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ACE inhibitors and sleep: Does Lisinopril cause insomnia?

Does Lisinopril cause insomnia? This is a common question for a lot of people starting treatment for heart and blood pressure conditions with ACE inhibitors. You want to lower your blood pressure, but not your sleep quality. Today’s post covers the connection between ACE inhibitors and sleep disturbances. 

Medications like Lisinopril are generally considered a safe and effective treatment for high blood pressure. Reducing high blood pressure is important because it helps to lower your risk of significant health issues, including kidney problems, heart attacks, and strokes. 

Lisinopril can also be offered in a range of other situations, including as part of a treatment for heart failure, and to improve survival rates following a heart attack.

Unfortunately, as effective as Lisinopril might be at protecting your heart, it also has potential side effects to be aware of (like all medications). The connection between Lisinopril and sleep has prompted many patients to seek out alternative treatments.

Ace inhibitors and sleep: How does Lisinopril work?

Lisinopril and other ACE inhibitors can be problematic for sleep. ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors help relax the blood vessels, which result in lower blood pressure. 

To relax the blood vessels, ACE inhibitors like Lisinopril reduce the production of angiotensin II, a hormone known for causing blood vessels to narrow. ACE inhibitors also enhance the levels of bradykinin, a blood vessel dilator. Hence, ACE inhibitors cause your blood to flow more freely.

Unfortunately, these great mechanisms of ACE inhibitors, also cause the side effects to taking medication.

So, why can Lisinopril cause insomnia? Lisinopril’s ability to boost the body’s levels of bradykinin, a peptide which enlarges the blood vessels, can cause inflammation in the upper airways. 

Bradykinin is thought to be connected to the hacking, dry cough which around 10% of all patients taking an ACE inhibitor will experience. 

Lisinopril side effects: Can Lisinopril cause insomnia?

As mentioned above a well-known side effect is an irritating dry cough. People suffering from the cough often experience the issue around-the-clock and find its severe enough to keep them awake. 

The inflammation in the nose and throat caused by the rising levels of bradykinin, can even make the cough worse, when you’re lying down. Unfortunately the cough won’t go away unless you change medication. 

A study even showed worsening of symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea after use of ACE inhibitors.  

There are also a host of other Lisinopril side effects, which contribute to insomnia. People taking Lisinopril and other ACE inhibitors commonly experience symptoms caused by lower potassium levels. 

Lack of potassium can lead to issues like painful joints, leg cramps, and muscle pain. All of these side effects can make it harder to fall asleep and enjoy a restful night.

Other side effects associated with Lisinopril include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Feverishness (which make it hard to get comfortable at night)
  • Sore throat
  • High potassium (Causing nausea, weakness, or irregular heartbeat)
  • Kidney problems (issues with urination and swelling in the ankles)
  • Liver problems (stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite and jaundice)

Some people also suffer from headaches, chest pain, and general discomfort when taking Lisinopril. All factors making it more difficult for these individuals to get a good night’s sleep. 

Since the side effects of Lisinopril don’t affect all patients, doctors will often rely on individual reports of any issues to determine whether medication should be changed. 

Dealing with the most common side effect of Lisinopril

The most common side effect of Lisinopril is a hacking, dry cough, which can stay with the patient throughout the night and day. This cough naturally makes it much harder to get to sleep and enjoy a restful evening. You eventually may begin to experience severe insomnia. 

When studied, researchers found the cough often started within the first month of taking the treatment. If the patient was offered a different treatment, the cough generally stopped within 3 days. 

If you do suffer from insomnia when you’re taking Lisinopril, it’s important not to simply stop taking the medication without speaking to your doctor. Lowering your blood pressure can be extremely important to protecting yourself from various ailments. If you’re taking Lisinopril after a heart failure, then it could be fatal to simply stop taking your medication.

Keep in mind, your doctor may ask you to continue using Lisinopril for a few weeks, so they can properly consider the potential benefits of the medication against the threat of potential side effects. It can take up to 4 weeks of taking Lisinopril, before you begin to see the benefits. 

If you’re concerned about Lisinopril side effects like insomnia, you can also ask your doctor to start you on a lower dose of the medication. Lower doses of medication are generally less likely to cause side effects. 

Can blood pressure medication keep you awake at night?

Lisinopril is not the only possible sleep culprit out there. Several groups of blood pressure and heart medication can cause issues with sleep. 

Drugs to protect the heart or lower blood pressure, comes in different forms. Many of the medications associated with the treatment of the heart, can lead to problems with sleep. 

For instance, Alpha-blockers to treat high blood pressure can damage the quality of REM (Rapid Eye movement) sleep. Beta blockers used to treat heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, and chest pain can lower the body’s natural levels of melatonin – a hormone crucial for managing the sleep-wake cycle. 

These issues can make it difficult to determine what kind of medication will be best for your condition straight away. Lisinopril is one of the most common choices for blood pressure, because it usually has very few side effects. 

If you struggle to fall asleep when taking any medication, or have other side effects, the best option is to speak to your doctor about your options. 

While many blood pressure and heart medications can cause insomnia, you’re not guaranteed to have sleep issues with every medication. Experimenting with different options can help you find the best solution for your needs. 

Lisinopril cause sleep problems —What can you do?

Lisinopril, like most blood pressure medications, can potentially cause a number of side effects. Notably, all medications have the potential for side effects. This is why your doctor will discuss your condition with you carefully to determine what the best medication is for you, based on various risks.

If you can’t sleep on Lisinopril, your doctor may consider trying you on a different kind of blood pressure medication. They could also suggest other alternative routes to reduce your risk of issues. 

For instance, if you normally experience side effects soon after taking the medicine, you could consider taking Lisinopril in the morning, instead of in the evening.

Other ways to reduce your risk of side effects with Lisinopril include:

Improve your sleep hygiene
Working on your sleep hygiene by following a specific schedule and making your bedroom as comfortable as possible can improve your chances of falling asleep when dealing with insomnia.

Treat coughs and throat issues
Your doctor may be able to suggest additional medications to take alongside Lisinopril to treat the coughing issues you might have. 

Use a humidifier
Using humidifiers and similar products can help to reduce throat soreness and minimize the effects of the coughing caused by Lisinopril. 

Stop smoking
Smoking and similar practices can negatively influence your sleep for several reasons. If you’re being kept awake by coughing, smoking can irritate your throat and make this problem worse. 

Drink lots of water
Drinking plenty of water can help to clear your throat and keep it moist, which could again reduce your risk of various insomnia-inducing side effects.

Minimize stimulants
Stay away from any stimulants which might worsen your insomnia. Alcohol, caffeine tablets, coffee, tea, and energy drinks can all impact your circadian rhythm and make it harder to sleep.

Trying natural cough remedies like using hot baths and showers to open your throat and soothe your muscles. This could be another excellent way to reduce the risk of insomnia when taking Lisinopril. You can also try using regular painkillers for various forms of aches and pains caused by ACE inhibitors. 

Dealing with Lisinopril and sleep

Not everyone who uses Lisinopril will experience the same side effects. There’s a good chance you’ll use this medication without any problems. Speaking to your doctor if you do suffer from issues with insomnia will ensure you can come up with a safe solution together.

In some cases, your health care professional may suggest a different form of medication or consider swapping some of your other medications (like steroids) to reduce the impact on your sleep pattern from your prescription.

Remember, all medications can cause side effects. Sometimes, it takes some experimentation to find the medication that makes the most sense for you. 

Click here if you want to know about other medications that cause insomnia.

Siestio. Sleep Matters.

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