Insomnia affects a growing portion of the adult population in the U.S. Most current therapeutic approaches to insomnia primarily address sleep onset latency. Through the 5-hydroxytryptamine(2A) (5-HT(2A)) receptor, serotonin (5-HT) plays a role in the regulation of sleep architecture, and antagonists/inverse-agonists of 5-HT(2A) have been shown to enhance slow wave sleep (SWS). We describe here a series of 5-HT(2A) inverse-agonists that when dosed in rats, both consolidate the stages of NREM sleep, resulting in fewer awakenings, and increase a physiological measure of sleep intensity. These studies resulted in the discovery of 1-[3-(4-bromo-2-methyl-2H-pyrazol-3-yl)-4-methoxyphenyl]-3-(2,4-difluorophenyl)urea (Nelotanserin), a potent inverse-agonist of 5-HT(2A) that was advanced into clinical trials for the treatment of insomnia.