The effects of antidepressants on sleep: a review

Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2000 Dec;8(6):298-306.


Sleep disturbances are a frequent complication of depressive disorders and their treatment. Familiarity with the interaction among sleep, depression, and antidepressant medications may assist the clinician in selecting agents to suit the needs of individual patients. The authors review the current knowledge of changes in sleep architecture associated with particular antidepressant agents and with depressive illness, as well as the theoretical relevance of such changes to the antidepressant effect. Articles for review were found through a Medline search on the terms "polysomnography," "sleep," "antidepressants," and "insomnia" in English-language papers published from 1966 through March 2000. Additional articles were found in the reference lists of relevant papers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / pharmacology
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors