1. The effects of single oral doses of three beta-adrenoceptor partial agonists (Ro 31-1118, flusoxolol and pindolol), two beta-adrenoceptor antagonists (propranolol and atenolol), two beta-adrenoceptor agonists (salbutamol and prenalterol) and placebo on sleeping heart rate, quality of sleep, supine heart rate, exercise heart rate, blood pressure, forearm blood flow and finger tremor were studied in eight healthy male volunteers. 2. Sleeping heart rate was increased by Ro 31-1118, flusoxolol, pindolol, salbutamol and prenalterol and decreased by propranolol and atenolol. 3. None of the drugs studied affected quality of sleep. 4. Supine heart rate was increased by flusoxolol, prenalterol and salbutamol, unaffected by Ro 31-1118 and pindolol and reduced by propranolol and atenolol. 5. Exercise heart rate was reduced by both beta-adrenoceptor antagonists and the three partial agonists and unaffected by salbutamol and prenalterol. 6. Systolic blood pressure was increased by Ro 31-1118, flusoxolol, salbutamol and prenalterol, unaffected by pindolol and reduced by propranolol and atenolol. Diastolic blood pressure was reduced by salbutamol and prenalterol. 7. Forearm blood flow was increased by Ro 31-1118, salbutamol and prenalterol, unchanged by pindolol and flusoxolol and decreased by atenolol and propranolol. 8. Finger tremor was increased by Ro 31-1118, flusoxolol, pindolol, salbutamol, and prenalterol. 9. beta-adrenoceptor partial agonists have different effects on the cardiovascular system and finger tremor to beta-adrenoceptor antagonists. 10. While Ro 31-1118 and flusoxolol are antagonists mainly at the beta 1-adrenoceptor they have agonist activity at both beta 1- and beta 2 adrenoceptors. 11. While pindolol is a non-selective antagonist its agonist activity is mainly at the beta 2-adrenoceptor.