Learn how different mood stabilizers can impact sleep. Covers lithium, Depakote, Lamictal, Tegretol used as mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder.
Mood stabilizers, the most well-known being lithium, are most commonly prescribed for bipolar disorder. Some anticonvulsants, which are typically prescribed to prevent seizures in epileptics, are also considered to be mood stabilizers. Their effect on sleep varies.
Lithium is a chemical ion that is combined with other elements to produce a mood-stabilizer like lithium carbonate. There are several formulations of lithium but all are commonly referred to as simply lithium.
Drowsiness is a common side-effect of lithium which may be worsened by fatigue, another common side-effect. Lithium has also been shown to increase stage 3 (the deepest stage) sleep, and may increase overall sleep time.vi
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Anticonvulsants vary in formulation and some have been known to improve sleep, while others may degrade sleep quality. As these medications are prescribed for many disorders, reactions to them tend to vary. Frequently used anticonvulsants include:
- Valproic acid (Depakote) - helps somewhat with insomnia
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal) - may create sleep problems, such as insomnia and tiredness
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol) - is often used when the patient is suffering from insomniavii
- Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) - may increase total sleep time and help induce sleepviii