Effect of Zolpidem on Sleep Quality of Professional Firefighters; a Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Clinical Trial

  • Ramin Mehrdad Department of Occupational Medicine, Center for Research on Occupational Diseases, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Khosro Sadeghniiat Haghighi Department of Occupational Medicine, Occupational Sleep Research Center (OSRC), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Amir Hossein Naseri Esfahani Mail Department of Occupational Medicine, School of Medicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran.
Zolpidem, Professional firefighters, Sleep quality, Occupational Medicine


Professional firefighting is among the most demanding jobs. Prior studies have showed the notable prevalence of poor sleep quality among professional firefighters that may result in catastrophes. The aim of this study was in field confirmation of zolpidem usage (10 mg/PO/bed time) for short term management of poor sleeps quality among professional firefighters. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover clinical trial among professional firefighters, 27 poor sleepers were assigned randomly to one of the two groups. Two 14 days experimental periods were separated by a 14-day washout phase. Sleep quality was assessed using the Persian version of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Six of the 27 enrolled voluntaries dropped out. Two rare side effects of zolpidem occurred in the study. A significant improvement of the PSQI score was detected in zolpidem period versus placebo in both groups (7.14 ± 3.02 vs 12.38 ± 2.51, PP=0.89). Zolpidem significantly improved all components of PSQI (Subjective sleep quality, Sleep latency, Sleep duration, Habitual sleep efficiency, Sleep disturbances and Daytime dysfunction) in the current study except the use of sleep medication. Sleep onset latency was the component of PSQI with the greatest degree of abnormality among firefighters in a previous study. Interestingly, sleep latency was the component of PSQI with the most treatment effect of zolpidem in the current study. Zolpidem can be used as a part of treatment regimens in short time management of poor sleep quality among professional firefighters.


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How to Cite
Mehrdad R, Sadeghniiat Haghighi K, Naseri Esfahani AH. Effect of Zolpidem on Sleep Quality of Professional Firefighters; a Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Clinical Trial. Acta Med Iran. 53(9):573-578.
Original Article(s)