I never get real sleep, dream too much: Meds the cause?

Posted by knhark @knhark, May 30, 2021

I take gabapentin and nortriptyline. Since increasing my dosages, I tend to drift in and out of dreaming, from daydreaming to dreaming and back again. Seems like I never get real sleep. I mean it seems like my sleep cycle is not normal.

Does anyone else experience this? I'm assuming it's from the meds, but if I reduce them my neuropathy flares.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Sleep Health group.

Hi @knhark, I added your question to the Neuropathy group as well as the Sleep Health group since the medications you're taking are to help neuropathy pain.

As you know, both gabapentin and nortriptyline have drowsiness as a side effect. However, it seems in your case this doesn't promote healthy or deep sleeping, but rather restless sleep full of dreams.

How is your sleep hygiene? This discussion explains healthy habits for a good night's sleep:
– How is your Sleep Hygiene? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sleep-hygine/

Have you ever used a sleep monitor (available on most phones) to track your sleep? Perhaps you are sleeping more than you are subjectively able to judge. Might be interesting to observe for a period of time.


Hello @knhark

I can understand your dilemma. Having active dreaming does keep you from feeling rested.

I once took a beta-blocker that produced very active dreams. They were not nightmares but just lots of activity and busy dreams. I called my doctor and switched to a different beta-blocker and that cured the busy dreams.

Some things to consider are: how long you have been taking these meds, did the dreaming start right afterward? Are you taking any other meds that might be the culprit? Last, but certainly not least, have you talked to your doctor about this problem?


I think I am going to have to knock back the gaba as I have the same problem with dreaming and wakefulness and my sleep hygiene is otherwise very good. Have a sleep study scheduled for this week. Hope I can sleep so there is something to record. Thanks for the post.

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