One of the things I do when I meet with people is I do a very exhaustive medication and drug review. And the reason I do this is that I know that medications that might be very well-intentioned and prescribed by very good doctors may not always be good for sleep. Sometimes the side effect of drugs can be made to make you too sleepy or too stimulated. And sometimes it’s just a matter of the time of day. So when I look at those medications, I look to see, does this affect sleep in a good way, in a bad way, and what time of day those pills are taken? So sometimes on the pill bottle, it simply says, take one today. And the patient decides, I think I’ll take everything before bed because that’s convenient. It’s an on my bedside table, perfect logic. But if you’re taking a medication, for example, like Wellbutrin, a common antidepressant, a good antidepressant, one of the side effects, however, is stimulation, which is why it’s good for a sluggish depression, but it’s not good before bed.
The same may be true, even for over the counter medications, supplements B vitamins are good for your heart and lots of other things, and you need them. They tend to be stimulating. Well, that’s a good thing. First thing in the morning to give yourself a boost of energy at breakfast time to let you go through the day, but definitely a bad idea. If you take your B supplement before bed coenzyme Q 10 can do that as well. Again, a good supplement, but not before bed. Certain medications should be taken before bed because they can cause sleepiness. So I may hear the opposite complaint. Oh, I’m tired all day long. And then I see the drug is kind of a sleepy drug and it shouldn’t be taken first thing in the morning because it will affect us. So learning about the medications that you take, whether they are prescribed or sometimes over the counter supplements, even anti-histamines are common. We may have allergy season in the spring and fall and we think we’re doing a good thing by taking a Benadryl or Claritin, perfectly good drugs, but they tend to have sedating effects. In fact, almost all the over-the-counter sleeping pills are just derivatives of Benadryl, Unisom and ZZQuil. And all those things are just Benadryl. So very, very sedating. So once we know what we’re taking and what their side effects are, we can help control our energy during the day and also our sleep during the night.