Unisom vs ZzzQuil: Get Better Sleep With The Winner

Have you ever experienced a bout of insomnia? Insomnia or lack of sleep is quite a raving topic on social media and other platforms these days. The reasons for that might be linked to different things, but it seems sleep is eluding many people. From the medical perspective, we know that getting a sufficient amount of sleep is very beneficial to your health, while your organs and systems suffer when you don’t catch some closed eye moments.

Unisom vs ZzzQuil

Tired [/tʌɪəd/] adjective
When you’re just done. And a little sleepy too.

The truth is, asides from physical health, your mental and emotional health can all suffer some massive blows. Eventually, it spreads out to affect other vital aspects of your life, such as work and other social commitments. In the United States, about $400 billion is reportedly lost yearly due to workers’ lack of sleep. Now you know your lack of sleep also has financial remunerations.

To avoid all of this, you could try out sleeping aids. However, we know that there are several concerns about the safety of medicating with these supplements. This is why we have created a comprehensive review of two of the most popular ones in the market right now.

Just before we dive into Unisom vs. ZzzQuil, lets discuss what can sleeping aids do for you?

Unisom vs ZzzQuil Comparison

What Can Sleep Aids Do For You?

It’s pretty challenging to get your mind to quiet down, especially when you have a big day coming up. The sad part is, you need to get some snooze time to perform excellently. Opting for a sleep aid, which could either be a supplement or non-prescription drug, could be an easier route to getting some rest, rather than tossing all night.

Although this option is relatively safe, it is still advised that you consult your doctor before taking any of them. This is because, while supplements and non-prescription drugs are safe on their own, they might interact with other medications and have lingering – and sometimes damaging – effects on the body.

Are Over-The-Counter Sleep Aids Harmless?

Mostly they are, although there might be lingering effects which you have to be careful in dealing with. One of such is grogginess. Most sedating pills leave you with the feeling of grogginess the next morning. This could be dangerous if you have to drive or use heavy, hazardous machinery. One simple hack to combat this is by using the lowest dosage of the pill. In any case, it is recommended that you speak with your doctor if you have any underlying health condition or you are pregnant or nursing? We wouldn’t want anything to go wrong with the baby, would we?

Another thing you need to pay attention to is the golden rule of never combining sleep aids with alcohol. This could end badly, so avoid it. One extra piece of advice is not to give children sleep aids unless prescribed by a pediatrician.
In any case, if you are experiencing chronic insomnia, a visit to the doctor is your best bet. This is because insomnia could be a condition in itself or an offshoot of other underlying medical conditions.

What is a Good Sleep Aid?

There is a chance you will come across a mix of supplements and OTC medications while walking through the pharmacy in search of a sleep aid. Here is a bit of information on all of the available types of sleep aid.


Both Unisom and Zzzquil contain antihistamines. Although there are varied forms of antihistamines, the common ones are doxylamine and diphenhydramine. Antihistamines are relatively safe, at least in the doses sold with OTC medicines. Just like the name implies, they inhibit the action of histamine, which is an alerting chemical. In doing so, antihistamines make people groggy and sleepy.

One of the significant side effects of this is that antihistamines might leave you feeling sleepy the next morning. Also, memory and mild cognitive impairment, together with dry mouth, can be noticed the following day. Whatever you do, ensure you only take antihistamines with only the needed active ingredients. This is because some brands mix pain relief components in the medication – which is highly unnecessary.


Naturally, melatonin is produced in the brain to regulate the cycle of wakefulness and rest. Although melatonin is available as prescription medicine in most countries, you can buy it as a supplement in the United States.

Nonetheless, there are some vital things you should know about melatonin. One is that not everyone responds to it because it has a weak sleep-inducing effect. The other is that melatonin can shift your sleep cycle based on the time you take it. All of these factors combined, melatonin is mostly regarded as the safest sleep aid since it has mild effects on the human body.


This is a medicinal herb native to Eurasia and has been used for several centuries as a sleep aid. Recently, it is common to find the roots and leaves of this flowering plant as active ingredients in most sleep aids. Some brands also mix with the plant with chamomile and lavender, both of which affect soothing restlessness.

Not only is valerian used for its sleep-inducing effects, but it is also used as an alternative medicine to relieve nervousness and anxiety. Research has shown that valerian might increase GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain, thereby promoting sleep and relaxation.

Non-drug Approach

Frankly, you sometimes do not need medication to treat your sleep disorder. Simple lifestyle changes might be all you need to get your mojo back on track. Simple things like establishing a regular sleep routine, getting more active, using blue-light glasses at night, and meditating can get your juices flowing, and you hit the pillows more easily. Remember, the goal is to take care of your body and mind through adequate rest.

What Else Can You Try?

While it’s alright to take an OTC sleep medicine when you suspect that “decaf” coffee wasn’t really all decaf, the ideal way to treat insomnia, in the long run, is to tackle the underlying problems.

One solid piece of advice is to train your brain to associate the bed with sleep. Do nothing in bed other than sleeping and intimate activities. That means no reading in bed, no playing with the phone in bed, and no laying in bed for hours not sleeping.

Don’t underestimate other lifestyle remedies either. Try integrating these tips into your normal, everyday routine and you might not have to hit up the medicine cabinet at all:

Establish a regular sleep schedule

Go to bed and wake up at relatively the same time every day. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals before bed.

Get active

Daily physical activity at least several hours before bed can promote better sleep later on.

Use a white noise machine:

Patients have reported good success with white noise therapy.

Put down your phone:

The artificial light late at night can interfere with melatonin production.

Wear blue-light glasses:

They help block the rays that mess with your sleep hormones.


Some studies suggest medication may improve sleep.

Practice mind-body therapies like tai chi and yoga:

They can help fight stress and enhance sleep.

Now that we have discussed what sleep aids are, let’s dive in deep and take a look at what Unisom is.

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What is Unisom?

Unisom vs ZzzQuil Similarities and Differences

As we earlier said, unisom is an antihistamine. The primary ingredient in this product is doxylamine succinate. It is used to treat allergies, colds, and even hay fever. Like most antihistamines, it works by blocking chemical receptors, which comes in handy in treating symptoms of a cold. One critical side effect of this drug is sleepiness, and because of its active components, it is advised not to be given to children unless prescribed by the pediatrician.

How to Use Unisom?

It is often recommended that you use this medication with food or milk, especially when you have an upset stomach. Also, ensure that you use the exact dose that you are supposed to use. Dosage is measured based on age and response to therapy.

Due to drug interaction, you shouldn’t use any other medication with the same active components as Unisom. The remedy is available in both chewable and liquid forms. Use whichever is best suited for you and strictly follow the instructions on the packaging.

Side Effects?

Unisom’s known side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, loss of coordination, blurred vision, and an upset stomach. Any of these symptoms is user-specific. If the symptoms worsen or do not abate within a day or two, you should consult your pharmacist or doctor.

Although a severe allergic reaction to this drug is rare, it is possible to occur. If you experience reactions other than itching, rash, and any other common allergic reactions, get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible.

Necessary Precautions

Before taking any drug, you should inform your doctor or pharmacist of any known allergies. Also, tell them about any underlying medical conditions like asthma, glaucoma, heart disease, ulcers, high blood pressure, liver problems, hyperthyroidism, etc. Due to drug interaction, consuming alcohol while taking this drug might worsen grogginess and dizziness as a side effect.

Irrespective of whether you take alcohol or not, ensure that you are feeling well before driving or using any machinery that requires full attention and sharp focus. Older adults and children are more susceptible to this drug’s side effects, so caution should be taken when administering it to them. Additionally, this drug is safe for use during pregnancy, although it will pass into breast milk. So, find an alternative if you are breastfeeding.

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What is ZzzQuil?

Unisom vs ZzzQuil Pros and Cons

ZzzQuil is a non-prescription OTC medication. Like Unisom, ZzzQuil contains an antihistamine, although diphenhydramine is the active ingredient in this product. Like Benadryl, this drug is used to treat allergies, hives, and itchiness. One of the significant side effects is drowsiness, which is why it is a useful sleep aid. This drug is specifically beneficial as a short-term relief for insomnia.

Like other antihistamines, it’s reaction, thereby lessening the time it takes for the user to fall asleep. The chemical receptors responsible for this reaction are found in diffuse quantities all over the body. This is why the side effects are not restricted to one system of the body.

How to Use ZzzQuil

Adults and young people mostly use this drug to relieve symptoms of insomnia. It is advised that children under the age of 12 should not use ZzzQuil or any other antihistamine medication without a pediatrician’s prescription. Often, the recommended dosage for this drug is 50mg before bedtime.

Interestingly, ZzzQuil is available in both capsule form and liquid form forms. It is advised that you use a measuring spoon rather than a kitchen tablespoon for measuring the liquid form of this drug. This is to avoid an overdose because the kitchen tablespoon does not have the required measurements. Although the liquid form of ZzzQuil contains alcohol, it is also available in an alcohol-free liquid solution for adolescents and those who do not consume alcohol socially.

Side Effects?

Like most antihistamines, some of the side effects include drowsiness, headaches, constipation, euphoria, irregular heartbeat, blurred vision, upper abdominal pain, anorexia, early periods, dry mouth, and nasal passages, among others.

Serious side effects rarely occur, but there is a slight chance that they can. If you notice allergic reactions like itching, swollen neck and face, anemia, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Necessary Precautions

Although ZzzQuil is recommended for occasional use in treating insomnia, if you experience sleeplessness for more than two weeks, that is enough reason to visit the doctor immediately. This is because insomnia could be the symptom of an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed promptly.

This drug can worsen medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and asthma. If you have any of these conditions, consult with your doctor before taking ZzzQuil or any other antihistamine.

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What Are Other Sleep Aids You Can Try?

Asides from Unisom and ZzzQuil, there are other sleep aid options that you can explore for a restful, comfortable night.

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Set Alert for Product: Luna - Sleep Aid supplements Natural Sourced Ingredients Drug free solution for Relaxation Deeper sleep Mood Enhancement Give Relief from Stress & Anxiety | Herbal Supplement with Melatonin, Valerian Root, Chamomile - $18.95
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Luna Sleep Aid is a blend of naturally sourced ingredients, suitable for vegans and non-vegans alike. Frankly, falling asleep can sometimes be close to impossible with a thousand and one things running through your mind. This product provides a natural way to escape into dreamland.

It is made from amino acids and other hormone supplements that promote better sleep habits and relaxation. What’s best? There is a lifetime guarantee on this product to return it anytime if you do not like it.

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ValuMeds Nighttime Sleep Aid is an antihistamine medication specifically prepared to help you with incidences of sleeplessness. With this sleep aid, you can easily cross over into the deep, restful sleep we all need to recharge.

Like most antihistamines, it is not recommended that you use them for children. Use as directed and consult your doctor if you need further information. All in all, this product is considered safe for you.

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Set Alert for Product: NiteThru Advanced Sleep Aid Melatonin Dietary Supplement, 60 Capsules (Packaging May Vary) - $11.99
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NiteThru Advanced Sleep Aid Melatonin is probably the best thing that could happen to your bedtime. Of course, if you need to use this sleep aid for more than two weeks, then you need a visit to the doctor. Other than that, this medication works wonders on getting you the rest you need leaving you energized the next morning.

Melatonin is the safest sleep aid to use. More importantly, this medication works with a dual release system. The first is to help you fall asleep while the slower-acting release keeps you asleep. Great, isn’t it?

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Amazon Basic Care Sleep Aid Tablets are made from synthetically sourced plant extracts. It is beneficial for people who have trouble staying asleep. This medication provides the fuzzy feeling you need to shut out noises and other disturbances that might interrupt your snooze time.

Adults and children above 12 years can take this product. The best part, it is free of gluten, soy, and pain relief tinctures, which may compromise the user’s health. Try out this cheap route to a dreamland of bliss.

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Carlyle Melatonin Sleep Aid is a fast-acting relief to sleeplessness and unnecessary night tossing. It provides the perfect comfort you need to wake up the next morning feeling energized and refreshed.

It is made from melatonin, a natural hormone in the body. Since it is fast dissolving and fast-acting, the effects kick in as soon as you take the tablets, and you can get some snooze time. Of course, you shouldn’t form a habit of taking sleeping pills. Nonetheless, a berry flavor sleep aid wouldn’t hurt once in a while.

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[FAQs] Consumer Questions & Answers

Can I Take Unisom Or Zzzquil Every Night?
No. these medications are designed to be used occasionally. If you have to use sleep aids every night, visit the doctor for a general checkup.

What Are The Significant Side Effects Of Both Unisom And Zzzquil?
Like most antihistamines, both of these medications cause drowsiness and grogginess.

How Long Does It Take For The Effects Of Zzzquil To Kick In?
Generally, it takes about 30 minutes for the effects of ZzzQuil to kick in.

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