Why Do Antidepressants Cause Sleep Issues
Depression and insomnia are intrinsically linked. Depression often causes insomnia, and insomnia often causes depression.
Both issues arent fully understood yet.
In sleep science, the typical approach so far has been to identify neurotransmitters that are involved in keeping us awake or getting us to sleep, and then finding medication that blocks or encourages those transmitters in certain parts of the brain.
Due to the complexity of transmitter interactions, researchers dont fully understand all the effects any one change will have.
Thats why there are often unintended side effects to this approach. Insomnia is one of the big ones.
SummarySometimes, side effects like insomnia come from having too high of a dosage. More often though, certain drugs just cause unintended results in certain people, while being effective in most other people.
How Are Sleep And Depression Linked
Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by sadness or feeling blue along with a series of physical symptoms such as low energy, disrupted sleep, and appetite changes. Nearly everyone feels normal sadness or feels down from time to time. Sometimes, however, the sad feelings become intense, last for long periods of time, and involve other physical symptoms that prevent a person from leading a normal life. These feelings often lead to a medical diagnosis of clinical depression.
An inability to sleep that lasts over a long period of time is also an important clue that someone may be depressed.
Antidepressants To Treat Insomnia
While it seems counterintuitive to give someone with severe insomnia a medication that may cause insomnia in many people as a direct side effect it just might work in your individual case. As mentioned human diversity is a wondrous thing, and what causes one person untold misery may grant another person relief from their misery. You just never know.
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Why Do Some Medications Cause Insomnia
Medications work by altering our body or brain chemistry in order to achieve a desired effect. Sometimes these effects can impact our wakefulness either they can make us feel groggy and sleepy during the day, or wide awake at night. They can also produce side effects that may unintentionally keep us awake at night, including conditions such as heartburn, body aches, or the need to get up and go to the bathroom during the night.
Its not uncommon to have insomnia or sleep disturbances if you take prescription medications, especially if you take them at night. Its important to keep your side effects under control though, especially if they disturb your rest. Insomnia at night can contribute to excessive daytime sleepiness, which can leave you feeling run down and tired all the time if left unchecked.
Can Citalopram Keep You Awake At Night
These medications can perform double duty by helping you sleep and improving your mood. But for some people, SSRIs can cause insomnia, so your doctor may have you take these in the morning, sometimes with an additional medicine for a short time to help people sleep at night. Examples are: Citalopram
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How Can I Prevent Reduce Or Alleviate Insomnia Withdrawal Symptoms
- Do not reduce or stop Lexapro until you have spoken with your doctor and developed an alternative treatment plan. Depending on the severity of your insomnia and other withdrawal symptoms, your doctor may recommend a tapering process to help reduce your symptoms. Or, he or she may prescribe an alternate medication.
- Adopt a healthy diet.
- Take the medication as prescribed.
- Adhere to the tapering process.
- Notate any changes in your mood and behavior and share them with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor about any new withdrawal symptoms that arise as you wean-off the medication.
- Lean on your friends and loved ones for support.
- Join a Lexapro support group.
- Engage in an online sleep program.
- Practice deep-breathing exercises.
Are Ssris More Likely To Induce Suicidal Behavior Than Are Tcas
Another area of controversy involves the question of whether SSRIs place patients at a greater risk for suicidality than do other antidepressants such as TCAs. Altogether several metaanalyses are consistent to the extent that most of them do not find any differences between the risk of suicidal behavior with modern antidepressants/SSRIs compared to placebo or treatment with standard antidepressants, mostly TCAs . Notably, an analysis by Jick et al. using the UK General Practice Research Database from 1993 to 1999 showed a similar risk among users of amitriptyline, fluoxetine, and paroxetine compared with the risk among users of dothiepin. However, a metaanalysis by Fergusson et al. , which included the largest number of studies addressing this issue, documented an association between suicide attempts and the use of SSRIs. The increased risk was explained by a higher number of suicide attempts, while there was no actual increased suicide risk. Another relatively large metaanalysis by Gunnell et al. found weak evidence that SSRIs could induce a risk of suicide attempts. Thus, the exact comparative risk is difficult to define. However, any potential induction of suicidality of SSRIs compared to TCAs may be compensated for by a much lower risk of a fatal outcome of a suicide attempt with an SSRI compared to a TCA .
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How To Deal With Insomnia From Lexapro
Dealing with insomnia can be an extremely frustrating experience. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to make falling and staying asleep easier. Weve listed many of these techniques below:
Try taking Lexapro in the morning. If you find it hard to fall asleep at night, try taking your dose of Lexapro in the morning instead of later in the day. Make sure that you talk to your healthcare provider to verify that its safe to take your medication at this time.
Avoid drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages late in the day.Caffeine has a long half-life, meaning it can affect your ability to fall asleep even if you consume it hours before you go to bed.To avoid making it even more difficult to fall asleep, avoid drinking coffee or other drinks that contain caffeine after midday.
Stay active. Not only can exercising make it easier for you to fall asleep at night, it may also improve your depression or anxiety symptoms. Research shows that exercise is an effective, all-natural treatment for improving depression and anxiety.
Dont drink alcohol. Its important to avoid drinking alcohol while youre using Lexapro or other antidepressants. Not only can this cause side effects, but theres also evidence that drinking can further disrupt your sleeping patterns and worsen insomnia.
Our comprehensive guide to insomnia lists more techniques that you can use to improve your sleep habits and overcome insomnia.
What Else Should You Consider
The majority of side effects occur when medication concentration in the bloodstream is too high. This can happen even if you are taking a regular drug dose, but your liver is not able to eliminate the drug out of your body. Most of the commonly used antidepressants are metabolized primarily by two liver enzymes. If one of these enzymes is not working, i.e. you are a Poor Metabolizer, the level of antidepressant increases in the blood, which leads to significant side effects. If antidepressants metabolize too quickly, i.e. you are a Rapid or Ultrarapid Metabolizer, the drug is eliminated too fast. It does not achieve a high enough concentration in the blood to be effective.
The STAR*D study demonstrated that only one-third of patients respond to the first line of treatment with antidepressants. The majority of patients with depression have to undergo multiple drug trials to find the most effective medication. The ultimate goal of pharmacogenetics is to improve treatment outcomes by predicting a patients response to specific drugs before they are prescribed. This approach allows us to move away from the traditional trial method of prescribing medicines and shift towards a more evidence-based, personalized approach.
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‘my Stomach Is Upset And I Have Diarrhea’
People taking SSRI antidepressants selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Lexapro and Zoloft might find that they have nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. You can manage nausea by taking the medications with food, Dr. Dunlop says.
Make sure you’re eating enough fiber and drinking enough fluids you also might consider taking an over-the-counter medication for diarrhea or constipation. Like headaches, these symptoms typically go away early in your treatment.
Have Some Chamomile Or Lavender
Chamomile is one of the best remedies that could help you fall asleep quickly. This plant is known for its sedative, relaxing and stress relieving properties. It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and decrease sleeplessness, or the chronic inability to sleep.
Attempt infusions, capsules and essential oils made with chamomile which will allow you to take advantage of its many advantages .
If you would like to use chamomile to fight insomnia, consult a physician to find the ideal dose for you.
Lavender essential oil is just another powerful weapon against sleeping problems, especially insomnia. By lowering your blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, it can help you fall asleep quicker.
Check with a health care professional to determine if lavender essential oil will be ideal for you.
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Do Not Go To Bed Too Early
While it may sound counterintuitive, some people with sleeping problems, such as insomnia, often go to bed too early, hoping to sleep more. However, it is likely that going to bed when you arent tired will have the opposite effect and wind up making it difficult for you to rest. Go to bed at the same time, respecting the routine.
Effects On Antidepressants On Sleep
It is well known that some classes of antidepressant drugs may deteriorate sleep quality mainly due to activation of serotonergic 5-HT2 receptors and increased noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurotransmission .2). Among them, most prominent are serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , monoamine oxidase inhibitors , selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , and activating tricyclic antidepressants .
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When Depression Gets Worse On An Antidepressant
When depression gets worse on an antidepressant, it doesnt necessarily mean the patient has bipolar disorder or that they are sensitive to medications. Today, we detail 7 explanations for this paradoxical phenomena.
This month we featured a new study on an old controversy: Can antidepressants cause violence? The study is the best designed one weve seen to tackle this question, which dates back to the early 1990s when case reports were described on fluoxetine. The idea goes against the grain of practice, where SSRIs are used to treat anger and aggression due to conditions like personality disorders and intermittent explosive disorder. But it reminded us of another issue one that we see a lot more often in clinical practice can antidepressants make depression worse?
This is the kind of problem that even if its rare youre likely to encounter in psychiatric practice because the majority 80% of antidepressants are prescribed in primary care. The ones that get better are not likely to come to our doors, but the ones who dont respond or get worse will.
Time It Right To Avoid Adverse Effects
Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.
Determining if you should take your antidepressant at night or in the morning depends on the specific medication you’re taking, its side effects, and how it influences your quality of life. Often, the decision comes down to which side effects are associated with the medication you’ve been prescribed and how it affects you personally.
For example, if your doctor has prescribed you Prozac , some of the most common side effects include insomnia, feeling agitated, nausea, and vomiting. Not everyone experiences these effects as medications can affect each person differently.
Your doctor can help you better understand your potential side effects and when to take the medication to best avoid them. Additionally, here is a quick cheat-sheet as to when it may be best to take your antidepressant based on the side effects you are having.
|Timing Suggestions Based on Side Effect|
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Transform Your Room Into A Haven Of Peace
Your bedroom should be the quietest space in the house. If you live in a town or other noisy environment, and loud sounds wake you up several times a night, try wearing earplugs.
Programs and devices that play white noise can also help you sleep better. When a noise wakes you up in the night, it is not the sound itself that wakes you up, but the sudden change in noise that jar you. White noise creates a masking effect, blocking those sudden changes that frustrate light sleepers.
This is the reason why nearly all bedpartners prefer the constant white noise of a CPAP machine as opposed to their spouses crescendo-decrescendo snoring sounds, Clete A. Kushida, director of the Stanford Center for Human Sleep Research, writes in an email to Popular Science.
But having your bedroom the quietest place at home does not do if your frame is noisy. Just imagine how annoying it would be if every time your partner changes the position your frame started creaking. It would not be possible to get a full-resting night. Heck, you would have exactly the same problem even when you sleep alone!
What You Can Do
If you do feel like an antidepressant is increasing your anxiety, speak with your doctor about it. There are a number of different approaches they can take to counteract this side effect. For instance, they may lower your dose, switch you to a different medication, or prescribe another medication to counteract it.
It is not advised to stop taking your antidepressant without first consulting your doctor. Stopping your medication too quickly can create its own set problems, known as discontinuation syndrome. You also run the risk that your depression may return or become worse.
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‘my Antidepressant Is Making Me Gain Weight’
Some depression treatments do put you at risk for weight gain, according to research published in May 2018 in the British Medical Journal. After evaluating nearly 137,000 men and nearly 158,000 women, researchers found that taking an antidepressant is associated with a 21 percent increased risk of weight gain exceeding 5 percent of ones body weight.
If you have a history of being overweight, youre more likely to gain while on an antidepressant so choose an antidepressant that is weight-neutral, Combs advises. If thats not an option, she emphasizes getting counseled in diet and exercise. An added bonus? The National Institute of Mental Health notes that exercise can be an important part of your treatment.
Antidepressants For Sleep: Happier And Healthier Sleeping Patterns
Youre not alone.
Countless people today have a hard time drifting off to sleep. Often, problems of insomnia are caused by everything from chronic pain and discomfort, to issues with anxiety.
Unfortunately, the complicated nature of insomnia means that finding the righttreatment is easier said than done.
For instance, depression and sleep problems often go together hand-in-hand.
If you often feel down or overwhelmed by negative emotions, its hard to achieve the feeling of relaxation required for a good nights sleep.
However, many of the medications used to treat depression can add to your sleep problems.
Sleep deprivation and depression issues are closely linked. Insomnia is a common side effect of many antidepressants. Because of this, your doctor or sleep expert have to consider the choice of medication very carefully.
Here, were going to look at the antidepressants used for sleep support and emotional wellbeing.
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Be Sure The Temperature In Your Room Is Ideal
In order to fall asleep quickly and get a good rest during all the night long, your room should not be too hot or too cold. In general, the perfect temperature in your bedroom should stay between 16 and 18 . An air conditioner or a heater can help you to maintain the perfect temperature of your room.
Your children and older people may need a slightly warmer environment. Its a good idea purchasing a range of suitable bedding depending on the season: an excess layer of blankets or sheets will make you more comfortable when it is cold, as well a hot water bottle or a fantastic pair of bed socks for cold feet.
What Are Some Ways I Can Avoid Or Lessen The Lexapro Insomnia
Truth-be-told, being unable to fall and stay asleep each night can be extremely taxing, and even more so, if you struggle with anxiety or depression. The good news is there is hope. In other words, there are ways you can get the sleep you crave.
Listed below are ways you can lessen Lexapro insomnia:
Note: If you continue to experience Lexapro insomnia after making lifestyle changes, consult your doctor. Your doctor may adjust your Lexapro dosage, depending on the frequency of your insomnia and the severity of your condition. In some cases, your doctor may switch you to another antidepressant one that can help you fall and stay asleep at night, but also treat your anxiety of depression.