You’ve been trying to donate lung tissue all day with a nasty cough. As you get ready for your bedtime routine, you break out the PM cold medicine. It knocks you right out and you sleep very well that night. In the morning, however, you feel tired and groggy because of the sleep encouragement from the medication you took the night before.
That feeling of grogginess the next morning is referred to as medication-related fatigue.
Many prescription drugs, especially statins and fibrates, can cause consistent medication-related fatigue. Medication to help treat SAD and other mental disorders can produce similar results.
Sometimes you can explore alternative medications that can still give you the health benefits you need, but without the morning fatigue. If you cannot change your medication, then your next best option is to establish a strong and consistent circadian rhythm.
One way to do that is to use a sunrise alarm or a wake-up light.
How Does a Sunrise Alarm Prevent Medication-Related Fatigue?
Medication that encourages sleep will “unbalance” your circadian rhythm. It encourages fast and healthy sleep, but prolongs the amount of sleep that the body thinks it needs. That’s why you feel tired and groggy in the morning.
You need to provide a stronger morning balance when taking medication that makes you feel tired. That’s why a sunrise alarm can be extremely useful.
A wake-up light like a sunrise alarm uses a 30- to 40-minute incremental light process that slowly increases the amount of light that is in your room, much like what the sun does on its natural path. It provides a synthetic way of connecting your body back to the rhythms of nature.
For some, this is an effective solution on its own to prevent fatigue. If you still feel tired after using a sunrise alarm, consider adding these things to help.
- Drink small amounts of caffeinated beverages, like coffee or tea. Avoid sugary carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and caffeine pills unless your doctor has authorized their use.
- Get some exercise right away, like going outside for a quick walk around the block.
- Find a quiet moment to yourself and take several deep breaths.
What You Should Not Do When Dealing with Medication-Related Fatigue
If you’ve implemented these ideas and still wake up feeling tired, then it could be an indication that your medication levels are too high. Reduce the amount of over-the-counter medicine you are using or speak with your doctor about your prescriptions.
Short-acting medications can cause extreme tiredness and fatigue for 1-2 hours. You might be able to switch to a long-acting time-released medication instead.
Always check with your doctor before using a naturopathic, homeopathic, or herbal product to counteract any fatigue that you might be feeling.
Does a sunrise alarm stop medication-related fatigue? It may not prevent feelings of tiredness for everyone on its own, but it can be a helpful addition to your morning routine. They are affordable, effective, and promote a more positive wake-up experience.