Does lexapro induced insomnia go away?

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Page last updated: 19/09/2022

Does lexapro induced insomnia go away?

In this blog post, we are going to talk about lexapro induced insomnia. It is one of the most commonly reported side effects of antidepressants. This blog post will cover how long insomnia usually takes to go away and tips to get rid of it, for good. 

We will also discuss some healthy habits to enhance your sleep quality. 

Does lexapro induced insomnia go away?

Lexapro induced insomnia begins to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of your treatment. Side effects associated with lexapro usually stay as long as your body tries to adapt to the presence of this antidepressant. Once your body is fully adjusted, you begin to notice your side effects fading away. 

What could be done to help relieve the symptoms of lexapro induced insomnia? 

There are a few things you can try to make your sleep pattern better and avoid lexapro induced insomnia. These include:

Take your lexapro in the morning

Taking lexapro at bedtime is more likely to cause 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.

Choosing the most appropriate time to take your med is a smart way of avoiding the unwanted effects. You can set the best time for Lexapro, in accordance with your side effects.

If you’re currently taking lexapro at night and you wish to switch, ask your healthcare provider. The best way to switch is to miss your night dose and take it the following morning. 

Again, you need to talk to your healthcare professional before making any changes by yourself. Even if you want to switch, do not proceed without your doctor’s approval.

Create a peaceful sleeping environment

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.

Keep your sleeping hours constant

Make sure you keep your sleeping hours constant by going to bed and getting up at the same time, everyday. This helps you to maintain the number of hours you sleep. 

In this way, your brain is programmed in such a way that you automatically start feeling sleepy at your ‘go to bed’ hour.

Does lexapro induced insomnia go away?

Stay active 

Regular exercise releases tension from your muscles and makes you feel relaxed. Exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week. It is not recommended to do a high intensity workout before bedtime, as it will make it difficult to fall asleep. 

Lower your caffeine intake

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. Instead, have a warm cup of milk or herbal tea.

Do not overeat before bed

Do not consume high amounts of food or alcohol before bedtime. You don’t need to keep your digestive system working while you sleep. It’s already not preferred to lie down right after eating. It will not only ruin your sleep quality but it will also keep you bloated throughout the next day. 

Get up, if you can’t fall asleep

If you can’t fall asleep, get up. Do something that makes you feel relaxed until you feel sleepy again. 

Try to calm yourself before you go to bed. 

Try to relax before you get to bed. Take a warm bath, light some soft scented candles, listen to some soft music or do some yoga to relax your mind and induce sleep.

Do not smoke

People who smoke fall asleep later than the normal individuals. Nicotine is a stimulant. As long as it remains in your system, it keeps you awake.

Why does lexapro cause insomnia in the first place? 

Lexapro belongs to the family of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, abbreviated as SSRIs. These drugs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin from the synaptic cleft (space between a neuron and its target cell). So, it increases the availability of serotonin in your brain. 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a chemical) released by our brain which is responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

Now, this increased amount of serotonin might mess up your sleep pattern during the first few weeks of antidepressant treatment. Side effects should begin to subside when your body gets used to the presence of lexapro and the excess availability of serotonin. 

Infact, after a few weeks, your sleep pattern might start to get better than it previously was. Insomnia itself is divided into two types:

  • Primary insomnia: This type of insomnia indicates that your disturbed sleep pattern is not connected with any health condition. Either it’s your messed up routine or your lifestyle that’s disturbing your sleep quality.
  • Secondary insomnia: This type of insomnia indicates that your disturbed sleep pattern is connected to a health condition like arthritis, asthma, depression, cancer, pain, use of certain medications, alcohol or substance abuse like the use of morphine, cocaine etc.

Lexapro induced insomnia lies in the second category, that is, secondary insomnia. Insomnia is also a symptom of depression itself (which will get better once your body adapts to lexapro).

When to call your doctor

Call your mental healthcare provider if your insomnia gets worse by the day. Make sure you give your body a few weeks to get settled on the medication. If even after a few weeks, your insomnia keeps troubling you, talk to your doctor. 

Do not leave lexapro abruptly, after being pissed at your side effects. Otherwise, you will end up suffering from withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome. Such medications are always tapered off if one needs to stop using them. This too, is done under the supervision of your doctor. 

Other side effects of lexapro 

Common side effects of Lexapro include:

  • Loss of appetite 
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Sexual issues
  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Vertigo 
  • Decreased salivation or dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety 
  • Infections caused by decreased immunity
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness and fatigue
  • Weight gain 

Some serious and rare side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 
  • Angle-closure glaucoma causes symptoms like eye pain, vision changes, or swelling or redness in your eyes.
  • It could cause low sodium levels which can result in psychological symptoms like confusion, agitation, inability to understand surroundings, memory loss etc.
  • It can cause elongation of QT interval, causing increased heartbeat or arrhythmia
  • Teeth grinding
  • It may also put you at an increased risk for dangerous bleeding, especially when taken with medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), warfarin (an anticoagulant medication), or other anticoagulants.

It is extremely important to monitor your side effects and inform your doctor about any other medication that you might be using along with your lexapro. Mild insomnia should not be a problem. You just have to give your body enough time to adapt. 

Yes, the treatment with antidepressants is not easy, but you have to ensure the proper use in order to achieve the maximum therapeutic response. 

Some people stop using medications abruptly just because of the side effects, but this is not something you should do. Abrupt withdrawal is far more dangerous as it comes bearing the symptoms of withdrawal syndrome. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we have discussed lexapro induced insomnia and how long it usually takes to go away. Most side effects begin to subside in 2 to 4 weeks, when your body starts getting used to the increased amounts of serotonin. 

The increased serotonin then enhances your mood, sleep quality, cognition, reward pathway and learning. You feel happy and go back to enjoying your favourite activities. 

Just don’t give up if you experience side effects, it gets better. Meanwhile, you can try the tips we have discussed in this blog and I’m sure you’ll see some good changes in your sleep quality. 

FAQs: lexapro insomnia goes away

How can I stop Lexapro insomnia?

  • Take your lexapro in the morning
  • Create a peaceful sleeping environment
  • Keep your sleeping hours constant 
  • Stay active
  • Lower your caffeine intake
  • Try to calm yourself before you go to bed. 
  • Do not smoke. Do not overeat before bed 
  • Get up, if you can’t fall asleep

How often does Lexapro cause insomnia?

Around 40-50% of the population taking SSRIs have experienced insomnia as a side effect at some point during their treatment. The incidence of insomnia depends on the drug, dose and severity of the mental health condition. 

Does insomnia from SSRI go away?

Yes, SSRIs induced insomnia is temporary. Side effects associated with these antidepressants start to fade away when your body gets used to the medication. You might struggle with your sleep pattern at first, but within a few weeks, your sleep quality starts to get better.

Does sleep improve on Lexapro?

Yes, your sleep quality starts to get better when your body completely adjusts to the medication. Make sure you properly take your medication daily and as directed by your healthcare professional. 

How do I switch to Lexapro at night?

Doctors usually recommend to drop one dose in order to switch your timing. For example: if you take your antidepressant 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. 

Why do SSRIs cause insomnia?

SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin from the synaptic cleft (space between a neuron and its target cell). So, it increases the availability of serotonin in your brain. 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a chemical) released by our brain which is responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

Now, this increased amount of serotonin might mess up your sleep pattern during the first few weeks of antidepressant treatment.

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