Stimulants

Stimulants include various classes of compounds, ranging from the xanthines (caffeine and theophylline) to amphetamines, methylphenidate, pemoline, and cocaine; some of these agents are highly addictive. They all cause increased wakefulness, sleep loss, and decreased SWS. The more potent agents, such as amphetamines and cocaine, can also suppress REM sleep. Stimulant abusers can sometimes induce prolonged bouts of wakefulness, followed by bouts of sleep. Alcohol and/or sedatives are frequently used to counteract stimulant effects and promote sleep. Stimulant withdrawal is characterized by increases in total sleep and REM sleep (REM sleep rebound).

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