Can Lexapro cure your insomnia? (3+ research studies) 

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about the beneficial effects of lexapro for the treatment of insomnia. Lexapro is an antidepressant and is used to treat a variety of mental health related to problems and the disturbing symptoms associated with this. 

This blog will help you understand how lexapro can help you with your insomnia. 

Can Lexapro cure your insomnia? 

Yes, lexapro can cure insomnia and related sleep disturbances which are associated with your mental health condition. Depression causes a variety of symptoms in different individuals and insomnia is reported as one of the most common symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

For such people, their antidepressant is the best bet to get rid of inability to sleep or nighttime wakefulness. However, there is another important thing you need to know. 

As we have just discussed, depression and anxiety affect people differently, it may cause somnolence in some people. This effect is counteracted by the antidepressant and such people actually suffer from lexapro induced insomnia. 

It totally depends on what symptoms you are having. Whatever they are, your antidepressant is going to counteract them, once it starts to kick in. 

What does research suggest? 

A 2012 study was based on the effects of lexapro on sleep disturbances in the people living with major depressive disorder (MDD) or generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). 

The study concluded that lexapro can indeed help to get rid of such symptoms, as this antidepressant alters the amount of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain which can help relieve the symptoms of your mental health condition. 

Another study also revealed that lexapro can really help cure the depressive symptoms and can make disturbed sleep quality better, reduce nighttime wakefulness and make the following daytime functioning better. 

A 2005 study specifically worked with people who suffered from a messed up sleep cycle because of their depression. 

Such people find it difficult to fall asleep and even if they somehow managed to do so, they would still wake up in the middle of the night with heavy eyes and a terrible headache. Such test volunteers were given lexapro for 8 weeks and the effects of the drug were monitored. 

The study concluded that lexapro actually made their sleep cycle better as it worked to balance the neurotransmitter deficiency, which started to normalise the pattern, duration and quality of their sleep. 

Another study linked depression with insomnia and revealed that the deficiency of serotonin, the major cause of depression, also disrupts the amount of melatonin in your body. 

Melatonin is a hormone which basically detects darkness and starts slowing down your brain to prepare you to fall asleep. Serotonin is the precursor of melatonin synthesis and the mechanism is responsible for your depression induced insomnia. 

Lexapro is a potent inhibitor of serotonin reuptake and significantly increases the amount of this neurotransmitter in your body, which results in more melatonin synthesis and regulates your sleep cycle. 

Lexapro is not only used to treat depression and anxiety, but can also help relieve the vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. 

A 2012 study revealed that this antidepressant can help reduce the insomnia, nightmares, nighttime wakefulness and hot flashes in post-menopausal women. 

Is there any non-pharmacological sleep aid that you can try with your lexapro? 

There are a number of guidelines and non-pharmacological remedies that can help you make your sleep quality better. Several guidelines suggest following tips to make your sleep quality better than it is now. These include:

  • Try to go to bed at the same time every day, working days as well as weekends. 
  • Do not use electronic devices or gadgets before going to bed. They reduce your sleep quality. Make sure you remove such devices from your room or switch them off.
  • Do not consume caffeine in the evening. The half life of caffeine is 2 to 12 hours, so make sure you do not consume it in the evening, as it might remain in your system till bedtime. 
  • Do not consume high amounts of food or alcohol before bedtime. You don’t need to keep your digestive system working while you sleep.
  • Stay active. Regular exercise releases tension from your muscles and makes you feel relaxed. Exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week.
  • Avoid smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant. As long as it remains in your system, it keeps you awake. 

There are plenty of other tips to help you fall asleep and decrease the frequency of your wakefulness. The time at which you take your med also plays a huge role. People who take lexapro at bedtime are more likely to suffer from insomnia. 

It is preferred to start taking lexapro in the morning, instead of taking it at night time. Always talk to your healthcare provider to guide you through it. 

Always make sure your bedroom is peaceful when it’s time to sleep. Temperature, lighting and sound should be controlled as per your liking. 

Sleep on a comfortable bed

It is difficult to fall asleep on an uncomfortable bed. Make sure your bed makes you feel relaxed as you drift off to sleep. There are multiple natural ingredients that can help you fall asleep. Let’s talk about some of them:

  • Chamomile is well known for its relaxing properties. Chamomile tea has been used for decades now to regulate good night’s sleep. Studies suggest that chamomile possess natural antidepressant and antianxiety properties and can help stabilise your mood. 
  • Lavender is a herb which is well known for its relaxing and calming fragrance. Studies show that lavender has antidepressant and antianxiety properties and can be used to help treat insomnia associated with disturbed mood and mental condition. 
  • Passion flowers can also be used to enhance the quality of your sleep. Study suggests that this herb can help reduce the time taken for a person to fall asleep and also reduces the chances of waking up in the middle of the night. 
  • Ashwagandha is a plant that’s used to make medicines. This plant is said to be an adaptogen, which can help you respond to daily life struggle, anxiety, stress and fatigue. In some Indian practices, it is also used to treat insomnia. 
  • Research suggests that turmeric acts as a mild tranquilliser. Its pain relieving and sedative effects have made it a big part of herbal treatment. 
  • Leafy green vegetables are rich in a lot of minerals like magnesium, potassium etc, which can calm your body down. When you lie down on your bed to sleep, the relaxation you feel makes you want to close your eyes and drift off to sleep. 
  • Several studies suggest that carrots are packed with minerals which can help regulate your sleep cycle and increase the duration of your sleep.
  • Experts revealed that banana is a rich source of tryptophan which is used as a precursor of serotonin synthesis. Serotonin, on the other hand, acts as a precursor for melatonin synthesis, a hormone which holds great importance in your sleep cycle. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed how lexapro can help get rid of your insomnia. This antidepressant can cure insomnia and related sleep disturbances which are associated with your mental health condition. Many research studies have backed it up. 

Some revealed that lexapro can indeed help to get rid of insomnia, as this antidepressant alters the amount of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain which can help relieve the symptoms of your mental health condition. 

Several studies linked depression with insomnia and revealed that the deficiency of serotonin, the major cause of depression, also disrupts the amount of melatonin in your body. 

Melatonin is a hormone which basically detects darkness and starts slowing down your brain to prepare you to fall asleep. We have also discussed a couple of guidelines and non-pharmacological remedies to help make your sleep quality better. 

FAQs: lexapro cured my insomnia 

Does escitalopram help you sleep better?

Yes, escitalopram can help you sleep better and can cure insomnia and related sleep disturbances which are associated with your mental health condition. It can also make the sleep quality better in post-menopausal women. 

Can Lexapro make you sleep more?

Lexapro can make you sleep more if it causes side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness or fatigue. This antidepressant affects people differently. It makes some people insomniac and causes excessive drowsiness in others. 

This effect is also related to the symptoms of your mental health condition. If your depression or anxiety makes it difficult for you to fall asleep, lexapro can induce sleep by taking your depression or anxiety down a notch. 

Does SSRI insomnia go away?

Yes, SSRI induced insomnia is temporary. Side effects associated with these antidepressants start to fade away when your body gets used to them. You might struggle with your sleep pattern at first, but within a few weeks, your sleep quality starts to get better and you start experiencing less nighttime wakefulness and headaches associated with them. 

Does Lexapro wear off at night?

The half life of lexapro is around 26-33 hours, after which the concentration of this antidepressant in your body only reduces to half. It can take up to 6 days for Lexapro to finally start wearing off. 

How do I switch from Lexapro to morning and night?

Doctors usually recommend to drop one dose in order to switch your timing. For example: if you take your lexapro in the morning, your doctor might recommend you to skip your morning dose and take it at night instead. 

This way you will avoid getting overdosed and will not experience intense side effects of the drug but this should be done only if approved by your healthcare provider. 

Can I take a sleep aid with Lexapro?

You can take sleep aid with lexapro only if your healthcare provider has prescribed it. It is not recommended to start using any other medication that can affect the levels of chemicals in your brain, with your antidepressant and that too without your doctor’s approval. 

References 

  • Kristine E Ensrud et al. Menopause. (2012) – Effect of escitalopram on insomnia symptoms and subjective sleep quality in healthy perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with hot flashes: a randomized controlled trial https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22433978/
  • Dan J Stein et al. Adv Ther. (2011) – Effects of escitalopram on sleep problems in patients with major depression or generalised anxiety disorder https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22057726/
  • Maurizio Fava et al. J Clin Psychiatry. (2011) – Improved insomnia symptoms and sleep-related next-day functioning in patients with comorbid major depressive disorder and insomnia following concomitant zolpidem extended-release 12.5 mg and escitalopram treatment: a randomised controlled trial https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21208597/
  • M Lader et al. Hum Psychopharmacol. (2005) – The effect of escitalopram on sleep problems in depressed patients https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15912558/
  • Serotonin modulates melatonin synthesis as an autocrine neurotransmitter in the pineal gland https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2113852118 

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