I think what you're describing is disturbed sleep, and difficulty getting back to sleep once awake. Antipsychotic drugs
are sometimes used 'off label', although psychosis is generally the only long-term indication. Antipsychotics may be used on a short-term basis to calm disturbed individuals, whatever the underlying reason, and to manage anxiety. Adverse effects are common among those using antipsychotics, and these effects are often unpleasant enough to lead to non-compliance. First generation antipsychotics are not selective for the brain's four dopamine
pathways, which can lead to a range of adverse effects. Second generation antipsychotics are comparatively more selective, for example Quetiapine
is one of the drugs least likely to cause extrapyramidal effects and sexual dysfunction.
Generally, antipsychotics can cause extrapyramidal (or parkinsonian) effects. Their long term use may result in tardive dyskinesia (an irreversible movement disorder). Common adverse effects include weight gain, as well as: "drowsiness; apathy; agitation, excitement and insomnia; convulsions; dizziness; headache; confusion; gastro-intestinal disturbances; nasal congestion; antimuscarinic symptoms (such as dry mouth, constipation, difficulty with micturition, and blurred vision."
This is not an exhaustive list of possible effects, there are other possible problems associated with use of antipsychotics such as cardiovascular disease.
I experience a great deal of trouble sleeping, and this is especially wearing when I have to go to work the following day (or night). I can understand how high a priority sleep can become, but unless there are other issues than disturbed sleep and insomnia, the problems that could arise from use of antipsychotics may outweigh any benefits. I haven't found any drug
that provides a long-term solution to insomnia without strings attached (such as tolerance and tiredness), although I do use 1mg of Etizolam
twice weekly at present. I have also had results from kavalactone paste (made from kava
). I also find that physical tiredness usually precedes a good sleep, and try to get plenty of exercise. It is also worth considering whether low mood or specific anxieties are preventing restful sleep.
Source: British National Formulary 63