Benzodiazepines and caffeine: effect on daytime sleepiness, performance, and mood

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1990;101(2):160-7. doi: 10.1007/BF02244120.


In a double-blind parallel group design, 80 young adult males were divided into eight treatment groups. Subjects received 15 or 30 mg flurazepam, 0.25 or 0.50 mg triazolam, or placebo at bedtime, and 250 mg caffeine or placebo in the morning for 2 treatment days. Two objective (Multiple Sleep Latency Test and lapses) and two subjective (Stanford Sleepiness Scale and Visual Analog Scale) measures of sleepiness, five performance tests, and two mood measures (Profile of Mood Scale and Visual Analog Mood Scale) were administered repeatedly on both days. Significant treatment effects were found for sleepiness but not for performance or mood. Early morning caffeine significantly antagonized next day hypnotic-induced drowsiness and enhanced alertness in the subjects who received bed-time placebo. Flurazepam, 30 mg, subjects were more sleepy than all other groups. Although not significantly different, the flurazepam, 30 mg, group demonstrated a trend toward poorer performance and a more negative mood than all other groups. Caffeine most improved performance of this group. In all groups, sleepiness was greatest and performance and mood poorest in early morning trials and caffeine was most effective at this time.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology*
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*
  • Sleep / drug effects
  • Sleep Stages / drug effects*


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Caffeine