Effects of Hypericum Extract on the Sleep EEG in Older Volunteers

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The effects of treatment with high doses (300 mg three times daily) of hypericum extract LI 160 on sleep quality and well-being were investigated over a 4-week period. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted with 12 older, healthy volunteers in a cross-over design, which included a 2-week washout phase between both treatment phases. A hypostatic influence of the REM sleep phases, which is typical for tricyclic antidepressants and MAO inhibitors, could not be shown for this phytopharmacon. Instead, LI 160 induced an increase of deep sleeP during the total sleeping period. This could be shown consistently in the visual analysis of the sleeping phases 3 and 4, as well as in the automatic analysis of slow-wave EEG activities. The continuity of sleep was not improved by LI 160; this was also the case for the onset of the sleep, the intermittent wake-up phases, and total sleep duration.

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