Is clonidine for sleep inducement or stimulation? Many people with insomnia use clonidine to induce sleep. The question this article seeks to answer is whether clonidine is medically formulated for sleep inducement.
If you’re experiencing difficulty in sleeping, this is a condition known as Insomnia. Insomnia is a medical condition which prevents sleep. In other words, it is a condition that affects your sleep. If you have insomnia, you may experience problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Another symptom of insomnia is that feeling of unrest during the day. In your pursuit for respite, you may have heard that clonidine is effective for the treatment of insomnia.
Clonidine is mainly used for the treatment of high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). It’s also designed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, clonidine is not approved by the FDA as treatment for insomnia. In other words, it is medically not right to use clonidine for sleep inducement.
Regardless, one of the side effects of clonidine is sleepiness, or sedation. Results from various clinical trials agree that clonidine may be effective in treating insomnia in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (DHD). However, these results test reports are inadequate.
Vital Facts to Note About Using Clonidine for Sleep Inducement
Below are vita facts you should know about using clonidine for sleep –
Taking clonidine would lead to side effects like drowsiness. Limited studies have tested clonidine as a treatment for insomnia. These studies have only tested this theory only in children with ADHD. However, according to a meta analysis, earlier studies showed that clonidine may have aided these children fall asleep more hastily and wake up less at night.
Nonetheless, the result from these studies lacks sufficient data to confirm that clonidine is a harmless and efficient treatment for people with insomnia. This is even the case with children with ADHD.
Furthermore, the studies only captured the treatment of children with ADHD, not the vast population of people out there. So, it’s quite illogical to conclude or project how efficient clonidine is to the larger group of people out there.
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How much clonidine should I take for sleep?
The dosage of clonidine you should take for sleep depends on your age. For adults, start taking 0.17 milligram (mg) once a day at bedtime. Your doctor may still need to adjust your dose when necessary. The typical dose is 0.17 to 0.52 mg per day. Do not administer clonidine on children without your doctor’s prescription. Use of clonidine for sleep in children must be determined by your doctor.
How long does it take clonidine to make you sleepy?
After taking the recommended dose, the medicine should start to work within about 45 minutes of ingestion or taking. Do not take extra doses if you don’t start feeling sleepy within this time. It may take long time for some people.
Does clonidine calm you down?
Clonidine (also known as catapres clonidine) can calm your nelves. It has an awesome calming effect. Clonidine was originally approved to treat people with high blood pressure. However, because of the calming effect it has on the body, clonidine now been used effectively to help people with ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsivity, aggression, over-arousal, and sleep difficulties.
Other treatments for insomnia
The most effective way to treat insomnia is having a lifestyle change. The following lifestyle changes are effective for the treatment of insomnia:
#1. Use your bedroom only for sleep.
#2. Sleep in a dark room.
#3. Don’t drink liquids and caffeine in the evening.
#4. Don’t eat heavy meals just before bedtime.
#5. Avoid using a TV in your bedroom.
#6. Don’t use your phone in bed.
#7. Don’t take naps during the day.
If you try these lifestyle changes and they don’t improve your sleeping problems, talk to your doctor. Do not use clonidine for sleep inducement without your doctor’s approval.
Drugs are designed for the treatment of certain ailments and disorders. However, side effects may differ from person to person. So, professional advice is important in drug prescription. Same is the case with insomnia. Although there are certain medications that are approved to help you treat insomnia, do not self-prescribe them without a doctor’s approval.
Even when clonidine use is approved for sleep inducement, you should not use them for extended periods.
Common Side effects of clonidine
In addition to drowsiness or sleepiness, there are other mild side effects of clonidine. The common or mild side effects of clonidine include:
#1. dry mouth
#2. dry eyes
#4. stomach upset or pain
There may also be serious side effects of clonidine use. Although these grave side effects may be rare. The serious side effects of clonidine include:
#1. initial increase in blood pressure before a decrease
#2. abnormal heart rate
#3. orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when you stand), which causes dizziness
#4. passing out
#5. slowed breathing or trouble breathing
#6. chest pain
#7. hallucinations (seeing and hearing things that aren’t real)
What is more about clonidine?
Clonidine belongs to a class of drugs called centrally acting alpha agonists. To treat high blood pressure, clonidine stimulates certain receptors in the brain stem. This stimulation helps to lower heart rate and blood pressure. Clonidine also affects the part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. This is the part that helps regulate your behavior, attention, and the way and manner you express your emotions.
It’s theorized that the effects of clonidine on the prefrontal cortex is the reason why the treatment of ADHD in people who are 6 years or older is effective.
Clonidine comes in different forms, including immediate-release tablets, extended-release tablets, and patches. Immediate-release clonidine tablets and clonidine patches are used to treat high blood pressure. The extended-release clonidine tablets are used in children to treat ADHD.
Why you must talk with your doctor before using clonidine for sleep inducement
Clonidine is approved to treat high blood pressure and ADHD, but there’s not enough data yet to support its use as a treatment for insomnia. While clonidine may cause drowsiness as a side effect, the benefit of this effect doesn’t outweigh the risks of the other side effects.
Talk to your doctor about changes you can make to help if you have trouble sleeping. If lifestyle changes don’t work for you, your doctor may be able to recommend a treatment that is more effective for you.
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