixture (acute tryptophan depletion (ATD)) and a tryptophan-supplemented control mixture.
ATD significantly decreased rapid eye movement (REM) sleep onset latency, increased the amount of REM sleep and increased the amount of stage 2 sleep in the first 3 h of sleep. There was no difference between ecstasy users’ and controls’ sleep on the screening night or after ATD.
These findings imply that the ecstasy users had not suffered significant serotonergic damage as indexed by sleep.