Felt like writing a short post about this, both for myself to recall and because maybe someone else has the same issue.
Lack of sleep / waking up very early
I started taking Risperidone (Risperdal) along with other medications last month. Since then, I wasn’t sleeping much — maybe 3 to 5 hours on a good night. It seemed like no matter what time I went to sleep, I would wake up at roughly the same time every single morning – and very early, at around 3-4 am. Sometimes it felt like I was being “shocked” awake!
This was bothersome, and even worried me slightly. I thought maybe I was actually somewhat manic, and that the meds were preventing it from going overboard.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case.
I decided to do a little research
After a few weeks from being sick of waking up so early, I decided to look into this and try to figure out what was really going on. I did google searches on all of my meds and sleep.
I ended up finding more than a few forum posts about people having trouble sleeping while on Risperdal. And even specifically, waking up very early in the morning! I got excited, because that was exactly what I was experiencing.
What I did about it
The same night I found out about this, I took it just an hour earlier than usual – but went to sleep at the same time.
Guess what? Instead of ~3 am, I woke up at 2 am! This really made me believe that Risperidone was definitely causing this sudden wake up early in the morning.
So the next night, I decided to take only half of my original dose and planned to take the next half in the morning instead.
This time, I woke up at 5 am.
So my conclusion is
Even though I don’t have long-term proof of what I am saying or experienced, I strongly believe that the Risperidone was causing me to wake up 3-5 hours after I took it at bedtime.
I’d like to note that it didn’t seem to matter when I actually went to sleep, it was the amount of time after taking the medication that I suddenly woke up – feeling as if I was being “shocked” sometimes.
Since it isn’t sedating to me, I’m planning to take only half the dose at night and half in morning – and possibly eventually switch it all to morning. However, I need to consult my psychiatrist about this because I did this little experiment on my own – which probably isn’t the smartest idea I’ve had, but I hated not sleeping enough.
So if you’re having the same problem – not sleeping well or waking up too early while on Risperdal, I suggest talking to your doctor about the possibility of lowering your night time dose or changing it to the morning unless you are too sedated by the medication to do that.
(Just don’t just do it on your own like I did!)
Talked to my psychiatrist. We’re switching all of my Risperdal to morning instead.
I finally slept a record ~7 hours after taking it in the morning instead 🙂
And I no longer feel that I’m being shocked awake.