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Old 06-29-2005, 09:17 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2004
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las7715 HB User
Why do BP meds cause insomnia?

I don't get it...if BP meds slow our heart rate down, and we feel fatigued throughout the day like we could lie down and take a nap at anytime, how come when we go to sleep at night we lie there and toss and turn or maybe sleep a little, then wake up, sleep some more, wake doesn't make sense! Shouldn't we get a good night's sleep?

Old 06-29-2005, 05:51 PM   #2
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Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: Why do BP meds cause insomnia?


I have wondered that too, and the class that seems the most fatiguing, the beta-blockers, seem the worst at allowing a decent night's sleep I know SOME people can sleep with atenolol but for me it's worse than 10 cups of coffee at midnight! Even propranolol taken after 5PM and I'm up all night!

I couldn't sleep with Norvasc either.

ARB's and thiazides don't hurt my sleep but ACE inhibitors have theiir own method of ruining sleep...coughing me awake as soon as I doze!

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Old 06-30-2005, 08:01 AM   #3
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georgiapeech03 HB User
Re: Why do BP meds cause insomnia?

I take Atenolol early in the morning (like 6am) doesn't keep me from sleeping that way. I

Old 07-05-2005, 04:36 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2004
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dreamer89 HB User
Re: Why do BP meds cause insomnia?

torprol helps me sleep, probably because i had problems with insominia before taking it due to nervousness, I am gradually noticing that the daytime fatigue is easing some, but I still get fatigued throughout the day, but I had that problem before taking it so I don't know if it is that or the torprol.

as to why it causes insomina I have a little idea that may apply here torprol is cardiac specific right ? so there is excess adrenalin as the body tries to get heart rate up due to exercise working or whatever, so you have excess adrenalin in your veins as the body tries to keep you alive (stimulating a slow heart or whatever). and the older beta blockers had a up and down affect surge in affect, which causes (guessing here) surges in adreanlin as the body is asking for more oxygen from a heart that is not beating fast enough to supply that in sufficient quanitites,, and ti takes a while for adrenalin to wear off, and if the heart rate is too slow the body maybe trying to compensate

or it could be thowing off the neurotransmittors off, or torprol doesn't block noradrenaline does it? doesn't that have a different receptors? and that alone can make it hard to sleep as your body is trying to reach balance.

of course this is only a guess, sure someone else has some ideas, because I would like to know myself for sure.

RR Lopressor kept me up all the time, and I never got used to it, so i stopped it this was years ago.

Old 07-06-2005, 05:48 AM   #5
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Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: Why do BP meds cause insomnia?

I like your hypotheses. I'm also thinking that since epinephrine and norepinephrine have a MYRIAD of functions in the body, probably even more than imagined, that if they are blocked from SOME of their functions, the buildup of the drugs will amplify the effects that were NOT blocked.
Perhaps part of the flight-or-fight response that catecholemonmes elicit has to do with increased cerebral activity that is felt as insomnia in some people. I mean, if our prehistoric ancestors were being chased by bears, wouldn't a sharpened mind and senses aid in the survival of the genes as much as a sped up heart and increased nourishment for the muscles and a shutdown of the kidneys!

That's the trouble with SO many drugs: science sees that chemical mechanism A is responsible for symptom A and they neglect a new drug's effect on mechanisms X, Y, and Z on systems B through Z!

"Gee, who 'wouldda thunk' the arthritis drug could stop hearts, or the anti-nausea drug deform newly conceived babies."

Last edited by Lenin; 07-06-2005 at 05:55 AM.

Old 07-06-2005, 08:21 AM   #6
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mgraylorn HB User
Re: Why do BP meds cause insomnia?

I also suffer from insomnia. I wake up several times in the night and have trouble going back to sleep. And waking up sets off the need to pee reflex, so I have to get up to pee before I can go back to sleep. My father and one of my 3 brothers has insomnia, so maybe it is inherited in my case. I have ruled out clonidine as a contributor to the insomnia, since I stopped taking that drug nearly a week ago. I suppose the tiazac, a calcium channel blocker I take coud be contributing, I know some people have trouble with Norvasc. I've cut out caffeine and alcohol too, so neither of them are responsible. My latest culpret to blame (don't know for sure, but gotta blame something) is hormonal imbalances in the adrenal system from perimenopause. That might explain why I had such a hard time with a beta blocker, causing me to suffer blood pressure and heart rate spikes along with generally increased blood pressure.

Old 07-08-2005, 10:51 AM   #7
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dreamer89 HB User
Re: Why do BP meds cause insomnia?

mgraylorn sounds like nerves to me, I used to have that problem before taking bp meds my pressure was always very high (didn't know that most of time) and I found when I woke up for whatever reason I felt the need to use the bathroom even if my bladder is not full or only slightly full, I was nervous but once I started on torprol xl I noticed I don't get up to pee as much cause I am not nervous.

so you sound like you are nervous or up tight.


Old 07-08-2005, 12:25 PM   #8
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las7715 HB User
Re: Why do BP meds cause insomnia?

I have been taking 1/2 Ambien pill every night to get to sleep. I hate having to rely on that.. I've tried going's weird, because I feel very sleepy and I will lie down and expect to fall right asleep and my mind just won't shut down, so because I work M-F I mostly take it the nights I have to get up and work the next day. I thought maybe the Clonidine was responsible, but MGraylorn says she still can't sleep after going off it, unless it's just most BP meds in general that cause it? My insominia started when I was only taking Atenolol and the dose was bumped up to 100mg. When I first started on BP meds I took .25mg Atenolol and I didn't have sleep problems.

Old 07-09-2005, 05:23 AM   #9
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pearlyqueen HB User
Re: Why do BP meds cause insomnia?

My husband always blamed my snoring for his insomnia! so I looked into this and the study I found showed that six betablockers, our two, propanolol and atenolol amongst them, caused loss of sleep, particularly during certain doses.

This certainly tied in with husband as he's started remembering dreams since being on atenolol and never did before. Study said it was something to do with action on the neurotransmitter serotonin. Mind you, it was a study on rats.

As we all need certain amount of REM to keep mentally healthy, I was wondering if the loss during the night maybe would cause us to feel like taking sleeps in the day to top up the REM we've lost (rather than the daytime naps causing the night time insomnia).

It follows that, rather than fight the tiredness, perhaps we should look on it as beneficial as long as it doesn't interfere with our lifestyle.

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