Common blood pressure drugs beta-blockers may harm your sleep

Credit: Unsplash+

Sleep is a fundamental human need that plays a critical role in maintaining our health and well-being.

Despite its importance, many adults in the United States find themselves short on sleep, with about one-third not getting sufficient rest.

This makes it crucial to understand how various factors, including medications, might affect our sleep.

Beta-blockers are commonly prescribed medications for managing heart conditions such as high blood pressure, heart failure, arrhythmias, and chest pain.

These drugs work by slowing down the heart rate, reducing the heart’s workload, and lessening the volume of blood it pumps, which helps to lower blood pressure.

While beta-blockers are effective for heart conditions, there has been ongoing concern about their potential psychological side effects.

Some people suspect that these medications might contribute to problems like depression, anxiety, drowsiness, insomnia, hallucinations, and nightmares.

A comprehensive study conducted by the Berlin Institute of Health sought to explore these concerns. Researchers analyzed data from over 50,000 individuals participating in 258 studies, most of which focused on treating high blood pressure.

They aimed to determine if beta-blockers were indeed causing psychological distress, particularly depression.

The findings were quite revealing. Contrary to long-held beliefs, the study showed that depression was not more common among those taking beta-blockers compared to those on other treatments or placebos.

This discovery challenges the previous assumptions that beta-blockers are likely to cause depression. Furthermore, the rate at which individuals discontinued the use of beta-blockers due to depression was comparable to other treatments.

However, the study did uncover that beta-blockers could be linked to sleep disturbances. Patients who were on these medications reported experiencing unusual dreams, insomnia, and other sleep-related issues more frequently than those not taking them.

Despite these findings, fatigue or tiredness was still the most common reason people stopped taking beta-blockers.

These results indicate that while beta-blockers are generally safe in terms of psychological health, they can affect sleep.

This is an important consideration for healthcare providers and patients, especially for those who already face challenges with their sleep.

The study also suggests that concerns about beta-blockers leading to depression should not deter doctors from prescribing them or patients from using them.

Nevertheless, it is crucial for both doctors and patients to be aware of the potential for sleep disturbances. Any sleep-related symptoms that arise during the treatment with beta-blockers should be discussed promptly.

Published in the journal Hypertension, this research led by Reinhold Kreutz and his colleagues significantly contributes to our understanding of the side effects associated with beta-blockers. It also aids in making informed decisions about their use in treating cardiovascular diseases.

This research highlights the importance of considering both the physical and mental health impacts of medications.

It particularly emphasizes how they might influence critical aspects of well-being like sleep, ensuring that treatment plans remain comprehensive and tailored to individual needs.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and coconut sugar could help reduce blood pressure and artery stiffness.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing plant-based foods could benefit people with high blood pressure.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.