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Never Take This Medicine Before Bed, Say Doctors

If you value your sleep don't take these five medications at night, experts warn. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Sleepless nights aren't fun and there's many things that can cause you to toss and turn for hours, including certain medications. Knowing what time of day to take medications can be key to a good night's sleep and Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who reveal which ones to avoid taking at night and why. As always, please consult with your physician for medical advice. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Medicines for Depression

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Dr. Ramandeep Sidhu, Board-Certified General Surgery, Vascular Surgery and founder of  Vivaa which is a vascular, primary care and aesthetic clinic shares, "Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, including fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine (Paxil), cause sleep issues in about 10 to 20 percent of the users.



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Dr. Sidhu explains, "Alpha-blockers are prescribed for various conditions, including high blood pressure—these medications aid in maintaining open small blood arteries while relaxing specific muscles. Alpha-blockers are associated with decreased REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the stage of sleep where people dream, and daytime sedation. Older people have a significantly lower percentage of REM sleep, and those who don't get enough REM sleep may have memory issues."



woman not able to sleep in bed

According to Dr. Sidhu, "Inflammation of the blood vessels and muscles is treated with corticosteroids. People frequently enquire as to why an anti-inflammatory medication will keep them awake. The adrenal glands, which control the body's fight-or-flight response, are the reason. Corticosteroids play havoc on all the systems that allow you to relax and sleep, producing insomnia and unpleasant nightmares."




Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of the Candida Diet states, "Laxatives are medications that are used to treat constipation. They cause the bowels to stimulate and / or loosen the stool to allow for easier passage. This medication type can be controversial in the health and nutrition world, however, taking it before bed is understood no on all sides. Laxatives should be avoided prior to bed to prevent frequent sleep interruptions due to bowel movements."   


Stimulating Supplements

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Richards says, "Supplements can be an excellent addition to most people's health regimen. However, there are do's and don'ts surrounding the majority of them. These don'ts include taking some supplements with others or certain medications along with taking potential stimulating supplements prior to sleep. Ashwagandha is one of these supplements, it is commonly taken to reduce anxiety and stress by reducing cortisol levels, especially those elevated due to ongoing and uncontrolled stress. It also has a stimulating effect that can interrupt or prevent sleep if taken too close to bedtime."  

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
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