Best sleep aid with lamictal

Lamictal and bipolar disorder sleep problems « Straight Talk on Managing Bipolar Disorder

Hi Julie,

I was recently diagnosed with bipolar.I am now taking Lamictal. The only side effect Ive had is sleeplessness. I ‘ sleep, I cant sleep, I quit coffee. I quit drinking coke. I have done everything to sleep. I get maybe 3 hours if ‘ lucky. I’m new to this drug on my first week so I am on a low dosage. 25mg. for the first 14 days. Does this get better?? Do you sleep finally as the dose gets bigger! UGH!!

Hi Deborah,

There are so many different side effects with each drug.  The drugs can even cause opposite side effects such as making one person sleepy and the other revved up. I have not heard of Lamictal causing sleeplessness, but it’s certainly a possibility.  Also, that really is a small dose. It’s very good to start small and go up. The general dose is 250mg though it ranges greatly. My mom takes 100mg and I take 500mg! I started at 10mg.

Sleep problems can really exacerbate bipolar disorder as they can lead to mania- on the other hand- mania can cause the sleep problems. Here’s how to know the difference:

When a person has sleep problems with mania, they don’t tend to be tired the next day. They can get up and get on with their day with energy.  Do you feel normal the next day?

Sleep problems due to a drug often make the person tired, upset and unfocused the next day- or even abnormally tired, such as falling asleep in the middle of the day and drooling on a pillow. I call this pass out sleeping.

The question is how you feel the next day after you don’t sleep.

Next question, Did you try any other meds before you went on  Lamictal? Are they still in your system?

Side effects definitely lessen, but sleep issues are too serious to ignore. I would talk with your doctor and explain the symptoms. It may be you need a sleep aid such as Ativan (which is what I use) to help you sleep so the Lamictal can work. But… you don’t really want to take that every night. Another option is one of the new drugs such as Lunesta. Also, ask your doctor about using Benedryl as well. All of these have risks.

There are definitely choices, but you really need to tell your doctor what is happening as you have to make sure it’s not mania!


PS: Here is some advice from Shana:

Hi Julie, just wanted to let you know that sleeplessness is a side effect of lamictal. Strangely, it is not one identified often by the manufacturer or by medical sites. However it is repeated as anecdotal on various side effect forums on the ‘net.

I myself experienced it. It was terrible. Thankfully it went away after a few months!

** I love to hear from readers who have experienced similar symptoms. So now we know- Lamictal can definitely cause sleeplessness- when this happens, definitely talk to your doctor and get some sleep help. You may need to change drugs. many of us, Lamictal is definitely worth it. I really need to start calling it Generic Lamotrigine!


PS: Lamotrigine is the generic name for Lamictal

Bipolar Disorder Sleep Medication | Depression Sleep Medication | Bipolar Beat

By Candida Fink, MD on November 6, 2009

With this post, we continue our biweekly series on medications used to treat bipolar disorder and related symptoms. This week, we focus the spotlight on medications that can help you sleep.

Before we crack open the medicine cabinet, Id like to say a few words about bipolar disorder and sleep. Sleep is a biggie. Too much could trigger or be symptomatic of depression. Too little could trigger or be symptomatic of a manic episode. At least one study shows that changes in sleep patterns can be an early predictor of a manic episode. Sleep plays a major role in mood disorders and recovery, so if youre having trouble sleeping, you and your doctor need to do something about it.

That something could consist of many strategies, ranging from very simple (such as going to bed the same time every night) to more involved medication, avoiding caffeine and other stimulants, maintaining a strict sleep schedule, and convincing other family members to stop banging around in the kitchen till two in the morning. In stubborn cases, you may benefit from a sleep study to identify factors that may be contributing to the sleep disturbances.

Assuming your doctor and you decide that sleep medication is necessary, your doctor may prescribe one or both of the following:

  • A mood stabilizer, atypical antipsychotic, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety agent), or other medication thats not primarily used for sleep but will hopefully help your sleep if it treats underlying mood or anxiety symptoms. Occasionally these medications are used just for the sedating side effects for sleep, but this is not so common.
  • A bona-fide sleeping pill (sedative), which brings us to the main point of this post.

A little-known fact is that the active ingredient in many over-the-counter sleeping pills is diphenhydramine the generic form of Benadryl!

Prescription Sedatives

Several effective sleeping pills are available, which vary in terms of safety, side effects, and other considerations. The following list provides a quick rundown of some of the more common prescription sleep medications currently in use:

  • Ambien (zolpidem): Ambien is available in two forms Ambien (and its generic), which help you fall asleep, and Ambien CR (no generic), approved to help you fall asleep fast and stay asleep. Ambien may not be safe for those who have a history of depression, liver or kidney disease, or respiratory conditions. Ambien may lose its effectiveness if taken longer than two weeks, while Ambien CR can be taken for a longer period of time. Ambien can trigger unusual side effects such as sleep walking, sleep eating, and even sleep driving. Ambien should not be mixed with alcohol the combination increases the risk of these types of side effects. For more about Ambien CR, visit
  • Lunesta (eszopiclone): Lunesta is approved to help you get to sleep and stay asleep, so you wake up feeling rested. It has a low-risk for developing a dependency, so you can use it short- or long-term, and rebound insomnia (increasing severity of insomnia after stopping the medication) is rare. Lunesta may not be safe for those who have a history of depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts; a history of substance abuse or addiction; liver disease; or are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breast feeding. Lunesta should not be combined with alcohol. For additional information, visit
  • Sonata (zaleplon): Sonata is approved to help you get to sleep. Its particular niche is that it is short acting, so is less likely to produce a hangover effect in the morning. It is so short acting that you can take it a second time if you awaken in the middle of night. Sonata can be habit forming and may not be safe for those who have a history of depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts; a history of substance abuse or addiction; severe liver impairment; or are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breast feeding. Sonata should not be combined with alcohol.
  • Rozerem (ramelteon): Rozerem works differently from other sleep medications and is designed to work in conjunction with your bodys internal clock. Its non-habit-forming, wont make you feel groggy the next day, and is safe to use with many prescribed medications. (Its not a controlled substance like most other prescription sleep medications. ) Although Rozerem is generally considered safer and gentler than other prescription sleep medications, it may not be safe for those who have a history of kidney or respiratory problems, sleep apnea, or depression, or are pregnant or breast feeding. It may interact with alcohol, and high-fat meals may slow absorption of the drug. For more about Rozerem, visit

Some older sleep aids include Restoril (temazepam), Halcion (triazolam), and ProSom or Eurodin (estazolam). These are not used frequently anymore and have a history of being addicting and causing a number of side effects. Halcion has been withdrawn form the market in several countries. If your doctor recommends one of these medications, question the reasoning for using an older drug.

Atypical Sleep Aids

Some medications that are not bona fide sedatives are often used for this purpose. Following are a few of the more common and effective medications in this group:

  • Trazodone: This is an old fashioned antidepressant, rarely used for depression anymore, but, because it is so sedating, has become popular as a non-habit-forming sleep aid. Its use is limited to women for the most part though, because of a risk in priapism for men an erection that will not go away. This seems like it might be fun but it is actually a medical emergency.
  • Remeron: Another antidepressant used for sleep because it is so sedating, Remeron is pretty effective, but causes weight gain.
  • Clonidine: This medication was primarily used for high blood pressure, but is quite sedating, is often used in children with ADHD, and is a good sleep aid that’s not habit forming. It can sometimes cause a drop in blood pressure or rebound high blood pressure. In high doses, it can cause liver problems.

What about melatonin?

Melatonin is a natural hormone, released by the brain when it gets dark. It is available over the counter. It is an effective sleep aid and is well studied even in children. The safety profile is quite good. Doses range from 1-5 mg per night, and it comes in pills and spray forms.

Common Possible Side Effects

All medications have side effects. Prior to taking any prescription or over-the-counter sleep aid, consult your doctor let her know all the medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medications and all natural or herbal remedies. In addition, be aware that any sleep aid can cause drowsiness, so avoid driving or operating machinery while taking these medications, especially when you first start taking them and are unsure of the effect they may have on you. Additional side effects may include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Allergic reaction, possibly severe
  • Facial swelling
  • Headache
  • Prolonged drowsiness (especially the sleep aids designed to help you stay asleep)
  • Sleep behaviors, such as sleep-driving and sleep-eating or a combination of the two, like if you sleep drive to McDonalds

Sleep Aids in My Practice

I recommend or provide sleep aids frequently, because sleep problems are so commonly associated with mood disorders and other psychiatric conditions. I encourage people to practice good “sleep hygiene” as a primary intervention:

  • Regular bed time and wake up times
  • No stimulants after 12 noon
  • No vigorous exercise in the evening
  • Turn off screens and phones and work one hour before bedtime
  • Try to keep the bed for only sleeping and sex no work or other activities
  • No TV in the bedroom… it’s bad for sleep

If we do need to use a sleep aid, I will often start with melatonin before proceeding to prescription interventions. We try hard to use medications for brief periods of time. Getting enough sleep is important in recovery from mood disorders, so treating aggressively is important.

If you have bipolar and accompanying sleep-related issues, please share your experiences and insights and any helpful suggestions. This goes for you doctors and therapists out there, too!

The best fast-acting sleeping pills and dietary supplements - article on the site Aptechestvo, Nizhny Novgorod

People of all ages may experience insomnia regardless of gender. In young years, the reason is hidden in chronic fatigue and a fast pace of life, psychosomatic disorders. In old age, sleep problems can be normal. The best sleeping pills will solve the problem.

Depending on which active ingredient is used in the drug, the following classification has been developed: nine0003

  • short-term effect lasting for 3-4 hours. A fast-acting sleeping pill that reduces nervous excitability. Active substances do not change the structure of sleep and only help the body fall asleep. With awakening one feels full of energy;

  • average action within 5-8 hours. Compared to the first category, it affects the original structure of sleep. The person stops waking up in the middle of the night; nine0003

  • long-term effect up to 12 hours. It is a strong, fast-acting prescription sleeping pill, accompanied by inhibition processes. Although effective, it causes negative side effects.

Before you buy a drug against insomnia, you need to consult with your doctor.

Indications for use

The most common reasons include: nine0003

  • Parkinson's disease;

  • stressful state;

  • age-related dementia;

  • sleep-wake disorder;

  • type 2 diabetes and prediabetes;

  • nine0002 post-stroke state.

When sleep problems arise in an adult, his sleep becomes more sensitive. If the causes of insomnia are not established, you need to contact your doctor for diagnosis and examination.

List of the most effective drugs

The best is a drug that does not cause side symptoms. Below is a list of drugs that can be purchased at a pharmacy without a prescription: nine0003

  • Relief fees. The composition contains only components of plant origin. They have a mild sedative effect and help you fall asleep. Produced in the form of filter bags for the preparation of infusions.

  • Persen nocturnal. Available in the form of drops. Contains a complex of plant extracts that reduce nervous excitability. Facilitates the process of falling asleep.

  • nine0007

    Afobazol. It is not a sleeping pill or sedative. Removes anxiety.

  • Chemical analogue of the natural sleep hormone melatonin. Contributes to the normalization of night sleep, facilitates adaptation when changing time zones.

  • Novo-Passit. Contains a complex of plant extracts that have a calming and anti-anxiety effect. Available in the form of a solution and tablets. nine0003

  • Valocordin. A combined drug with a sedative and mild hypnotic effect. It is also used as a first aid for heart pain and tachycardia. Available in the form of tincture and tablets.

These drugs can be purchased at pharmacies without a prescription. But even expensive drugs have side effects. In the presence of chronic diseases, you must first contact your doctor for advice and selection of a suitable drug. nine0003

top 5 rating according to KP

A person spends about a third of his life in a dream. It is at this moment that his brain is restored and his body rests. But poor-quality, intermittent, short-lived sleep leads to big problems. Lack of sleep accumulates, efficiency decreases, a person becomes distracted and irritable.

It is impossible to endure such a state for a long time. It is necessary to consult a doctor to find out the cause - both serious heart disease and psychological problems can cause insomnia. And in parallel, you can alleviate your condition with the help of light over-the-counter drugs. If more serious treatment is needed, a doctor will write a prescription for the medicine. nine0003

Light sleeping pills are sold freely because they rarely cause serious side effects. Their inhibitory effect on the nervous system is rather weak, but with mild sleep problems this is enough. If the reason lies in simple anxiety, jet lag, you can find the best pills for insomnia without prescriptions, and they will help.

One should not expect an immediate strong effect from such drugs, they do not contain such substances. The action is usually cumulative - that is, the reception should be long and regular, and only then you will notice improvements. nine0003

Top 5 rating according to KP version

1. Lotosonic


Combined herbal medicine. It has a mild sedative, hypnotic effect. It is produced in Vietnam, so its recipe contains components that are widely used in traditional oriental medicine. It consists of extracts of seeds and embryos of the walnut lotus, seeds of thuja orientalis and Chinese dates, rhizomes of Dioscorea, mulberry leaves and erythrina, as well as the fruits of euphoria longana. nine0003

When taking other hypnotics, sedatives, as well as antihypertensives and analgesics, the dosage should be adjusted, as the drug enhances their effect. The effect of Lotusonic is cumulative, as with most herbal preparations.

helps restore normal sleep; additionally has anti-stress activity; herbal composition based on recipes of traditional oriental medicine; not addictive; low price

not allowed under 18; can not be pregnant and lactating; allergic reactions are possible; during the period of treatment should refrain from driving. nine0003


Herbal sleep aid

Combination medicine Lotusonic helps fight insomnia and has a mild sedative effect. It contains herbal ingredients used in traditional oriental medicine.

Ask for priceView composition of



2. Calm formula Tryptophan capsules

Calm formula Tryptophan caps. Photo:

The drug is based on the amino acid tryptophan, which is necessary for complex biochemical reactions in the body. As a result, the hormones serotonin and the "sleep hormone" melatonin are synthesized. Tryptophan is not produced in the body, but comes only with food. Its deficiency can cause a violation of the synthesis of essential hormones. The capsules also contain vitamins B5 and B6, which help the amino acid to be absorbed faster. nine0003

The drug improves the general condition, not just sleep. It has no side effects and is not addictive, it is considered a rather "soft" medicine.

improves sleep quality; accelerates falling asleep; builds emotional stability; positively affects mood; practically no side effects

not allowed under 18 years of age; can not be pregnant and lactating; rather high price

3. Sleepy pills

Sleepy+ tab. Photo:

Plant-based tablets containing motherwort, lemon balm, hops and chamomile. The effect of the drug is cumulative, it does not appear immediately. But the natural composition provides a mild effect and a stable result. nine0003

The tablets also have a mild analgesic effect and relieve spasms. Therefore, the drug is especially effective if the cause of insomnia was also covered in physical discomfort.

makes falling asleep easier; improves the quality of sleep; struggles with the feeling of "brokenness"; natural composition; practically no side effects; low price

not allowed under 18; can not be pregnant and lactating; contraindicated in diabetes


Passambra Edas-360 syrup Passambra Edas-306. Photo:

Homeopathic remedy, one of the "softest" in our ranking of the best pills for insomnia. Often prescribed for children with increased excitability and nervousness. The medicine contains a lot of sucrose in the composition. This should be kept in mind for people who control their blood sugar levels.

There is no addiction to the drug, but there may be a temporary worsening of insomnia during administration. Almost all homeopathic medicines differ in this way. If this happens, you will have to temporarily stop taking it and consult your doctor about the dosage. nine0003

improves sleep; can be for children from 1 year; natural composition; not addictive; practically no side effects; low price

recommended to refrain from driving; there may be a temporary worsening of insomnia; can not be pregnant and lactating; a lot of sugar in the composition

5. Velson tablets

Velson tab. Photo: market.

A drug based on the hormone melatonin, the “sleep hormone”. It affects the synthesis of other hormones, providing a sedative and hypnotic effect. It is effective in various forms of sleep disorders, including with a sharp change in time zones. nine0003

Tablets should not be taken with contraceptives, and alcohol and tobacco should also be avoided. They reduce the effectiveness of the drug. The drug causes a weak contraceptive effect, which may be important for women trying to get pregnant while taking it.

normalizes the biological rhythms of sleep; accelerates falling asleep; adapts to changing time zones and weather conditions; has a positive effect on mood

not allowed under 18; can not be pregnant and lactating; undesirable for people with kidney and liver diseases; not compatible with some drugs; may cause drowsiness; possible side effects; rather high price

How to choose pills for insomnia

It is important to take insomnia as a serious problem. It can be both temporary and indicate a disease. Often insomnia is caused by vascular diseases, problems with brain activity, and breathing disorders during sleep. Even if the cause of sleep disorders is obsessive thoughts, stress, nervousness, you need to understand that sleeping pills alone may not be enough. You may need psychotherapy.

Sleeping pills should not be drunk uncontrollably. They are also prescribed to children under 2 years of age only as a last resort, no matter how restless the child is. At this age, the risk of death during sleep is high, since the respiratory center is not fully formed in children. nine0003

Start with mild remedies for insomnia. Try to follow the ritual before going to bed, physical activity, ventilate the room, exclude gadgets. Sometimes this alone is enough. If this does not help, you can try light drugs. Going straight to "heavy" is not worth it, because they are addictive, and falling asleep without a pill will be even more difficult.

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