In the present study, we investigated hypnotic activities of chamomile and passiflora extracts using sleep-disturbed model rats. A significant decrease in sleep latency was observed with chamomile extract at a dose of 300 mg/kg, while passiflora extract showed no effects on sleep latency even at a dose of 3000 mg/kg. No significant effects were observed with both herbal extracts on total times of wakefulness, non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep and REM sleep. Flumazenil, a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, at a dose of 3 mg/kg showed a significant antagonistic effect on the shortening in sleep latency induced by chamomile extract. No significant effects were observed with chamomile and passiflora extracts on delta activity during non-REM sleep. In conclusion, chamomile extract is a herb having benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity.
2005 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan