for people ages 60-75 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at UC Irvine
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Sara C Mednick, PhD (uci)



The purpose of this research study is to understand the neural mechanisms underlying long-term memory formation in older adults. Both sleep and memory decrease with age. The investigators are interested in discovering whether these two biological changes are related. This study is specifically focused on understanding what are the critical components of sleep that facilitate memory formation and are they impaired in older adults. The investigators will be using the hypnotic zolpidem, a sleep drug that has been shown to increase a specific aspect of sleep that have been shown to correlate with memory improvement in young adults. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved zolpidem for use in certain sleep disorders, specifically in the treatment of sleeplessness (i.e., insomnia). In the current study, the investigators will examine whether zolpidem (5mg), compared with placebo, increases memory-related sleep events in older adults and test the impact of these drug-related sleep changes on post-sleep memory recall.

This is a research study because the investigators are using pharmacological interventions to investigate our hypotheses about memory consolidation. The investigators are not studying the efficacy of zolpidem to treat conditions for which the FDA has already approved it.


Aging, Zolpidem, Nap/5mg Zolpidem


You can join if…

Open to people ages 60-75

  • English speaking
  • non-smoker
  • between the ages of 60 to 75, without major medical problems
  • have a regular sleep wake schedule, defined as obtaining 6-9 hours of sleep per night, with a habitual bedtime before 2am and a habitual wake time before 10am
  • must have experience with Ambien to participate in the study.

You CAN'T join if...

  • have a sleeping disorder (reported or detected on questionnaires)
  • have any personal or immediate family history of diagnosed mental disorders
  • have any personal history of head injury with loss of consciousness greater than 2 minutes or seizures
  • have a history of substance dependence
  • currently use any medications that could affect sleep and/or thought processes
  • have any cardiac, respiratory or other medical condition which may affect cerebral metabolism
  • have dementia
  • have non-correctable vision and hearing impairments, due to the nature of the stimulus and its presentation, will also be excluded.


  • Sleep and Cognition Lab accepting new patients
    Irvine California 92697 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Irvine
Phase 4 Aging Research Study
Study Type
Expecting 30 study participants
Last Updated