Can Xanax make you sleepy? (3+ ways to increase your mental alertness) 

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can Xanax make you sleepy?”. Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication and it belongs to the group of meds called Benzodiazepines. 

It is one of the most commonly prescribed medications and can be used for a number of mental health conditions. However, this medicine can significantly make you sleepy and this is why it can be used for the treatment of insomnia. 

This blog will discuss Xanax induced excessive sleepiness and what could be done to increase your energy levels during the day time. 

Can Xanax make you sleepy? 

Yes, Xanax can make you sleepy. In fact, it is used for the treatment of insomnia because of its ability to induce sedation. However, sometimes this sedation gets a little bit too much and becomes a side effect, especially during the daytime when you need high energy levels and full mental alertness. 

Xanax (Generic name: Alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine. It mimics the actions of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This way xanax controls the excessive neuronal firing in your brain and helps relax your muscles. 

It generates a calming sensation, reduces your anxiety, and helps induce sleep. This is exactly why xanax can be used for the treatment of insomnia. However, Xanax can cause addiction. 

What data do we have from research studies? 

Many researchers have worked on the sedative effects of Xanax. A 1987 study revealed that Xanax can be used to cure severe insomnia when given at bedtime. The usual beneficial dose for stubborn and treatment-resistant insomnia is 1mg. 

However, the same study concluded that Xanax may start showing the signs of tolerance. It means that as the treatment with this anti-anxiety med is continued, it starts to show lesser effects on the same dose. 

For better and prolonged therapeutic effects, the dose has to be escalated, but you can increase the dose only to a certain limit. Higher doses come with more pronounced side effects and some people can’t even bear them. 

This can result in therapeutic failure. Another 1985 study compared the sedative effects of Xanax and Valium (Generic name: Diazepam). The researchers observed that Xanax can cause much more pronounced residual sedative effects. 

It means that when you take Xanax at bedtime, it can make you feel sleepy during the following day. This can cause complications as you need full mental alertness during the daytime to perform your daily life activities. 

The study also indicated that as Xanax can produce tolerance, the tolerance in sedative effects can be helpful and it may help you counteract daytime sleepiness. 

Another 2016 study revealed that people who take short acting benzodiazepines like Xanax are more likely to get sleepy during the daytime. These research studies reveal that Xanax can indeed make you sleepy, and not only when it is needed but also the next day. 

Several surveys have also revealed that people who are on short acting benzodiazepines are associated with more nap time during the day, as compared to people who take long acting benzodiazepines. 

How to increase your daytime mental alertness while being treated with Xanax? 

There are a few things that you can try to increase your daytime alertness while being treated with Xanax. These include:

Drink some coffee 

Coffee is one of the most commonly used beverages to increase mental alertness and energy levels. Coffee has an active ingredient caffeine, which acts as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. This can make you feel awake and alert. 

However, too much caffeine can significantly enhance your anxiety, which may make you take more frequent doses of Xanax. The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) recommends no more than 400 milligrams (about four or five cups of coffee) per day. 

In addition, caffeine’s half-life can range from 2-12 hours, so try to avoid drinking coffee or any other caffeinated beverage within six hours of bedtime. 

Make sure you sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours every night

Getting a proper sleep is the key to making sure these meds work perfectly. If you take Xanax at bedtime and engage in different activities like using your phone, reading, playing games, or talking to anyone, then you may not be able to achieve the hours of sleep that your body requires after taking Xanax. 

This is exactly why it is crucial to make sure you sleep as much as your brain needs. There are a few tips that can help you enhance your sleep hygiene. The first and the very basic thing is to make sure that your room is peaceful enough for you to fall asleep peacefully. 

If you’re in an uncomfortable environment, your brain will find it harder to drift off to sleep. Also make sure that the lights are dim. The logical explanation behind having enough darkness in your room while you’re trying to fall asleep is that we have melatonin receptors (M1 and M2) in our eyes. 

These receptors detect light and darkness. When the sun goes down, these receptors start preparing your body for sleep. If you continuously use electronic gadgets or stay in sharp lighting, your melatonin receptors will start to get the wrong signal that it is daytime and it’s time to be awake. 

This can make it extremely difficult for you to fall asleep, despite having a pill. Make sure you avoid any such thing and sleep well at night. 

Stay hydrated 

It is extremely important to drink plenty of water. Water can help clear out toxins from your body. You can try making detox water by adding your favourite fruits in it. 

You can add lemon, cucumber, kiwi, oranges, berries, ginger etc, to make drinking water less boring. This will not only add taste, but also makes your water nutritious and full of antioxidants. 

Try exercising early in the morning 

Exercising early in the morning can help enhance your mental alertness. This is because exercising can increase your energy levels and release happy chemicals in your system that can prepare you well for the day and elevate your mood. 

You can go for a walk or do 10 minutes of high intensity interval training (HITT). It not only helps you to overcome sleepiness caused by Xanax, but it also makes your body healthy, like actually healthy. 

Talk to your healthcare provider 

In order to make sure that you’re on the right path towards your therapeutic goal, talk to your healthcare provider. Make sure you’re on the appropriate dose and not taking any more Xanax than you actually need. 

The timing at which you take Xanax should also be discussed with your doctor. This is because Xanax is not only used for the treatment of insomnia. 

It is also used for several other health conditions. If your health requires you to take Xanax in the morning as well, it can make daytime difficult for you by making you feel sleepy. 

Have a good breakfast 

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day and there is a reason why they say that. You need food for energy that is required by your very basic metabolic functioning. 

If you take a good protein filled breakfast, it will give you a headstart and will significantly boost your energy levels. Most common sources of protein include:

  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa 
  • Nut
  • Fish
  • Chickpeas 
  • Green peas
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Tofu
  • Almond
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Soy protein 
  • Chia seeds
  • Milk 
  • Legumes 
  • Beans
  • Peanuts

What not to do when Xanax makes you sleepy during the daytime? 

You should be extremely careful when Xanax makes you sleepy during the daytime. Make sure you avoid driving while your mental alertness is compromised. It is crucial for your own safety and for the safety of others. 

If you’re a worker in a factory or any other manufacturing or construction site where you’re responsible for operating heavy or complicated machinery, you should make sure you have your full mental alertness. If you’re sleepy or dizzy, it is not suitable to do such activities. 

It is also extremely important to not combine your Xanax with alcohol. This combination can cause deadly consequences in people who are sensitive. Alcohol itself dulls down your brain. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed Xanax induced excessive sedation. Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication and it belongs to the group of meds called Benzodiazepines. It can make you sleepy. In fact, it is used for the treatment of insomnia because of its ability to induce sedation. 

However, sometimes this sedation gets a little bit too much and becomes a side effect, especially during the daytime when you need high energy levels and full mental alertness. 

In order to make sure that you’re on the right path towards your therapeutic goal, talk to your healthcare provider. Make sure you’re on the appropriate dose and not taking any more Xanax than you actually need.

FAQs: xanax makes me sleepy 

Does Xanax make someone sleepy?

Yes, Xanax can make you sleepy. In fact, it is used for the treatment of insomnia because of its ability to induce sedation. However, sometimes this sedation gets a little bit too much and becomes a side effect, especially during the daytime when you need high energy levels and full mental alertness. 

Why do I fall asleep when I take Xanax?

Xanax (Generic name: Alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine. It mimics the actions of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This way xanax controls the excessive neuronal firing in your brain and helps relax your muscles. It generates a calming sensation, reduces your anxiety, and helps induce sleep. This is exactly why xanax can be used for the treatment of insomnia. However, Xanax can cause addiction. 

Does sleepiness from Xanax go away?

Xanax is supposed to make you sleepy as it acts on the inhibitory system of your brain. However, it may cause tolerance and you may start feeling less sleepy with the exact same dose that you were taking initially. 

Is 1 mg of Xanax a lot?

1 mg Xanax is not considered a lot. In fact, it is used as an initial dose for the treatment of severe insomnia. However, it is always advised to start your treatment from the lowest effective dose to make sure how Xanax makes you feel before you continue to take more of it. 

What does it feel like to take xanax?

Xanax is a brand name of alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine. This medication basically mimics inhibitory chemicals in your brain, like GABA, to control the excessive neuronal activity. 

In case you suffer from an overdose, call a helpline as soon as you can. Inform them properly how much is taken and when. Make sure you keep these pills away for your children and pets, if any. In order to do that, keep the bottle out of their reach. 

References 

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