One of the more uncommon side effects associated with using Saxenda is disturbance of sleep. Not many clients have reported this symptoms, which is good news but there are still those who experience a disturbed nights sleep - whether this be waking up multiple times during the night, struggling to get to sleep or waking up earlier than usual.
The studies are fairly limited with regards to this side effect, with the majority of studies focusing on sleep apnea caused by obesity or abnormal blood sugars. However, they do suggest that as the body adjusts to the medication, your sleeping routine should start to get back to normal. The disturbance is usually caused by the body's adjustment phase.
In the meantime, we have compiled several methods to try to help with getting a good night's sleep.
Various studies show the efficacy of going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. This gets our body into a stable routine so it knows when it will be going to sleep, how much sleep it is going to get and when it will be waking up.
Some studies even suggest avoid sleeping in at the weekends because this will disrupt your sleep cycle and may explain why some of us struggle to sleep on a Sunday night.
Melatonin is a natural hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Your brain secretes more melatonin when it is dark, making you feel sleepy. It produces less when it is light, making you more alert.
Once up in the morning, expose yourself to some daylight so your body knows it is daytime. During the day, try to get natural light either from sitting by a window or going for a walk on your lunch break.
If you're truly struggling to get exposure to natural light, you can invest in a light therapy box or sun lamp. These simulate sunshine and can be very useful for the dark winter days. Set it to come on when you're ready to get up in the mornings.
For night time, avoid bright screens within an hour before bed. Many electronic devices emit a blue light, which can cause our brain to suppress the production of melatonin. Items such as TVs, smart phones, tablets, computers, laptops etc can all cause this disruption.
Try to have a dark bedroom - whether it's a street light outside or light being emitted from electronic devices inside your room, invest some time in making your sleeping area dark and comfortable, even if you have to wear an eye visor to sleep.
You will all know our stance on exercise by now. But studies have also shown that people who exercise regularly during daytime hours sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Exercise has also been shown to improve the symptoms of insomnia and it helps increase the amount of time you spend in the best kind of sleep - the deep, restorative stages of sleep.
Just be aware that because exercise speeds up your metabolism, elevates body temperature and stimulates hormones such as cortisol, it is best to exercise in the morning or afternoon but not late evening or close to bed time.
Our eating habits play a pivotal role in how well we sleep, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. This probably goers without saying but try to limit your caffeine intake in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine can cause sleep problems for up to 12 hours after you've last had a hit of the good stuff.
Avoid big meals at night (oh hey Slim Transformers!). Try to make dinnertime earlier rather than later and avoid rich, heavy foods. Big amounts of carbs, spice and acidic foods can all cause physical irritations which can cause havoc with your body trying to sleep.
Similarly, eating refined carbs (those bad carbs!) during the day can actually trigger wakefulness hours & hours later, pulling your body out of it's deep restorative stages of sleep.
Similarly, drinking alcohol can affect your sleep cycle. Whilst it may help knock you out before bed, whether or not you stay asleep until morning, your body will have not have a deep, restorative sleep and you will wake up feeling like you've barely slept.
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