We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Effective Is Amitriptyline for Insomnia?

By Valerie Goldberg
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Amitriptyline, also known by the brand name Elavil®, is a prescription drug that is sometimes used to treat depression. A doctor also may prescribe amitriptyline for insomnia. It can be a very effective medication for chronic insomnia sufferers when used in the correct, doctor-prescribed dosage. This medication was not designed to be a sleeping pill, but its non-addictive nature and qualities that can help a patient to relax and stay asleep lead many medical professionals to suggest this medication to patients.

Each patient's needs may be different when it comes to using amitriptyline for insomnia. The dosage needed when used for insomnia is much less than that prescribed to a severely depressed patient. A person suffering from depression typically will be prescribed 50 mg or more of this drug. Insomnia patients may only need from 10 mg to 40 mg. Doctors normally start patients out on a very low dose of amitriptyline and will increase the dosage each week, if needed.

There are potential side effects that make some patients hesitant to use amitriptyline for insomnia. One common complaint involves unwanted weight gain. Dry mouth and constipation are two other side effects that many people may experience. Amitriptyline impacts all patients differently, so people will not know if the medicine is right for their sleeping needs until they try it. A patient who starts using this medication and wants to stop should contact his or her doctor to be properly weaned instead of quitting abruptly.

It can be dangerous for people who like long exposures to natural or artificial sunlight to take amitriptyline for insomnia. Using a tanning bed or spending hours on the beach is not recommended for people taking this drug. Patients who spend a lot of time in the sun and are not willing to make lifestyle changes should be honest with their doctors and discuss an alternative form of insomnia treatment.

There are some rare cases of patients who actually suffer from insomnia as a result of amitriptyline. A patient who notices his or her sleeping habits getting worse after beginning use of this drug should notify his or her prescribing doctor as soon as possible. A common complaint of some other patients is that amitriptyline works too well for sleep, making patients groggy and unable to get up for work in the morning. This may indicate that a lower dose is needed.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon995851 — On Jun 02, 2016

Stay off this drug. It is a dreadful drug to take and has awful side effects and it is not 0easy to get off of it. I've had nightmares, breathing difficulties, rigid, painful stomach, distaste for tea and coffee, brain fog, aching muscles... I could go on. Please stay off it.

By donasmrs — On Nov 04, 2013

No one medication works the same for two people. So naturally, amitriptyline will work for some people and will not work for others.

It worked for me, but I think it worked a little too well. Because when I woke up, I continued to feel drowsy, sleepy and confused for several hours. I tried dealing with it for a while and then decided that I would be better off on another insomnia medication.

I'm not holding this against amitriptyline though. The medication was not formulated of insomnia. It's anti-depressant and its use for insomnia is an off-label use.

By ysmina — On Nov 03, 2013

@burcinc-- I'm surprised to hear that. Amitriptyline is working great for me. It's like a sedative and it relaxes me before bedtime and helps me get sleep. I haven't had any of the side effects you mentioned either. I wonder if you needed a different dose?

By burcinc — On Nov 03, 2013

I heard a lot of people praise amitriptyline for insomnia and asked my doctor about it. He said that it might help and prescribed me a low dose to take before bed. I took the medication for three weeks without any results.

I have no idea why this medication is so favored for insomnia. I barely got any sleep on the drug, which is my usual self. Plus, I was extra tired and moody during the day.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.