In a double-blind cross-over study, seven athletes received zolpidem (10 mg) or placebo in two sessions over two nights. Residual effects on subsequent daytime functions were evaluated objectively by measuring psychomotor and physical performance using a combined test of finger dexterity, a simple discriminatory reaction test, critical flicker fusion test (CFF), vertical jump, and 50-m sprint, as well as subjectively, by visual analog scales. Zolpidem shortened self-estimated sleep latency and increased total sleep at nighttime. There was no change in alertness and fatigue scales on the following day in the zolpidem session, but realm of daytime well-being was slightly worsened. The CFF test showed significantly better results in the zolpidem group than in the placebo group. Zolpidem did not have effects in athletic evaluation. Zolpidem has a hypnotic activity without disturbing psychomotor and physical performance on the following day when given to healthy adults, suggesting zolpidem may be used in healthy athletes to adjust their extrinsic sleep disturbances and their consecutive psychomotor and physical impairments.
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