This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation
If you have medications in your medicine cabinet, it’s more than likely that at least one will list a side effect related to sleep. Many drugs used to treat health conditions, from the not so serious (seasonal allergies) to the more severe (heart rhythm problems), also have side effects that alter your ability to sleep. Read on to learn about some medications that may affect your sleep.
Alcohol-Based Medications Many cough, cold, and flu drugs contain alcohol, which can interrupt sleep and also reduce the amount of time spent in restorative REM sleep.
Anti-Arrhythmic Meds Tachycardias and premature heartbeats are treated with anti-arrhythmic drugs, which can trigger middle-of-the-day fatigue as well as sleep difficulties at night.
Antihistamines Drowsiness is a common side effect of antihistamines, which are used to ease colds and allergy symptoms. But even if antihistamines help you fall asleep faster, they may negatively affect your sleep quality.
Beta-Blockers This medication is used to help control high blood pressure but can lead to insomnia.
Corticosteroids Daytime jitters along with an increased risk of nighttime insomnia are associated with the asthma medication.
Diuretics These drugs, which are used to treat high blood pressure, may keep you awake due to side effects that include frequent urination and nighttime calf cramps.
SSRIs Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are used to treat depression and anxiety, can lead to daytime sleepiness.
If you suspect that a medication you’re taking is interfering with your sleep, talk with your doctor. It’s possible your physician can prescribe another drug that provides similar benefits with fewer sleep-related side effects.