Morning Administration of Oral Methamphetamine Dose-Dependently Disrupts Nighttime Sleep in Recreational Stimulant Users

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 Sep 1;178:291-295. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.05.013. Epub 2017 Jun 20.


Introduction: Use of amphetamine-type stimulants (e.g., methamphetamine) is associated with acute sleep disruptions. No prior reports have characterized the acute effects of methamphetamine on sleep using polysomnography, the gold standard for objective sleep monitoring.

Methods: Recreational stimulant users (n=19) completed a baseline assessment, which included questionnaires assessing demographic and substance use characteristics, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), which assesses sleep quality over the past month. Participants were administered 0mg (placebo), 20mg, or 40mg oral methamphetamine at 08:15h on study days, using a double-blind, randomized, within-subjects design. Sleep was monitored using polysomnography from 22:20 that evening until 06:15 the following morning.

Results: PSQI scores indicated more than half of participants reported poor sleep quality at baseline. Methamphetamine dose-dependently increased sleep latency, and decreased total sleep time, sleep efficiency, time in NREM 2 sleep, number of REM periods, and total time in REM sleep. Sleep under placebo conditions was consistent with what would be expected from healthy adults.

Conclusions: Morning oral administration of methamphetamine produces robust disruptions in nighttime sleep. Future research should examine relations between stimulant use and sleep disruption in naturalistic settings, with regard to both stimulant abuse and licit prescription use.

Keywords: Insomnia; Methamphetamine; Polysomnography; REM; Sleep; Stimulants.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Amphetamines / pharmacology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Methamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep, REM / drug effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Amphetamines
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methamphetamine