Is Zoloft induced insomnia temporary? (7+ tips to beat insomnia)

In this blog, we will talk about zoloft induced insomnia and how it is temporary. We will also discuss how long it usually takes to go back to your normal sleep pattern and will learn about 7+ tips to beat insomnia. 

Is Zoloft induced insomnia temporary?

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Yes, zoloft induced insomnia is temporary. Side effects associated with zoloft 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.

How does zoloft cause insomnia?

Zoloft belongs to the family of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, abbreviated as SSRIs. Now let’s get into the science of this class of drugs. 

These drugs actually 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 zoloft and the excess availability of serotonin. 

Infact, after a few weeks, your sleep pattern might start to get better than it previously was. 

Types of insomnia

Insomnia 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.

Zoloft 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 zoloft). 

Best time to take zoloft to avoid insomnia

Medicines affect people differently. There might be a person out there who is getting little to no side effects from zoloft. If you’re one of the unfortunate ones, who’s going through insomnia caused by zoloft, you need to pick a better time to take your med. 

Taking zoloft at bedtime is more likely to cause insomnia. It is preferred to start taking zoloft 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 zoloft, in accordance with your side effects.

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.

Ways to beat insomnia

Following are a few tips to beat insomnia:

Keep 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.

Create 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.

Exercise regularly

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. 

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.

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.

Keep a journal

If your bedtime is also your overthinking time, try to keep a journal. You can write your plans for tomorrow in it or update your schedule the way you want. You can also keep a personal diary, in which you can write about your worries, in order to prevent overthinking once you get to bed.

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. 

Other side effects of zoloft

These are the most commonly reported side effects of zoloft. Such side effects do not possess a threat.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling angry or agitated
  • Weight gain
  • Inability to digest food
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of libido
  • Sweating/Night sweats
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impotence
  • Inability to ejaculate

Some side effects require immediate medical attention. These include:

  • Skin allergy, which could include Stevens-Johnson. You might notice red, swollen, or blistered skin, with or without fever. 
  • Allergic reactions, like rash, hives are common. It also includes wheezing, difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, trouble breathing, swallowing, or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Few of these symptoms indicate anaphylactic shock. 
  • 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
  • Convulsions 
  • The inability to have an erection
  • Hypothyroidism (low thyroid gland function)
  • Bone marrow failure associated with low blood counts
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Neutropenia 
  • Abnormal behaviour/mania 
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling guilty all the time
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms

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 zoloft 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. 

Conclusion

Zoloft is well known for producing side effects related to your sleep pattern and its quality. 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. 

Do not stop zoloft abruptly, for the sake of getting rid of side effects. This way, you’ll just end up opening your doors for withdrawal symptoms and trust me, they’re no piece of cake.

FAQs: Zoloft insomnia temporary

How do I stop Zoloft insomnia?

Zoloft induced insomnia starts to subside in about 2 to 3 weeks, when your body adapts to the presence of medication. It is preferred to take zoloft in the morning to avoid getting insomnia. 

Meanwhile, a few tips can help you. These include:

  • Keep your sleeping hours constant
  • Create a peaceful sleeping environment.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Do not overeat before bed
  • Limit your caffeine intake
  • Do not smoke
  • Try to calm yourself before you go to bed. 
  • Get up, if you can’t fall asleep
  • Keep a journal.

How long until Zoloft side effects go away?

Zoloft side effects begin to fade away in 2 to 3 weeks. It varies from person to person. Some people tolerate zoloft pretty well and their side effects last just a few days.

How long does sertraline affect your sleep?

Sertraline affects your sleep for 2 to 3 weeks. It might make some people drowsy during the day. For such people, it is recommended to take the med at night time so that they can avoid being tired during the day. 

For some people, it lowers the sleep quality and causes insomnia. For such people, it is advised to take your antidepressant in the morning.

Why should you not take sertraline at night?

You should avoid taking sertraline at night if it causes insomnia, loss of libido, urinary problems, sweating and tremors. These side effects tend to make you restless at night and affect your sleep quality. 

Why do SSRIs cause insomnia?

Zoloft increases the availability of serotonin in your brain. Now, this increased amount of serotonin might mess up your sleep pattern during the first few weeks of antidepressant treatment. It affects sleep in two ways; it will either make you drowsy and tired during the day time or make you insomniac. 

What are the most common side effects of sertraline?

These are the most commonly reported side effects of zoloft. Such side effects do not possess a threat.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling angry or agitated
  • Weight gain
  • Inability to digest food
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of libido
  • Sweating/Night sweats
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impotence
  • Inability to ejaculate

References

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