Talking medication and sleep for National Sleep Awareness Week

Posted April 24th, 2017 by

Do medications disturb sleep?

Did you know this week is National Sleep Awareness Week? Sleep disorders affect around 50-70 million US adults, and troubled sleep is common within the patient community – just take a look at the results from a patient poll we did with you in 2015. There are many reasons someone might be struggling with a sleep disorder, and one of the contributors could be when you take your medication.

Some medications cause drowsiness, while others can keep you awake, so taking your medication at a certain time could impact your sleep schedule. Below are some medications that can affect sleep. Make sure you talk to your doctor before making any changes on your own!

  • Anti-arrhythmics (for heart rhythm problems)
  • Beta blockers (for high blood pressure)
  • Clonidine (for high blood pressure)
  • Corticosteroids (for inflammation or asthma)
  • Diuretics (for high blood pressure)
  • Cough, cold, and flu medications that contain alcohol
  • Headache and pain medications that contain caffeine
  • Nicotine replacement products
  • Sedating antihistamines (for colds and allergies)
  • SSRIs (for depression or anxiety)
  • Sympathomimetic stimulants (for attention deficit disorder)
  • Theophylline (for asthma)
  • Thyroid hormone (for hypothyroidism)

Find out more.

Think your medication might be causing difficulty with your sleep schedule? Bring it up with your doctor, they may be able to work with you on finding a solution. You can also join the conversation on PatientsLikeMe, there are over 31,000 topics in the forum on sleep!

Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.


  1. Just a comment for the type of sleep medicines taken: Clonazepam, Carbidopa/Levadopa 50/200mg ER, Melatonin 10 mg.

  2. I was told to take Aripiprazole at bedtime. Some Antidepressants are taken during the day. Wellbutrin is also another one that makes you sleepy. The patient should read the brochures and get information from their doctor.

  3. Lithium Carbonate 300 mg
    Sertraline 200mg
    Clonazepam 0.5 mg
    Lyrica 75 mg

  4. I also take the same dose of Clonazepam and double the dose of Lyrica every morning. Exhausted completely all of the time.

  5. I take Lyrica, Welbutrin, and Ambien. Today I was taken off Ambien, don’t know why…I have been taking it for years. If I do not take it I stay up until 6 and 7 in the morning and cannot go to sleep. I was taken off of Lyrica also (it doesn’t make me sleepy anymore). Gabapentin will be substituted for the Lyrica (and now that I think of it, my pain doctor told me that this will make me sleepy), but I do not start taking it until I am weaned off of Lyrica which commences next week). So this week I will be up all night!

  6. I have suffered from sleep problems my whole adult life. I have no doubt that my nurse practitioner that I see for medication prescriptions has my best interest and my well being at heart. I May be totally wrong but I don’t think there is a medication out there for me. Most work only for a few days-if at all. desperate for some relief, I end up taking more than prescribed. I feel guilty about that. I Think it is best to not take medications rather than lie.
    I suffer from depression and have a history of self harm. I look for stuff on-line that might help. The one hypnotic that is possible to make can cause liver damage. I live in an apartment so setting up for organic chemistry would REALLY get me in trouble. . I have tried all the “Sleep Hygiene” stuff to no avail. The over-the-counter stuff is a joke. I tried MASSIVE overdoses of all of them. That caused me to get sick but didn’t work at all for the sleep problem. I think some of my depression is made worse by sleep problems.
    I may be totally wrong, but I think doctors are too averse to prescribing sleep meds. Many effective drugs are no longer available. The new “Z” drugs have caused very destructive sleep walking. I ended up throwing about 50 books during one episode. Would that have happened with Chloral Hydrate? No.

    One thing that I am going to try is to re-start my sleep apnea treatment. I gave up because the mask was actually painful to wear. I will try some others.

    Maybe Nitrous Oxide is something to try.

    I have a lack of regard for my safety. Sometime I just don’t care.

    I don’t know if anybody will read this. You know how to get in touch with me.

    Charles Janosko

  7. have no idea what to say. never taken any sleep med

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