Clozapine and Insomnia

Side effects are possible with clozapine, and insomnia is one of the more common ones. However, it is unclear if clozapine or other factors are responsible for the condition. If you are taking clozapine and insomnia becomes a problem, try keeping a regular sleep-wake cycle and avoiding caffeine in the four to six hours before bedtime.

Clozapine and Insomnia: An Introduction

Insomnia is the one of the more common side effects of clozapine (Clozaril®, FazaClo®). Studies have shown that up to 26 percent of people reported insomnia as one of the clozapine side effects. However, it is important to understand that in these studies up to 20 percent of those not taking the drug also experienced insomnia.

What Is Insomnia?

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

Clozapine and Insomnia: Suggestions

Some people taking clozapine find that improving their sleep habits can be an effective insomnia cure. Tips for better sleep include the following:
  • Keep a regular sleep-wake cycle. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the four to six hours before bedtime.
  • Refrain from exercise within two hours of bedtime. Exercising five or six hours before bedtime, however, may help you sleep more soundly.
  • Avoid large meals within two hours of bedtime.
  • Refrain from taking a nap after 3 p.m.
  • Sleep in a dark, quiet room at a comfortable temperature.
  • Do a quiet activity somewhere else if you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, and return to bed when you're sleepy.
  • Wind 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.)
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