Ecstasy users report different sleep to matched controls

Current and former ecstasy users report different sleep to matched controls: a web-based questionnaire study

This study sought to test the association between ecstasy use and abnormal sleep.

An anonymous web-based questionnaire containing questions on drug use and sleep was completed by 1035 individuals. From this large sample, a group of 89 ecstasy users were found who reported very little use of other drugs.

This ”ecstasy-only“ group was further divided into two groups of 31 current users and 58 abstinent users. The subjective sleep of current and former ecstasy-only users was compared with that of matched controls. Patients were asked to rate their sleep according to:

1) sleep quality
2) sleep latency
3) night time awakenings
4) total sleep time.

Current ecstasy-only users reported significantly worse sleep quality (P < 0.05) and a greater total sleep time (P < 0.001) than controls. It was inferred that these differences might be due to recovery from the acute effects of the drug. Abstinent ecstasy-only users reported significantly more nighttime awakenings than controls (P < 0.01). These subjective findings are in agreement with the objective findings of previous studies showing persistent sleep abnormalities in ecstasy users.

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Equivalent effects of acute tryptophan depletion on REM sleep in ecstasy users

Equivalent effects of acute tryptophan depletion on REM sleep in ecstasy users and controls

ATD-thumbnailThis 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.

Results
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.

Discussion
These findings imply that the ecstasy users had not suffered significant serotonergic damage as indexed by sleep.


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