Ever wondered how regular medication might be interfering with your sleep?

From a certain age, medications become a fact of life. Regular prescriptions can involve a range of side-effects, but have

From a certain age, medications become a fact of life. Regular prescriptions can involve a range of side-effects, but have you ever considered the toll medication takes on your sleep?

These five types of medication can be seriously disruptive. Do you recognise anything from our list? Always consult with a doctor first, if you think this information may affect you.

1. Blood pressure tablets

Also known as alpha-blockers, medications that treat high blood pressure have been linked to a disturbance in REM sleep. REM is the deepest form of sleep, and is therefore very important for your nightly rejuvenation. Blood pressure tablets that contain ACE Inhibitors can also lead to a dry cough, which keeps many people awake at night.

Examples may include: Vasotec, Capoten and Monopril

2. Antidepressants

Medications that treat anxiety and depression are also known as beta-blockers. For reasons doctors don’t fully understand, antidepressants are often linked to nightmares. What’s worse, for almost 20% of patients, anti-depressants can lead to severe insomnia.

Examples may include: Zoloft, Lexapro and Prozac

3. Arthritis medications

Treatments for arthritis include corticosteroids, cortisone and prednisone. These medications impact your adrenal glands, which are responsible for your body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. As a result, arthritis medications can wreak havoc on your sleeping patterns.

Examples may include: Supplements incorporating glucosamine or chondroitin

4. Statins

Over 2.5 million Australians are prescribed statins to lower cholesterol, making this the most widely used medication in our country. However, statins will commonly inhibit muscle growth. This lack of muscular development often leads to ache and pains, which will invariably disturb your slumber.

Examples may include: Lipitor, Mevacor and Zocor

5. Antihistamines

Antihistamines are used to alleviate many allergic reactions – including nasal congestion, itchy skin and hives. Unfortunately, most antihistamines will suppress your central nervous system, which leads to drowsiness. Feeling drowsy (and then indulging in a nap or two) will invariably change your regular sleeping patterns.

Examples may include: Benadryl and Claritin

Have your sleeping patterns changed since taking regular medication? Share your experiences with us.