Electroencephalographic sleep patterns in children with minimal brain dysfunction syndrome (MBDS or hyperkinesis) before and during stimulant treatment differed little from those of age-matched controls. It is unlikely that the therapeutic mechanisms of amphetamines in MBDS are exerted on or reflected in physiological sleep patterns.
Neither MBDS children nor normal young adults showed withdrawal elevations of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep after administration of amphetamines in constant dosage. Young adults showed REM rebounds only when the dosage was increased prior to withdrawal.
In contrast to sedative-hypnotics, stimulant drugs do not reduce eye movement activity during REM sleep. This difference is emphasized for the specificity hypothesis-that different classes of psychoactive drugs differentially alter physiological sleep patterns—would be untenable if sedatives and stimulants produced the same effects on sleep.