Polysomnography was used to assess the effect of thalidomide on human sleep. This compound significantly increased the time spent in REM and stage 3-4 sleep as compared with placebo. On the other hand, thalidomide significantly decreased the time spent in stage 1, while the time spent in stage 2 was unchanged. The effect of thalidomide on REM and stage 3-4 sleep is unique as compared with other hypnotics. Although the mode of action of this compound is unknown, further studies on thalidomide should help in our understanding of the mechanisms of sleep regulation.
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