Is It Safe To Take Unisom SleepTabs Every Night To Sleep?

Do you take Unisom SleepTabs every night because you struggle with insomnia and poor quality sleep? If you've been doing this for a while, it might be time to change your habits. Over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids are not designed for long-term use. Unisom recommends seeing a doctor if your sleep problems don't subside within two weeks of treatment. As the manufacturer notes, sleeplessness can indicate an underlying condition — so you need to address the root cause rather than focusing solely on the symptoms.

Doxylamine, the active compound in Unisom SleepTabs, belongs to a class of drugs called antihistamines. Besides its ability to relieve allergy symptoms, the medication induces drowsiness and makes it easier to fall asleep. Although it doesn't cause addiction, it's possible to develop a tolerance to it, explains Verywell Health. If that happens, you may need to increase the dosage to achieve the desired effects.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine warns that some people may experience nausea, headaches, dry mouth, mood changes, or vision problems after taking the drug. Some consumers may experience difficulty urinating or digestive problems, such as constipation or stomach pain (via Verywell Health). In rare cases, doxylamine may cause severe allergic reactions, low blood pressure, seizures, arrhythmia, and other serious side effects.

Reconsider taking these sleep aids on a daily basis

About 18% of Americans use OTC sleep aids on a daily basis, reports WebMD. These medications are indicated for occasional use only because they contain diphenhydramine, doxylamine, or other ingredients that cause drowsiness, explains a 2017 review published in The Gerontologist. Certain groups, especially older adults, may experience cognitive decline, daytime sleepiness, and other side effects that can increase their risk of accidents, warn the researchers.

Unisom says that its products are safe and non-addictive when used as directed, but medical experts have a different opinion. "Being a physician, caring about my patients, if they are going to ask me if one of these medications is addicting, I am going to be honest and say there's a chance it can be addicting," sleep expert Raj Dasgupta told WebMD. On top of that, many people take several other medications that may interact with their sleeping pills.

Note that Unisom SleepTabs does not address the root cause of insomnia or other sleep disorders. Simply put, it's just a quick fix — it may help in the short term, but your symptoms will likely return when you stop taking the drug. Plus, this product carries potential health risks ranging from confusion and hallucinations to heat stroke, warns Everyday Health. If you have chronic insomnia, consider trying cognitive behavior therapy, suggests Dr. Dasgupta. Meanwhile, you can make small lifestyle changes, such as turning off your devices at bedtime, to get better rest.