Effects of clozapine on sleep: a longitudinal study

Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Aug 15;42(4):260-6. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3223(96)00347-2.


Polysomnographic studies on the effects of clozapine, an atypical antipsychotic agent with strong sedative properties, on night sleep report inconsistent results. Most of these studies did not include baseline recordings and were not controlled for clozapine-induced fever, which is known to alter nocturnal sleep. We conducted a 2-week longitudinal polysomnographic investigation in 10 long-term drug-free schizophrenic patients prior to and at the end of the first and second weeks of clozapine treatment. Rectal temperature was measured daily and patients with fever (> 37.9 degrees C) were excluded. Clozapine significantly improved sleep continuity. In addition, non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and in particular stage 2 sleep increased significantly, while the amounts of stage 4 and slow-wave sleep decreased significantly. Clozapine increased significantly REM density, but it did not affect the amount of REM sleep. We conclude that in patients who do not experience clozapine-induced fever, clozapine has strong sleep consolidating effects resulting from an increase in stage 2 NREM sleep.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Body Temperature / drug effects
  • Clozapine / adverse effects*
  • Clozapine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Polysomnography
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep, REM / drug effects


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Clozapine