Sleep Disorders – Causes: Sleep medication and other medications
Certain medicines affect the sleep-wake cycle. Some are stimulating until late at night. An important cause of sleep disorders are sleep aids themselves
Medicines that can affect sleep
These include, in particular, drugs that act on the neurotransmitters in the brain and influence the secretion of certain hormones that play a role in the normal sleep-wake cycle.
These are, for example, appetite suppressants, drive-increasing antidepressants or hypertension and heart remedies. Some medications also contain caffeine, as well as over-the-counter cough and cold remedies.
If certain medications, such as statins for high cholesterol, taken in the evening so that they unfold their effects overnight, sometimes occur as a side effect Einsein or sleep through.
Other drugs, such as acetylsalicylic acid, can permanently stress the stomach and cause heartburn , leading to sleep problems especially in the morning hours. There are also active ingredients that cause nocturnal restlessness or sometimes nightmares. Others, including certain antidepressants and neuroleptics, anti-psychotic agents, may trigger Restless Legs Syndrome .
Sleep disorders are not always associated with such medicines. Some side effects occur only in the initial stages of treatment and disappear after a short time.
Anyone who associates the occurrence of sleep problems with a drug he has been prescribed by the doctor should not simply stop. Always consult with your doctor . It often helps to take the drug at a different time or to choose a different drug combination.
Possible triggers for sleep disorders: Overview of drug groups
- Hypertensive agents such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers and other cardiovascular and cardiovascular drugs
- Statins against lipid metabolism disorders
- Hormone preparations such as thyroid medications or some contraceptives (for example, certain pills),
- Drive-enhancing antidepressants
- Psychotropic drugs, for example anti-psychotic agents (neuroleptics)
- Medicines for asthma and other respiratory diseases
- Medications for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease
- Agents for inflammatory joint diseases such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antimalarials or drugs from the group of sulfa drugs
- Pain and migraine remedies
- Caffeinated pain, cough and flu remedies
- Some antihistamines, for example some remedies for allergies, itching or stomach upset
Insomnia due to sleeping pills
It may be surprising at first, but the medicines that cause sleep disorders include, and in particular, sleep aids themselves. This is not so much for herbal sleep aids, such as valerian and hops, but for synthetic preparations, so-called hypnotics, especially for benzodiazepines. If these substances are taken over a longer period of time, a habituation effect sets in, the effect diminishes. Many sufferers then increase the dose on their own and are struggling with troubled nights and fatigue and often drowsiness during the day to fight. Then discontinue the drug, it comes to a weaning insomnia .
Who then resorted to the sleeping pills, often gets into a serious dependence, which is still associated with other undesirable effects. Experts believe that the brain reacts to the sudden withdrawal of the damping effect with increased activity and alertness. Some people become dependent even with a consistently low dosage, can not sleep without funds and suffer from side effects. In older age, these are often particularly pronounced and lead, inter alia, to depression to confusion.
Diagnosis and therapy: Talk openly with your doctor about your symptoms. He and her help will reveal the root causes of sleep problems. You should always stop taking benzodiazepines in consultation with the doctor only gradually. Doctors call this “slowly creep down”. Newer, the benzodiazepines similar substances do not make so dependent and less likely to weaning insomnia. But you should handle it just as carefully, that is, take only for a limited time and stop slowly creeping. Shortly thereafter, the sleep problems improve.
Synthetically produced melatonin is available in Germany only as a prescription drug for people over 55 years. However, it comes only as a short-term remedy for sleep disorders in question, which have no physical, mental or external causes.
It makes sense to specifically reduce stress and to learn a relaxation technique (see also chapter “Therapy and self-help” ). People who suffer from persistent insomnia without a physical cause can, thanks to targeted cognitive behavioral therapy, very often get their sleep-wake cycle under control again.