"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Do your medications keep you up at night?

It's 4 am, and you'll be able to't sleep. As you get up wondering why, consider whether any of your medications could also be causing the issue.

Common criminals

Medications that affect sleep will be prescribed drugs or over-the-counter treatments. Here are some common culprits.

antidepressants. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to treat depression or anxiety, and so they have a wide range of unintended effects, even inside the same drug class. For example, among the many selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), fluoxetine (Prozac) is usually a stimulant and make it hard to fall or stay asleep. “But one other SSRI, paroxetine [Paxil]will be more sedating and make you sleepy,” says Corpi.

Beta blockers. Beta blockers comparable to metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL) and atenolol (Tenormin) are used primarily to treat hypertension or irregular heartbeats. “One side effect is that the drugs can reduce the body's natural levels of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. If beta-blockers suppress melatonin, You can have trouble falling or falling asleep at night,” says Corpi.

Decongestants. Decongestants comparable to phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine help shrink the swollen membranes within the nasal passages, allowing more air to go through them. “Both drugs can be stimulants. They can increase your blood pressure and heart rate, and can cause insomnia in some people,” says Corpi. “We don't recommend them for individuals with heart problems, a history of stroke, or hypertension.

Diuretics. Diuretics comparable to furosemide (Lasix), torsemide (Demedex), and hydrochlorothiazide reduce the quantity of sodium and water within the body. They are prescribed to treat fluid retention as a consequence of hypertension, kidney failure, liver disease, and heart failure. “Diuretics don't directly affect sleep, but they can disrupt sleep if they force you to go to the bathroom at night,” Korpi says.

Smoking cessation medications. Over-the-counter nicotine substitute drugs comparable to nicotine patches, gums or lozenges help people quit smoking. “Nicotine can cause someone to have unusual dreams or nightmares and wake them up,” Korpi says. Prescription medications that give up smoking also can disrupt sleep. One drug, varenicline (Chantix), affects the identical areas of the brain as nicotine substitute products and could cause nightmares. Another drug, bupropion (Wellbutrin), is an antidepressant that may stimulate and make it difficult to go to sleep.

Steroids Oral steroids comparable to prednisone are used to cut back inflammation within the body. “Prednisone stimulates the production of the stress hormone cortisol and mimics what stress does to the body,” Korpi says. “And one thing that stress does is disrupt the sleep cycle.” Steroids are often taken for a brief time period, but some chronic diseases may require long-term treatment.

what are you able to do

If you think that your sleep problems could also be related to your medication, there are several things you'll be able to do. For starters, write down the date, dose, and time of any medication you are taking, in addition to any symptoms you experience, in search of patterns linking those symptoms to the medication. You also can try the next strategies, in case your doctor or pharmacist says it's okay.

Take the drugs throughout the day. This applies to drugs that make it hard to fall or stay asleep, cause nightmares, or make you stand up and go to the toilet. For example: “We advise patients not to take diuretics within six hours of going to bed,” Corpi says.

Take a melatonin complement before bed. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. “It can help in the short term, until your body gets used to the medication that's causing the sleep problem,” Korpi says.

Take less food. Ask your doctor if lowering the dose of your medication will allow you to sleep higher.

Practice good sleep hygiene. Go to bed and stand up at the identical time day-after-day. Avoid caffeine after lunch; Do not drink alcohol or eat near bedtime; Turn off electronic screens an hour before bed; And sleep in a cool, dark, comfortable place.

Switch to a brand new medication. “If you've tried everything and the sleep problems continue to bother you, ask your doctor if you can get a medication that won't affect your sleep,” Corapi says. “There is often a good alternative.”

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