Does Zoloft Make You Sleepy?

Andreas Meistad@s profile picture
Andreas Meistad
Jan 9, 20233 min read

Does Zoloft Make You Sleepy?

If you're considering taking Zoloft (sertraline), a commonly prescribed antidepressant, you may have heard that it can cause sleepiness as a side effect. But is this true for everyone? And if so, how severe is the sleepiness? Let's take a closer look at the research on this topic.

How does Zoloft work?

First of all, it's important to understand that Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a type of antidepressant that works by increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood and behavior, in the brain. While SSRIs are generally well-tolerated and effective in treating depression, they can sometimes cause side effects, including sleepiness.

Possible Side Effects of Zoloft

According to the package insert for Zoloft, drowsiness is a common side effect of the drug, occurring in up to 7% of people who take it. Other side effects that may be related to sleepiness include fatigue, sedation, and insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep). It's also worth noting that Zoloft may cause dizziness, which can further contribute to a feeling of sleepiness.

It's not clear exactly how Zoloft causes sleepiness, but it's thought that the drug's effects on serotonin levels in the brain may play a role. Serotonin is involved in the regulation of sleep, and increasing serotonin levels with an SSRI like Zoloft may lead to drowsiness.

It's also worth noting that the severity of sleepiness caused by Zoloft can vary from person to person. Some people may experience mild drowsiness that goes away after a few days of taking the drug, while others may have more severe sleepiness that persists throughout treatment. In rare cases, Zoloft may cause severe drowsiness or sedation, which may affect a person's ability to perform daily activities or drive safely.

If you're taking Zoloft and experiencing sleepiness, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms. They may be able to suggest ways to manage sleepiness, such as taking the drug at a different time of day or adjusting the dosage. In some cases, switching to a different antidepressant may be necessary.

It's also important to be cautious when driving or operating heavy machinery while taking Zoloft, as the drug can impair your ability to think and react. If you're feeling drowsy or sedated while taking Zoloft, it's best to avoid these activities until the effects of the drug have worn off.

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Zoloft can cause sleepiness as a side effect in some people, although the severity can vary. If you're taking Zoloft and experiencing sleepiness, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms and follow their recommendations for managing the side effect. As with any medication, it's important to be aware of the potential risks and benefits and to follow your healthcare provider's instructions for use.

CBT-I: A Long-Term Sleep Fix

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is a natural, side-effect-free sleep treatment. It involves relearning your sleep habits and addressing issues that are getting in the way of quality sleep. Studies show that CBT-I works as well as or better than sleep medications and that its effects last after the treatment is done.1

Fill out Dawn Health’s questionnaire to get started with CBT-I right from your computer — no in-person visits necessary. Quality, natural sleep is possible when you embark on a CBT-I treatment journey.

Andreas Meistad@s profile picture
Andreas Meistad

Therapist specializing in applying CBT principles for the treatment of insomnia.

It’s time to stop blaming the night monsters.

Let’s work together to transform your sleep for the better.