Depression Home > Lexapro and Insomnia

Some people who take Lexapro may experience side effects, and insomnia is one that occurs in up to 12 percent of people taking the medicine. A few possible symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, waking up often during the night and not being able to get back to sleep, and waking up too early in the morning. If you develop insomnia while taking Lexapro, you should talk with your healthcare provider.

Lexapro and Insomnia: An Introduction

Insomnia is a common side effect of Lexapro® (escitalopram oxalate), occurring in up to 12 percent of people who take the drug. In previous clinical trials, insomnia was most commonly seen in people taking Lexapro for anxiety (occurring in 12 percent of people). It was least common in those taking Lexapro for depression (occurring in 9 percent of people).

What Is Insomnia?

People with insomnia have one or more of the following insomnia symptoms:
  • Having difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Experiencing non-refreshing sleep.

Lexapro and Insomnia: Suggestions

In some people who experience insomnia while taking Lexapro, 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 times 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.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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