Does Wegovy Make You Tired? It Could, Sleep MD Explains How

Wegovy can make you tired. Fatigue is a common side effect and the drug can disrupt your sleep. More research is needed as more people are using the drug.
Published
2024-01-19
11 MINS
Written by
Jeff Kahn, M.S., Rise Science Co-Founder
Reviewed by
Chester Wu, MD, Rise Science Medical Reviewer
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Does Wegovy Make You Tired?

  • Wegovy can make you tired. Fatigue is listed as a common side effect and the drug can cause sleep loss.
  • More research is needed to know why Wegovy makes you feel tired. It could be down to your body having less fuel as you cut calories, low blood sugar, or anxiety and gastrointestinal issues causing sleep loss.
  • Feel less tired on Wegovy by catching up on lost sleep, syncing up with your body clock, and improving your sleep hygiene. The RISE app can guide you through each of these steps to boost your energy levels.

Wegovy is one brand name for the drug semaglutide. It’s a higher-dose version of the diabetes medication Ozempic. Wegovy is FDA-approved to help overweight and obese adults shed the pounds, but it can also leave you feeling tired and drained. 

Below, we’ll cover how Wegovy makes you tired and how you can use the RISE app to get more energy. 

Heads-up: Wegovy is still a relatively new drug. More research is needed into the side effects. As more people use the drug, more reports of Wegovy causing tiredness and sleep problems are emerging.

Advice From a Sleep Doctor

Advice From a Sleep Doctor

“Based on the studies we have so far, Wegovy can cause fatigue. This fatigue may get better as your body gets used to the drug, but more research is needed.” says Rise Science sleep advisor Dr. Chester Wu, a double board certified doctor in psychiatry and sleep medicine.

“It’s not clear why Wegovy causes fatigue, but it may be because you’re eating fewer calories or experiencing low blood sugar. You can also experience sleep loss from other side effects, like GI issues and anxiety.”

Does Wegovy Make You Feel Tired? 

Wegovy can make you feel tired. Fatigue is listed as a common side effect of the drug, affecting 11% of people in clinical trials. Wegovy may also disrupt your sleep. 

This number doesn’t tell the whole story, however. Trials were done on adults with obesity or those who were overweight, so it’s unclear how the drug affects other groups. And it’s not clear whether fatigue was fleeting, ongoing, or compared to how fatigued people felt before taking Wegovy. 

And this is just from a handful of clinical trials reported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA states these trials are conducted under “widely varying conditions” and, therefore, rates of side effects “may not reflect the rates observed in practice.” 

In practice, there are many variables that could affect side effects, including health conditions and drug interactions. 

Beyond clinical research, as more people use the drug, there’s more anecdotal evidence that Wegovy can make you feel tired and cause sleep problems. 

For example, a 2023 study published in Brain Sciences analyzed Reddit, Youtube, and TikTok posts about the side effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 receptor agonists), the class of medication Wegovy belongs to. Users reported sleep-related issues most frequently, including insomnia, anxiety, depression, and general mental health issues, which can affect sleep and energy levels. 

These findings come from social media, however, not controlled studies, so more research is needed. 

Heads-up: Despite often being used interchangeably, feeling tired and feeling sleepy aren't the same thing. Tiredness is when you feel fatigued, but you might not be able to sleep. Sleepiness is when you could physically fall asleep if you tried. Wegovy can make you feel both tired and sleepy. 

We’ve covered whether GLP-1 receptor agonists (active ingredient: semaglutide) make you tired including: 

And we’ve covered drugs that are dual-acting GLP-1 receptor agonists and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptides (GIP) receptor agonists (active ingredient: tirzepatide):  

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Why Do You Feel Tired Taking Wegovy? 

More research is needed to find out why taking Wegovy makes you tired. It may be due to eating fewer calories, low blood sugar levels, GI issues and anxiety causing sleep loss, or changes in dopamine levels. 

Here’s more on how Wegovy can make you tired: 

  • Eating fewer calories: Wegovy suppresses your appetite, so you may cut your calorie intake. You may feel fatigued as your body has less fuel, especially if you’re not used to being in a caloric deficit.  
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar): Wegovy lowers your blood sugar and can cause hypoglycemia. You’ll be more at risk if you take drugs like insulin secretagogue or insulin alongside Wegovy. Hypoglycemia can cause drowsiness, shakiness, mood issues, feeling weak, and restless sleep. Nocturnal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar overnight), can cause you to wake up tired
  • GI issues: Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain are common side effects of Wegovy, which can keep you up at night. Diarrhea and vomiting can also cause dehydration, which causes fatigue. And just dealing with GI issues during the day can leave you feeling drained. 
  • Anxiety and mental health issues: Anxiety is a side effect of Wegovy, and you may feel stressed about taking a new drug, GI or hair loss side effects, or changes your eating habits or resting heart rate (and anxiety can spike your heart rate further). But stress and anxiety can make it harder to get enough sleep. In fact, RISE users say stress and anxiety are their biggest challenges when it comes to sleep. Plus, Wegovy may trigger depression or suicidal thoughts. All of these mental health issues can cause sleeplessness, and sleeplessness can make them worse.   
  • Changes in dopamine: Dopamine is the neurotransmitter involved in mood and motivation. According to 2023 research, GLP-1 receptor agonists may change your dopamine levels. This may leave you feeling low and unmotivated, and a lower mood is linked to feeling less alert
  • Changes in exercise: You’re encouraged to exercise to aid weight loss while on Wegovy, but upping your exercise while cutting your calories can leave you feeling drained. On the other hand, you may stop exercising if GI issues, depression, or fatigue hit, and this can leave you feeling lethargic and cause trouble sleeping. 
  • Increases in resting heart rate overnight, maybe: Wegovy can cause an increase in resting heart rate. Dr. Peter Attia, a renowned physician and longevity expert, says his practice has seen adults on semaglutide experiencing an increase of eight to 10 beats per minute in their overnight heart rate. It’s unclear how this increased heart rate from Wegovy could affect your sleep exactly, but the complex interaction between heart rate, autonomic nervous system activity, and sleep means this is an area where more research is needed.

You may also feel tired due to the common culprits of high sleep debt and circadian misalignment, which can tank your energy whether you’re on Wegovy or not. We cover how to fix those soon.

Does Wegovy Affect Sleep? 

Wegovy may affect sleep by causing GI issues, anxiety, and depression, which can make it harder to sleep. You may also change your daily habits, which can affect your sleep. For example, you might exercise less, which can make it harder to drift off, or eat less, which can cause nighttime hunger pangs. 

Can Wegovy Cause Insomnia? 

Wegovy may cause insomnia. Research from 2023 found reports of GLP-1 receptor agonists causing insomnia in some, but improving insomnia in others. Wegovy may also cause anxiety and depression, which are linked to insomnia. 

Wegovy may cause sleep problems that look like insomnia. 

It’s not clear whether reports of insomnia can be classified as true insomnia, however.

The International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD-3) defines insomnia as having: 

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or waking up too early 
  • Difficulty sleeping despite having the opportunity to sleep 
  • Daytime impairment or distress from sleep problems 
  • Sleep problems that are not better explained by another sleep disorder or medical condition 

Having these sleep problems at least three nights a week for at least three months could be a sign of insomnia. If you have them for one to three months, this could be a sign of episodic insomnia.

Speak to a healthcare provider if you think you have insomnia. You may need different, or additional, treatments compared to other Wegovy sleep problems.

Can Wegovy Improve Sleep? 

Wegovy may improve sleep in the short or long term. Wegovy can help overweight and obese adults lose significant amounts of weight, and losing weight can improve sleep problems, like sleep apnea, and lower your odds of health conditions, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which are linked to sleep disorders like insomnia.  

Semaglutide may be a potentially promising treatment for sleep apnea. We’ve covered more on Ozempic and Wegovy for sleep apnea here. 

The 2023 study we mentioned earlier found social media posts reporting improvements in insomnia, anxiety, and depression from GLP-1 receptor agonists for some users. 

And you’re encouraged to improve your diet and exercise on Wegovy, so these changes can help improve your sleep, too. You may naturally eat smaller meals or less fatty foods, which is also good news for sleep. 

Wegovy may even reduce your cravings for alcohol and cigarettes, and cutting down on these can also improve your sleep.

We’ve covered more on the link between sleep and weight loss here.

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How Long Does Wegovy Fatigue Last? 

More research is needed to know how long Wegovy fatigue lasts. Fatigue, and side effects causing sleep loss, may go away as your body gets used to the drug. The exact duration can vary, however. A 2022 study found vomiting can last two days, whereas constipation can last 27 days. 

Your dose of Wegovy will gradually increase — usually once a month until your fourth or fifth month when you’re kept on a consistent dose. It may take a while for your body to adapt to the higher maintenance dose, so it’s unclear how long fatigue will last. 

More long-term studies on Wegovy are needed. 

What Are the Common Side Effects of Wegovy? 

The most common side effects of Wegovy include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting 
  • Constipation 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Headache
  • Indigestion 
  • Dizziness 
  • Bloating 
  • Burping 
  • Flatulence 
  • Hair loss 
  • Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) 
  • Gastroenteritis (inflammation of the digestive system) 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Many of these potential side effects can cause anxiety and sleep loss. 

An increase in resting heart rate is another relatively common side effect. The mean increase in clinical trials (at any visit) was one to four beats per minute, but 26% experienced an increase of 20 beats per minute or more.

More rare side effects include an allergic reaction, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), gallbladder problems like gallstones, kidney failure, and an increased risk of thyroid cancer and thyroid tumors. 

Seek medical attention if you’re experiencing serious side effects. 

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How to Improve Wegovy Fatigue? 

You can improve Wegovy fatigue by lowering your sleep debt, syncing up with your circadian rhythm, improving your sleep hygiene, managing GI issues, reducing anxiety, eating healthfully, and getting some exercise. 

Here’s what to do: 

  • Lower sleep debt: Sleep debt is the amount of sleep you owe your body. The more you have, the more tired you’ll feel — whether you taking Wegovy or not. Pay sleep debt back with short afternoon naps, early nights, or short lay-ins. Check RISE to see how much sleep debt you have, and learn how to catch up on sleep here. 
  • Get in sync with your circadian rhythm: Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. Get in sync — by keeping a regular sleep and meal schedule —  to boost your energy. Check RISE for a daily prediction of your circadian rhythm and time your sleep to match.
  • Improve your sleep hygiene: Sleep hygiene is the set of daily habits that help you fall and stay asleep. RISE tells you the best time to do 20+ habits according to your own circadian rhythm. This includes everything from when to stop drinking coffee to when to wear blue-light blocking glasses
  • Manage GI issues: Eat bland foods, like toast and rice, and smaller, more frequent meals. Avoid spicy or fried foods, and stay hydrated. Research from 2022 suggests sleeping on your left side may reduce acid reflux. We’ve got more advice on sleeping with acid reflux and stomach pain here.
  • Reduce anxiety: Try exercising during the day, and meditating, journaling, and doing some breathing exercises or relaxation techniques to unwind before bed. We’ve covered how to sleep with anxiety here.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Even if you’re naturally eating less, make sure you’re still eating a balanced diet with enough protein and fiber to keep energy levels high. Learn which foods give you energy here. 
  • Get some exercise: Exercise can help keep anxiety in check, boost daytime energy levels, and improve your sleep at night. If fatigue is making it hard to work out, try a gentle walk or at-home yoga video. 
  • Talk to your healthcare provider: Your prescribing doctor may recommend changes to any prescription drugs or over-the-counter supplements you take, or suggest taking Wegovy at a different time of day. The study of chronopharmacology has found drugs can work better when taken at different times of day, like the flu shot, for example.   

We’ve covered more ways to stop feeling tired here.

RISE app screenshot showing sleep hygiene habit reminders
RISE can guide you through 20+ sleep hygiene habits.

One key way to stop feeling tired is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Enough sleep looks different for everyone — and it varies quite a bit. 

When we looked at how much sleep 1.95 million RISE users aged 24 and up needed, we found it ranged from five hours to 11 hours 30 minutes. RISE can work out how much sleep you individually need.

The RISE app can tell you how much sleep you need
How much sleep RISE users need.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can view their sleep need here

Feel Less Tired on Wegovy 

Fatigue is a common side effect of Wegovy, and the drug may cause sleep problems.

Feel less tired while on the drug by keeping your sleep debt low, living in sync with your circadian rhythm, and maintaining good sleep hygiene.

To make those steps easier, RISE works out and tracks your sleep debt, predicts the timing of your circadian rhythm, and sends you personalized reminders for 20+ sleep hygiene habits. 

Users say these habit reminders improve their days, even if they can’t get a full night’s sleep: 

“I’m sleeping better regardless of time asleep (we all know life happens) because RISE gives me notifications about when to stop drinking coffee and alcohol, and when my ideal time to go to bed is.” Read the review

And it doesn’t take long to feel the difference — 80% of RISE users have more energy within five days.

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