The sound of your alarm is maddening. And the morning sun seeping in between your bedroom blinds isn’t exactly the warm greeting to the day it should be.
According to these signals, it’s morning- time for you to get up and start your day.
But your body, on the other hand, would argue otherwise.
Your muscles still feel heavy. Your brain is fuzzy. You can barely manage to keep your eyes open for more than a few seconds at a time.
You “slept” but it wasn’t actually a restful night, and you didn’t get what you needed out of your sleep to feel energized for the rest of your day.
If you’ve found yourself afflicted with chronic sleeplessness and constant fatigue, your doctor may recommend Gabapentin to help your sleep schedule get back on track.
Gabapentin is a prescription medication that’s used by doctors for a number of purposes, including:
- Nerve pain
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Hot flashes
- Teeth grinding
Below we’ll take a closer look at how Gabapentin works to help you fall asleep and stay asleep, as well as how long those effects last.
How Long Does Gabapentin Work For Sleep?
Gabapentin helps you fall asleep faster and eliminates wake-ups throughout the night so you can get a full 7-9 hours of much-needed sleep.
While more research is needed to fully understand how Gabapentin helps you sleep, it’s believed the medication slows activity in the brain and produces a serene effect that makes you sleepy.
As a bonus, Gabapentin can help you get better quality deep sleep, the stage where you’re hardest to wake up and your body is doing the most work for recovery.
It’s a stage in the sleep cycle that too many of us don’t get nearly enough of.
How Long Does It Take Gabapentin To Leave Your System?
Gabapentin has a half-life of between 5-7 hours. What does this mean?
Most people will have metabolized the medication to half of its original concentration after five hours.
In most cases, the medication is completely out of your system in 48 hours.
Gabapentin is known for leaving the body fairly quickly, so the effects of it, including the urge to fall asleep, will most likely have worn off by the time you’ve woken up and are ready to start your day. This is a bonus for those who are prone to morning grogginess.
Still, you should only plan on taking Gabapentin only if you don’t have anywhere to be or need to drive first thing the next morning until you have a full understanding of how the medication affects you.
As Gabapentin is a prescription medication, you should always consult with a doctor before giving it a try for sleep. Once given a prescription, be sure to follow the directions given to you by your doctor.
Reviewed by Dr. Alex Dimitriu
Dr. Alex Dimitriu is a Stanford-trained physician with dual board certification in psychiatry and sleep medicine. The included content is not intended to replace medical advice. Always be sure to discuss any prescription medications with your doctor.