Dose-related effects of MDMA on psychomotor function and mood before, during, and after a night of sleep loss

Wendy M Bosker, Kim P C Kuypers, Silke Conen, Johannes G Ramaekers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is known to improve psychomotor function and mood when measured during daytime. However, MDMA users tend to take this drug at dance parties while staying awake for prolonged periods of time.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This study was designed to assess dose-related residual effects of MDMA on psychomotor function and mood after a night without sleep. Sixteen recreational MDMA users received single doses of 25, 50, and 100 mg MDMA in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study.

RESULTS: Results showed that sleep loss significantly impaired psychomotor function. MDMA generally did not affect performance but did improve rapid information processing at the highest dose in the morning after administration. In the evening, MDMA also increased subjective ratings of positive mood at every dose and subjective arousal at the highest dose. These subjective effects were no longer present after a night of sleep loss.

DISCUSSION: It is concluded that sleep deprivation impairs psychomotor function and that stimulant effects of MDMA are not sufficient to compensate for this impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Affect/drug effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Hallucinogens/administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine/administration & dosage
  • Psychomotor Performance/drug effects
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


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