Effexor XR and Insomnia
Some people may experience side effects during treatment with Effexor XR, and insomnia is one that occurs commonly. A few symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, waking up often throughout the night and not being able to fall back asleep, and waking up too early in the morning. If you do experience insomnia while taking Effexor XR, you can help it by keeping a regular sleep-wake cycle, avoiding caffeine or alcohol before bedtime, and not eating large meals within two hours of bedtime, among other things.
Insomnia is one of the most common side effects with Effexor XR® (venlafaxine XR), occurring in up to 23 percent of people who take the drug. In previous studies, insomnia was most commonly seen in people who took Effexor XR for social anxiety disorder (social phobia) -- 23 percent -- and was least commonly seen in those who took Effexor XR for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) -- 15 percent.
People with insomnia have one or more of the following insomnia symptoms:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Having non-refreshing sleep.
For some people who experience insomnia while taking Effexor XR, the insomnia can be cured by improving sleep habits. Some tips for better sleep include:
- Keeping a regular sleep-wake cycle. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the four to six hours before bedtime.
- Avoiding exercise within two hours of bedtime. Exercising five or six hours before bedtime may help you sleep more soundly.
- Avoiding large meals within two hours of bedtime.
- Napping no later than 3 p.m.
- Sleeping in a dark, quiet room with a comfortable temperature.
- Doing a quiet activity somewhere else if you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes. Return to bed when you're sleepy.
- Winding down in the 30 minutes before bedtime with a relaxing pre-sleep ritual such as a warm bath, soft music, or reading.
(Click Good Sleep Habits for more suggestions.)