Do sleeping pills increase or decrease time spent in SWS and REM?
The conventional sleeping medication, the benzodiazepine tranquilizers tend to somewhat decrease the time spent in REM sleep, but tend to increase the time spent in SWS, in a generally dose dependent matter. I have never heard of benzos eliminating REM sleep, but the above poster may be referring to other classes of medications. The newer sleeping drugs, known as Z-drugs (zolipidem, zaleplon, etc) do not appear to meaningfully impact REM, despite sharing some mechanism with benzodiazepines. This is probably due to their more specific action in the brain. They do however, appear to increase the duration of SWS by a smaller amount.