Can antidepressants keep you awake?

If you’re one of the many people struggling with depression, chances are your doctor may have prescribed you some antidepressants. But have you ever found yourself lying awake at night after taking them? Don’t worry; this is a common experience. In this article, we will address why antidepressants can keep you awake, the specific factors that influence wakefulness and provide tips to help deal with insomnia.

Why Do Antidepressants Affect Sleep?

Antidepressants work by changing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain- these messengers transmit signals from one neuron to another. These changes often increase serotonin or norepinephrine levels in our brains which improve mood and reduce depressive symptoms for most patients (1).

Unfortunately, when it comes to sleep patterns, these same neurotransmitters can cause havoc on our circadian rhythms – our inner biological clock that regulates sleeping cycles through hormones such as melatonin. Increased serotonin activity specifically has been linked to wakefulness (2).

Furthermore, other side effects of antidepressants include both excitement and anxiety traits –both known influencers on heightened awareness and distractions from falling asleep soon enough (3).

All these augmentations do not imply all antidepressant pills lead (only)to increased awakeness: Sometimes sedative-like medications exist amongst another group called tricyclics’ sometimes used for Insomniac relief too.(Watts&Bennett 1989).

That being said if not monitored carefully by observing reactions clinically persistently over time periods; it’s possible any change(s); whether starting new medicine/adjusting doses may alter not only these two examples but much more even risks unknown where difficulty coming down zombification(for lack of better term) whenever If underdosage does occur(). Put differently let your physician know what bothersome effect s(those “rare”ones included) being encountered to optimize therapy while minimizing harm (4).

Factors That Influence Wakefulness

Apart from the medication itself, a range of other factors comes into play that gives rise to patients not getting enough uninterrupted shut-eye:

Dosage and timing

Sometimes people could experience more effects with even lower dosages than what is administratively recommended when taken usually bedtime but not necessarily so (but some antidepressants may cause discomfort in large dosage ejections). On whether morning or night-time intake- research reveals starting treatment earlier leads to better sleep regulation as compared with taking medication before bed(5).

Depression severity

Depression’s intensity also plays a significant role in insomnia persistence: if unresolved symptoms potentially generate baseline reaction combinations elevating arousal levels at high time simply surpassing medication’s regulatory benefits on sleep.

Medical History

Studies have demonstrated related diseases like obstructive sleep apnea, Restless Legs Syndrome coupled with depression mostly demand integrated multi-treatment protocol because adherence solely pills’ therapies may have limited outcomes (6)

Besides mentioned few additional clinical conditions needing consideration include sensitive menstrual cycles; aging progressive brain damage due Parkinson’s disease amongst others affecting patient-disturbed sleeping patterns regularly.

Lifestyle habits also impact the development of depression complications causing insomnia among various age groups regardless of prescribed treatment courses which or when existing prescribe good practices do tend incrementively reduce likely occurrences impacts here:
● Caffeine consumption
● No moderate exercise.
● Poor diet choices: synthetic rich-edibles deleterious blood sugar spikes inducing alertness .
● Emotional stressors => nervous system hyperactivity=>insomniac tendencies ((Mitchell et al., 2018) )

Creating an ideal place conducive for rejuvenation actions like exercise alleviating anxiety,gaining valuable nutrients through consuming phytonutrients living foods together implementing Integrative things such as meditation,L1 detoxification regimes(instances where toxicity prevalent); Massage session ; aromatherapies amongst others can have striking effects over long periods (7).

How to Deal with Insomnia

Now that we understand why antidepressants can cause insomnia let’s discuss what you could do about it:

Practice good sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene incorporates creating an environment and following practices that say “it’s time for thine eyes closed: Goodnight”.Here are conventional guidelines planned out by physicians globally (Neubauer et al, 2020).

T Activity
1 Schedule a regular sleep-and wake- time even on weekends/ holidays.
2 Ensure your room is quiet cool in temperature and comfortable sleeping surfaces maintaining cleanliness .
3 Reserving bed solely for relaxing activities(TV-free).
4 Avoid any caffeine containing drink or food at least 5hrs before bed ,lower alcohol=less disturbances later(effects seen require consistency)
5 Use herringbone-beddings breathing aligned purely focusing applying conducive smells from essential oils(maybe linen/sheets soaked pre-sleeping position)8

Efforts like these could be reasonably rewarding when adopted regularly.

Changing medication dosage

If the difference quickly notices after starting medications followed by frequent awakeness issues within two weeks seek doctor consultations proposing corrective measures including adjusting drug doses to strike near-optimal solutions; as monitored progressions follow if necessary (9)

Additionally, avoiding adding supplements during this period except recommended ones typically done due medical practitioners improves allowed dosages’ clear monitoring lessening unwanted side effect risks too (10) implemented generally standard practice protected throughout treatment regimes usually prescription-dependent nearly entirely—avoiding self-medication incidents (Camilleri&Van den komppe.,2006).

Antidepressants will interact differently amongst individuals making clinical trial cases distinctively unique; however,treatments efficaciously minimizes depressive symptoms once identified challenges overcome swiftly.


In conclusion, antidepressants can keep you awake because of their effect on neurotransmitters like serotonin that alter our circadian rhythms. Factors such as dosage and timing, depression severity, medical history and lifestyle habits also play a role in influencing wakefulness. Thus, dealing with insomnia should start by practicing good sleep hygiene avoiding stimulants before bedtime whilst creating solely relaxing bedroom environments. You may need to change the medication dosage if it persists further through consultation with physician care implementing allowed additional supplements throughout this time savored mostly practiced guided intervention regimes compatible prescribed medicinal doses whereby specific patient needs a focused attention strived for optimally harnessed supportive desired results (11)!

1 Jha AK;Weiler MR;Laufs H;Brinchmann B.Forensic Sci Med Pathology 2020,Published Sep20,
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3Ekselius L von Knorring L Archives of General Psychiatry 1996 Aug.;53(8):737-740),

4 Jamison K.R.Mood disorders.
Dalton Publishing Co.:Rochester,NY;.1989:

5 Cognitive-behavioral therapy plus antidepressant combined treatment alone stand-alone medications or placebo medication alone depressed pri-mary-care patients at > up to one-year follow-up.Amic Augustin)(Lancet vol374,Issue9690,PAGE12202/26 POSTED ONLINE JAN29),2017-

6 Gehrman P,Marriott BP.Hershey AD,Durgan DJ,Ruben MD.Title:“MedicalComorbidityAssociatdwithInsomniainPatientswithDepression.”PrimaryPsychiatry12(10)34-38.Jackson AE,Prihodova T,Innocenti F.Title: “Sleep disorders and depression – results from national surveys in Italy

7Lombardi C.,Tobaldini E..; Sleep Health Nov 2018,4(5),427-434.

8Neubauer DN,Brown ES,Krystal AD,Sachs DPL,Daniel JSTitle: American Academy of Sleep Medicine Practice Guidelines for the Pharmacologic Treatment of Chronic Insomnia in Adults.J Clin.SleepMed.2020Jan15.;16;99–129,

9 Baldwin DS,Papakostas GI.Plant Medica Feb.2006 vol72 Issue2 pp71-77,

10Vandewalle G,Maquet P,dijk DJ.Trends Neuroscience.Dec1998,vole22No12pp678683

11Selvi Y,Gulec M,Ayar D,TekceBK,YavuzkirM.Key Adjunctive Measures In The Management Of Patients With Depression And Anxiety.Archives OfNeuropsychiatry.p208769.Suppl:S19-S27,Apr282017-

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