Skip to content

Never Take This Before Bedtime, Warn Pharmacists

Pharmacist shares five things to never take before bed if you want a good night's sleep. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Quality sleep is vital for our overall health and certain medications can interfere with our sleep patterns by causing insomnia. Knowing what time of day to take your medication can mean the difference between a good night's sleep or tossing and turning for hours. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Katie Rocawich, PharmD, BCCCP; Clinical Pharmacist for VCU Health System who explains which medications to avoid at night and why. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.



panera strawberry lemon mint with guarana & caffeine
Courtesy of Panera

Dr. Rocawich says, "Guarana is a fruit-producing vine native to South America.  Its fruit or seed contains caffeine, and as a supplement is included in energy drinks and nutritional supplements for weight loss, energy, etc.  Guarana should not be taken in the evening, as it is likely to cause insomnia."




Dr. Rocawich tells us, "Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®) and phenylephrine (Sudafed PE®) an over-the-counter medication used to decrease nasal congestion due to seasonal allergies, or cold symptoms.  For most individuals, pseudoephedrine causes central nervous system stimulation, which leads to excitability, restlessness and/or insomnia."



young woman sitting up in bed unable to fall asleep
Shutterstock / ae ssp

According to Dr. Rocawich, "Both American ginseng and Asian ginseng are nutritional supplements taken for a variety of indications including increasing energy, lowering blood sugar and cholesterol and as an anti-inflammatory agent.  Ginseng should not be taken at night as it could cause insomnia."



Door knob on or off the bathroom

Dr. Rocawich explains, "Hawthorn is a thorny shrub in the rose family.  Extract from the berries, leaves and flowers is used medicinally to protect against heart disease and help control high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Hawthorn is a potent natural diuretic, so unless you want to be up all night racing to the bathroom, it should not be taken at bedtime."


Steroid Dose Packs (i.e. Medrol Dosepak®, prednisone taper pack)

Steroids for physical development of human body as medical's pills.

"Corticosteroid dose packs are commercially available tapered-dosage products that facilitate administration of steroid tapers for various indications (allergic reactions, inflammatory conditions, etc.)," says Dr. Rocawich. "Though labeled to take in divided doses (including a dose at bedtime), corticosteroids are frequently associated with insomnia. To avoid this, the entire daily dose may be taken as a single dose in the morning."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
Filed Under