How Long After Taking Zzzquil Can I Drink And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 13th, 2022

Exact Time: 6–8 Hours

ZzzQuil is available without a prescription and is available over the counter. ZzzQuil is a sleep aid that comes in the form of a liquid or a liquid-filled pill and is used to treat insomnia, characterized by trouble sleeping or staying asleep.


The active ingredient in ZzzQuil is diphenhydramine, an antihistamine.

Antihistamines reduce the effect of histamines, natural substances produced by the body during an allergic reaction.

Diphenhydramine binds to the body’s histamine-1 receptor. This receptor can be found in many body parts, including the respiratory tract, the digestive tract, immunological cells, and the brain.

Diphenhydramine and other antihistamines are prominent components in allergy and cold treatments.

Drowsiness is the most common adverse effect of diphenhydramine, which is caused by the effect that various antihistamines can have on the brain.

The manufacturer recommends ZzzQuil for occasional sleepiness. ZzzQuil works by assisting in the reduction of the time it takes a person to fall asleep.

Who can use ZzzQuil

Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about how ZzzQuil can affect your health or interact with other medications. It should not be used in children under 12, and it should be used with caution in older persons.

Some of the circumstances that may necessitate extra attention when using ZzzQuil include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Blood pressure is too high.
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (COPD)
  • Pneumonia
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Enlargement of the prostate
  • Obstruction of the intestines or the bladder

If you have any of these conditions, you should consult your doctor before using ZzzQuil.

Because this medication has the potential to interact with other medications, particularly those that affect the brain, consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before using it.

Zzzquil and alcohol

Both alcohol and sleep aids depress the central nervous system. In addition, the medications, on their own, reduce your respiratory rate. This is how the medications assist you in relaxing and falling asleep.

When sleeping medications are combined with alcohol, your breathing can become dangerously low, posing a life-threatening situation.

Not only that, but the combo will likely render any sleep you receive ineffectively. This is because, while sleep aids can help individuals sleep, they do not always help people receive the deep, restorative sleep that their bodies require. The addition of alcohol worsens sleep quality.

When you combine [a sleep aid] with alcohol, you stay in a light sleep.

The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Zzzquil

Because Zzzquil and alcohol both depress the central nervous system, combining them can exacerbate their negative effects. These additional side effects may include:

  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Having slurred speech and difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling perplexed
  • Suffering from a headache
  • Feeling dizzy
  • You have the sensation that your mouth is extremely dry.
  • Do you have memory issues?
  • Having difficulty moving
  • Blood pressure is low.
  • Breathing slower than usual

If you are already taking a Zzzquil product that contains alcohol, drinking alcohol in addition to the Zzzquil may aggravate your symptoms.

Driving is an added risk. Suppose you’ve consumed Zzzquil or alcohol. According to one study, the active ingredient in Zzzquil, diphenhydramine, led drivers to be more impaired than alcohol. As a result, combining alcohol with Zzzquil can impair driving. If the Zzzquil medicine already contains alcohol, driving could be much riskier.

Drinking alcohol immediately after taking Zzzquil may reduce sleep quality because the person will be unable to achieve a deep tranquil REM sleep owing to the presence of alcohol in the system.

How long can I drink after taking Zzzquil?

Because everyone’s metabolism differs, the minimum time between a drink and a sleep aid is six hours. Therefore, doctors strongly advise against combining these two substances.

Drinking alcohol immediately after taking Zzzquil might cause dizziness and sleepiness, fainting, trouble breathing, and a sluggish heart rate. This is because following Zzzquil with alcohol leads to a large dosage of sleeping aids inside the body.

Zzzquil should never take over 50 mg in a single day. This is because the liquid version of Zzzquil contains 10% alcohol. 

Thus, consuming alcohol while the effects of Zzzquil are still present in the body may significantly increase the amount of alcohol present, which is harmful to a person’s health owing to the risk of enhanced adverse effects. All of this can significantly negatively impact a person’s sleeping pattern and overall health.

What if you drink a glass of wine and then mistakenly take a sleep aid?

To ensure your safety, stop drinking immediately and contact a friend or family member to assist you in monitoring any symptoms. Excessive dizziness and drowsiness, fainting, difficulty breathing, and a slow heart rate are all symptoms of a potential problem.

Why should I not drink alcohol so soon after taking Zzzquil?

Because diphenhydramine is the active ingredient in ZzzQuil, alcohol does not mix well with it. Therefore, Benadryl is another name for this drug.

Because alcohol and ZzzQuil are depressants, their effects will reinforce one another.

Alcohol will help you fall asleep initially, but you will wake up frequently throughout the night.

It’s recommended to stick to diphenhydramine if you want to sleep comfortably. Otherwise, you will disrupt your sleep. And then you wake up with the exact opposite results.

Everyone is aware that alcohol dehydrates. But did you know that Benadryl (and thus ZzzQuil) dehydrates your body? When you mix the two, you effectively double the dehydration consequences. As a result, alcohol does much more harm. It’s also extremely uncomfortable, and your hangovers will be significantly worse.


Zzzquil is a safe and effective sleep aid that can help with occasional insomnia. It is, however, never suggested to consume alcohol after taking Zzzquil. In addition, it is not appropriate for youngsters under the age of twelve. At the typical suggested dosage, it is not addictive. However, taking large amounts of it or combining it with alcohol can cause significant side effects.

When used with diphenhydramine, found in Zzzquil, alcohol may cause increased drowsiness and dizziness. Both should not be drunk together since they can cause the body’s alcohol content to surpass the allowed dosage, resulting in various negative effects. It is also important to remember to avoid engaging in tasks that need mental awareness, as these drugs are intended to relax and increase alertness.

Maintain a suitable time interval between the consumption of two drugs to guarantee no risk of serious consequences. For example, Zzzquil, as a sleep aid, can be an excellent short-term treatment for sleeplessness; however, taking it with alcohol is not a good idea.


Editorial Staff

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