Navigating Medications with Contradictory Side Effects


Hey sleep warriors!

Dealing with medication side effects that include both sleepiness and insomnia can be tricky, but there are a few strategies you can try to help you figure out how a medication may affect you as an individual.

If the dosage timing is flexible, the following three tips can help you determine how a medication impacts your sleep and wakefulness. Of course, these are generalizations and you will want to first consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to understand the medication’s effects, both on it’s own and in combination with any other medications you are taking.

  1. For once-daily medication, start by taking it in the morning on a non-workday. This approach allows you to minimize your responsibilities if you become drowsy. On the other hand, if you take the medication first at night and it disrupts your sleep, you may lose a night’s rest and the following day.
  2. It’s generally best to avoid making any other lifestyle or medication changes at the same time. This helps ensure that any changes in your energy or drowsiness levels are a direct result of the new medication, rather than other factors.
  3. Keeping a sleep diary can be helpful in tracking how the medication affects you. Try taking the medication in the morning for one week, and then in the evening on a different week, and record how well you slept and how alert you felt during the day.

I hope these tips help you navigate the next time you experience this seemingly contradictory scenario.


Thanks for being here, I’ll see you next week.

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