We already know that drugs commonly used to treat attention deficit disorder, depression and hypertension may cause insomnia.
Today I want to get a bit more specific and share 10 medications that can harm sleep.
Often used to treat high blood pressure, alpha-blockers are thought to reduce rapid eye movement sleep.
Like alpha-blockers, beta-blockers are often used to treat high blood pressure but they're also used to help treat an irregular heartbeat.
Beta-blockers are thought to harm sleep by reducing melatonin production, resulting in nighttime awakenings and even nightmares.
Used to treat conditions related to inflammation (such as rheumatoid arthritis) this drug is thought to harm sleep since it can have a stimulant effect on our bodies.
Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants
Used primarily to treat depression, SSRI antidepressants are linked with insomnia but it's not known how or why these drugs affect our sleep in such a negative way.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
These drugs are used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. ACE inhibitors enlarge blood vessels which can lead to chronic coughing which is obviously not helpful when you're trying to sleep.
These drugs can also lead to increased levels of potassium in the body, resulting in diarrhea and leg cramps.
Angiotensin II-receptor blockers (ARBs)
Often prescribed for heart conditions or type 2 diabetes, ARBs can increase potassium levels in the body - leading to leg cramps and other conditions that damage sleep.
Used to treat memory loss, these drugs interfere with internal processes relating to sleep and can cause leg cramps and muscle spasms.
Antihistamines work by blocking acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter). This can result in anxiety and insomnia.
Used to aid joint health, these drugs are linked with insomnia and a number of sleep damaging side-effects such as nausea, diarrhea and headaches.
Often used to treat high cholesterol, statins can cause muscle pain, nightmares and insomnia.
A warning (and the alternatives)
Of course, you should never change your medication based on a blog post - always speak to your doctor first.
For alternatives to the drugs listed above, hit the source link below.
Last updated: June 12, 2013