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4 Medicines That Can Wake You Up at Night — The Best Living

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Anyone caring for a baby, attending a longer all-night study session, or working the cemetery shift knows the importance of a good night’s sleep. The recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night is essential not only for feeling rested, but also for mood, cardiovascular health, brain function, immunity and appetite. Unfortunately, sleep disorders are on the rise. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes. The reasons for our collective sleep deprivation are many, but one reason may be lurking in your medicine cabinet. Read on to find out which popular drugs a doctor says can disrupt your sleep.

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Antidepressants are among the most commonly prescribed drugs because of their effectiveness in the treatment of depression. One of the most popular antidepressants, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work to combat depression and anxiety by regulating the “feel-good” brain chemical known as serotonin. Unfortunately, while antidepressants such as SSRIs can work medical wonders and help save lives, they can negatively affect your sleep quality and even cause insomnia.

“Antidepressants can keep you awake at night. As counterintuitive as it may seem, it’s common for antidepressants to cause insomnia,” she says. Laura Purdy, MD, MBA, and board-certified family physician in Fort Benning, Georgia. “For some people, it can be resolved by taking it in the morning rather than at bedtime, or perhaps reducing the dose.”

ADHD Medications

These medications are often prescribed to treat children, adolescents, and adults diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Popular ADHD medications include Ritalin and Adderall, two stimulant medications that can cause insomnia and sleep disturbances. In a study published in 2021 Boundaries in PsychiatryResearchers looked at the link between ADHD and insomnia and found that about 45 percent of adult ADHD patients had insomnia associated with ADHD medications.

“Many people with ADHD choose to take shorter-acting stimulants or take them earlier in the day. That way the drug has time to wear off at bedtime,” explains Purdy. “Ritalin and Adderall are stimulant medications that cause you to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.”

Benadryl Boxes
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If you’ve dealt with seasonal allergies before, you’ve probably used (or at least heard of) Benadryl. Benadryl is an over-the-counter drug brand for an antihistamine called diphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine is used to relieve symptoms associated with the common cold, including allergies, hay fever, and itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and runny nose.

Although diphenhydramine and other histamines tend to make you drowsy and sedating, they do not improve sleep quality. Benadryl can have the opposite effect and cause insomnia. In addition, this popular drug can even cause hyperactivity, especially in children. “Some people have an idiopathic response, which means they are more alert and alert and have trouble sleeping, rather than getting tired or calmed down. Children are particularly susceptible to this,” Purdy says.

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Spilled Tablets

Oral steroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that typically come in tablet form. These drugs treat a variety of conditions including allergies, asthma, eczema, inflammatory bowel disease, and arthritis. While steroids are incredible for relieving many uncomfortable and painful ailments, they can seriously disrupt your sleep. Sleep problems, psychosis, and delirium are commonly reported adverse side effects of corticosteroids (a commonly prescribed steroid), according to a study published in 2021. Federal Practitioner.

“Steroids often cause insomnia when taken by mouth. However, most people don’t take steroids for long periods of time, and the side effects of steroids go away when the person stops taking them,” says Purdy.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research and healthcare institutions, but our content is not intended to replace professional guidance. Always consult your healthcare provider directly when it comes to the medications you are taking or any other health problems.