Does Paxil-Induced Insomnia Go Away? (3+ Tips)

This article discusses the topic of Paxil-induced insomnia and whether it improves over time. It explores research findings on the effects of Paxil on sleep quality.

The article also offers strategies to alleviate Paxil-induced insomnia. Furthermore, it emphasizes the importance of consulting with a healthcare professional if insomnia persists.

Does Paxil-induced insomnia go away?

Yes, Paxil-induced insomnia can improve over time. Many individuals report that their sleep disturbances gradually decrease or disappear as their bodies adjust to the drug. However, it is important to note that everyone’s response to medication can vary, and insomnia from Paxil may not go away for some people.

When does Paxil-induced insomnia go away?

For most people, Paxil-induced insomnia may improve within the first few weeks of starting treatment, while for others it may take longer. It is important to note that the onset and resolution of paroxetine-induced insomnia, and how long this side effect persists, can be affected by various factors

Individual physiology, dosage, contaminant medications, underlying diseases, and life stressors can influence the duration of this side effect. For example, individuals with mental health conditions, chronic pain conditions, or neurological disorders, may suffer from Paxil-induced insomnia for a longer time.

Moreover, using medications such as amphetamines, decongestants, and dopamine agonists, or stimulants like caffeine, may exacerbate the insomnia side effect and prolong its duration. Furthermore, high levels of stress, significant life changes, or other stressful events may exacerbate insomnia while taking Paxil.

Overall, Paxil-induced insomnia often improves within two or three weeks as the body adjusts to the medication. It is important to consult with your doctor if you are experiencing persistent insomnia while taking Paxil. They may adjust the dosage or recommend alternative treatments.

How does Paxil cause insomnia?

Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood, emotions, and sleep [1].

The increase in serotonin can initially overstimulate the brain and disrupt the normal sleep-wake cycle. This can result in difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, leading to insomnia. As the body adjusts to the medication and serotonin levels stabilize, the insomnia side effect may diminish over time.

What does research suggest?

In one study, researchers investigated the effects of paroxetine and fluvoxamine on sleep quality. They found that paroxetine disrupted sleep more than fluvoxamine, as evidenced by measures such as eyelid quiescence index, rhythmicity, and eyelid movements per minute [2].

This disruption persisted even during the withdrawal phase. Rapid eye movement sleep was also suppressed during treatment and rebounded during withdrawal [2]. 

In another investigation, it was observed that paroxetine caused more frequent awakenings and reduced total sleep. The higher dosage of 30 mg had a stronger suppressive effect on rapid eye movement sleep. When taken in the morning, paroxetine also delayed sleep onset and increased slow-wave sleep [3]. 

Another study compared paroxetine to a placebo and found that paroxetine lowered rapid eye movement sleep and increased REM latency. It also increased awakenings, reduced actual sleep time, and decreased sleep efficiency [4].

How to get rid of Paxil-induced insomnia?

If you are experiencing insomnia as a result of taking Paxil, there are several strategies you can try to help alleviate this side effect and improve your sleep. It’s important to note that before making any changes to your medication or treatment plan, you should consult with your healthcare provider.

Adjust the timing of your medication

Talk to your doctor about the possibility of adjusting the time of day that you take Paxil. Taking it in the morning instead of at night may help reduce its impact on your ability to fall asleep.

Practice good sleep hygiene

Maintaining a consistent sleep routine can be beneficial for getting better sleep while administering Paxil. By sleeping and waking up at the same time every day, you can train your body’s internal clock to recognize and respond to a regular sleep schedule.

Moreover, to further facilitate relaxation before bedtime, consider incorporating soothing activities into your routine, such as taking a warm bath or reading a book. It is also advisable to avoid using your phone or watching television before sleeping to make your bedroom a dedicated sleep space.

Engaging in deep breathing exercises or meditation can help alleviate stress or anxiety, facilitating a more peaceful transition into sleep. Furthermore, ensuring optimal sleep conditions can promote quality rest.

To illustrate, blocking out external light sources with curtains or blinds can create a dark ambiance conducive to sleep. Additionally, make sure your pillows provide sufficient comfort and support. If noise disturbances are a concern, consider using earplugs or a white noise machine to minimize disruptions.  

Lifestyle changes

Participating in regular physical activity can help you sleep better while taking Paxil. However, it is advisable to avoid working out too close to bedtime as it can have a stimulating effect which may keep you awake.

Additionally, it is recommended to limit the consumption of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol since they can disrupt sleep and worsen Paxil-induced insomnia. It is best to reduce their intake, particularly in the hours leading up to bedtime. 

Another effective approach to address Paxil-induced insomnia is engaging in therapy like Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). This program aims to help people identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that contribute to or exacerbate sleep problems. CBT-I has demonstrated its efficacy in managing medication-induced insomnia.

What to do if Paxil-induced insomnia doesn’t go away?

If Paxil-induced insomnia doesn’t go away, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider. They may recommend adjusting the dosage of Paxil, switching to a different medication, or adding a sleep aid to your treatment plan.

If adjusting the timing of Paxil or trying other strategies doesn’t improve your insomnia, talk to your doctor about the possibility of trying a different medication that may have less impact on your ability to sleep.

It’s crucial to communicate any concerns or difficulties you are experiencing, as your doctor will be best equipped to support and guide you through this process. They can help determine the most suitable course of action to address your situation and improve your sleep quality.


In conclusion, based on my own research, it is important to recognize that Paxil-induced insomnia can improve over time as the body adjusts to the medication. However, as responses to medication can vary, some people may continue to experience insomnia.

Research suggests that Paxil can disrupt sleep and suppress rapid eye movement sleep. To address this issue, I believe it is beneficial to consider strategies such as adjusting the timing of medication, practicing good sleep hygiene, and making positive lifestyle changes.

If Paxil-induced insomnia persists, I highly recommend consulting with a healthcare provider to explore potential adjustments to the dosage, alternative medications, or the addition of a sleep aid.

It is essential to communicate any concerns with a healthcare professional to receive appropriate guidance and support in improving sleep quality.

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Shrestha P, Fariba KA, Abdijadid S. Paroxetine. [Updated 2023 Jul 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Silvestri R, Pace-Schott EF, Gersh T, Stickgold R, Salzman C, Hobson JA. Effects of fluvoxamine and paroxetine on sleep structure in normal subjects: a home-based Nightcap evaluation during drug administration and withdrawal. J Clin Psychiatry. 2001 Aug;62(8):642-52. doi: 10.4088/jcp.v62n0812. PMID: 11561938.


Oswald I, Adam K. Effects of paroxetine on human sleep. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1986 Jul;22(1):97-9. PMID: 2943309; PMCID: PMC1401077.


Sharpley, A.L., Williamson, D.J., Attenburrow, M.E.J. et al. The effects of paroxetine and nefazodone on sleep: a placebo controlled trial. Psychopharmacology 126, 50–54 (1996).

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