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By Tara Stevens
September 26, 2020



“Stop dreaming about sleeping.”

Advertisers at would have us believe this sleep-aid is the perfect solution for catching a few Zzz’s.

Supposedly Unisom is “America’s leading brand of single ingredient non-prescription sleep-aids.” For the past 30 years, Unisom supplements have provided consumers with an easy solution to “fall asleep fast, sleep soundly, and wake refreshed.”

Yet does Unisom deserve its time in the spotlight?

What is Unisom?

Unisom was originally released back in 1978 as an anti-nausea/anti-emetic (vomiting) drug, but it has since been remarketed as a sleep aid. It’s now available in two formulas which are used to create four different products.

The first formula contains a 50 mg dose of diphenhydramine HCL. This ingredient binds to histamine h1 receptors without activating them, resulting in mild drowsiness.

The diphenhydramine HCL formula can be found in the following Unisom products:

SleepGels – This easy-to-swallow sleep aid provides the same relaxing effects as other Unisom products but without the chalky taste.

Sleep Melts – Don’t have a glass of water handy to choke down a pill? Sleep melts are available in a “great tasting cherry flavored tablet that dissolves on your tongue in just 30 seconds – no water required.”

PM Pain SleepCaps – Aches and pains can keep you from getting a good rest. This product contains an additional 325 mg of acetaminophen, an over-the-counter pain reliever to help you relax.

The second Unisom formula contains a 25 mg dose of doxylamine succinate. This ingredient works similarly to diphenhydramine HCL, but it takes longer for the body to build up tolerance.

The doxylamine succinate formula can be found in SleepTabs, which is designed to help you fall asleep “23 minutes faster.”

How to Use Unisom

Each formula has similar usage instructions:

• Sleep Gels – Take 1 Soft Gel at bedtime if needed.

• Sleep Melts – Take 2 Sleep Melts at bedtime if needed. Let tablets dissolve on tongue. Do not chew or swallow.

• PM Pain SleepCaps – Take 1 caplet at bedtime. Do not use more than 1 caplet in 24 hours.

• Sleep Tabs – Take 1 tablet 30 minutes before bed. Take once daily or as directed by a doctor.

Consumers should keep in mind that even though Unisom is not addictive, it can be psychologically habit-forming. Though you may not physically need the drug to sleep, your mind will associate sleep with the drug.

YuLiQugong at gives us this bit of helpful advice when using Unisom, “One thing you can try. Get some empty capsules. In some put the Unisom product and a filler (sugar). In others, just sugar. Mix up the two sets of capsules. Since you won’t know what you are taking, you will probably sleep on every night.”

Should You Worry About Side Effects?

According to PubMed Health, Doxylamine may cause the following negative side effects:

• Dry mouth, nose, and throat
• Nausea
• Increased chest congestion
• Headache
• Excitement
• nervousness

Tell your doctor if these symptoms are severe or do not go away. If you experience vision problems or difficult urination, seek medical help immediately.

Additionally, the PM Pain Sleep Caps contains acetaminophen, which should not be used in conjunction with 3 or more alcoholic drinks in a day.

Is It Safe to Use During Pregnancy?

Unisom is a Category B drug and was originally used to relieve nausea. Its drowsiness side effect made it more popular as a sleep aid.

The FDA has this to say about Category B drugs: “This medicine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. This medication may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this mediation without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 12 years old without the advice of a doctor.”

Interestingly enough, many women are recommended a Unisom and vitamin B6 cocktail to treat morning sickness, but to be safe, consult your doctor before trying this technique.

Where to Buy Unisom

Unisom is widely available both online and in stores such as Wal-Mart, K-mart, and Albertsons.

Pricing varies depending on the particular product you’re looking for.

I found Sleep Gels for the following prices:

• $20.98
• $17.57
• : $24.68
• $15.64

As far as I can tell, Unisom is not backed with a money-back guarantee. Some sites do offer guarantees on all their products, so be sure to read the fine print before you buy Unisom.

Are the Manufacturers Reliable?

Unisom is a product of Chattem, Inc., a company known for producing the most popular name brands in health and cosmetics. In fact, you may already be familiar with their leading brands: ACT, Cortizone-10, Gold Bond, Allegra, and Icy Hot.

The company was founded in 1879 and has since grown to amazing proportions, bringing in more than $100 million in revenue each year.

According to the Better Business Bureau, Chattem, Inc. headquarters received an A+ rating on a scale of A+ to F, and it has been BBB accredited since 1960 (there are additional Chattem Inc branches that receive similar ratings).

In the last 3 years, Chattem, Inc. headquarters only received 5 complaints, all of which were resolved quickly.

Pick it or Pitch it?

Unisom is backed by one of the most reliable manufacturers in the industry and it has an incredible history for providing consumers with positive results. The ingredients are safe to use and the price is affordable. All of these factors warrant two thumbs-up in my book.

On the other hand, some consumers may build up tolerance for Unisom, decreasing its effects. If you’re looking for a product that you can use on an as-needed basis, then Unisom seems like a good option. If you regularly suffer from sleeping problems, then you might want to consider a different formula.

Unisom Customer Reviews

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carolyn edmunds Says:

i used the 25 mg dose – next day i felt like a zombie. a week later i took half a pill, 12.5 mg dose, and felt just as bad the next day. i was glad i didn’t have a job to go to, i don’t think i could have driven or done much correctly. i threw the rest of pills away.

August 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Martha Jenneret Says:

I am very sensitive to drugs. I took just half a 25 mg Sleeptab and it was way too much for me. When I cut it down to a quarter it was perfect.

November 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

jackie Says:

I also use a quarter of the 25 mg of doxcylamine succinate and it works well for me. The benadryl option dries my mouth too much.

November 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Judy Says:

Itookunisom and it work very well for me I have no problems very good make me sleeps like a baby. No jaggy feelings good results

November 16, 2013 at 6:43 am

lynn Says:

I took two pills for a few days but could not fall asleep. It works for many people but not for those of us that really have trouble sleeping.

November 28, 2013 at 6:59 pm

agnes Says:

very good product—

December 6, 2013 at 8:15 pm

dennis cherney Says:

I take 12.5mg or 1 half and working okey…6.5 to 8.0 hours sleep..cannot get results from other sleep products….tried everything for years but this works for me…1 day a week I take nothing like last night and I had about 3.5 hours sleep..tonight I will take 25mg than rest of week 12.5mg.

April 4, 2014 at 9:03 am

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