How Long After Taking Zzzquil Can I Drink (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 – 8 Hours

Zzzquil is an over-the-top sleep aid used for the relief of occasional sleeplessness and to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep for a person having difficulty falling asleep. The active ingredient present in Zzzquil is diphenhydramine which is found in allergy medications like Benadryl. Drinking alcohol immediately after taking Zzzquil can increase certain side effects of more dosage of diphenhydramine inside the body.

Alcohol and sleep aids like Zzzquil are both central nervous system (CNS) depressants. On their own, these drugs slow down the respiratory rate, making the relaxation process faster so that falling asleep becomes easier. Mixing both sleeping pills and alcohol can diminish breathing to a drastically lower level which can, in turn, lead to a life-threatening scenario.

Drinking alcohol immediately after taking Zzzquil can potentially degrade the quality of sleep as the person won’t be able to experience a deep peaceful REM sleep due to alcohol present in the system.

How Long After Taking Zzzquil Can I Drink

How Long After Taking Zzzquil Can I Drink?

While everybody’s metabolism and bodily functions are different, still, the absolute minimum period of time between a sleep aid like Zzzquil and a drink is 6 hours. It is strictly advised by doctors not to combine these two together.

Drinking alcohol immediately after Zzzquil can have adverse effects like excessive dizziness and drowsiness, fainting, difficulty in breathing, and a slow heart rate. Alcohol after Zzzquil also results in a high amount of dosage of sleeping aids inside the body.

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People should never take more than 50 mg of Zzzquil in a single day. The liquid form of Zzzquil contains 10% alcohol. Thus, having alcohol while the effect of Zzzquil is still inside the body might substantially increase the amount of alcohol present inside which is detrimental to a person’s health due to the possibility of increased side effects. All this can tremendously worsen a person’s sleeping pattern and overall health in general.

Effects of ZzzquilDuration
The feeling of drowsiness kicking in20 – 30 Mins
Wearing off of Zzzquil’s effect6 – 8 Hours.

Why Can I Drink Alcohol So Long After Having Zzzquil?

The central nervous system gets severely depressed when both Zzzquil and alcohol are consumed simultaneously. The increased side effects of this combination are feeling extremely sleepy, having slurred speech, not being able to concentrate, feeling confused, headaches, dizziness, memory loss, low blood pressure, etc.

When alcohol is consumed after having a Zzzquil product that already contains alcohol, the side effects, and symptoms get worsen further. It is also advised that driving must not be allowed if one has had either Zzzquil or alcohol. Diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Zzzquil causes drivers to be more impaired than alcohol. Thus, if one consumes both Zzzquil and alcohol, driving is extremely dangerous and must be compulsorily avoided in such cases.


Alcohol can help people get asleep just like sleep aids but it will eventually lead to poor-quality rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, leaving people to feel tired, exhausted, and lethargic the next day.

In general, the more alcohol a person consumes, the more the quality of his sleep gets harmed. It contributes to many sleep-related health problems like sleep apnea, insomnia, and REM sleep disorder.

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Zzzquil is a safe and effective medication that can help relieve occasional sleeplessness. However, it is never advisable to drink alcohol after taking Zzzquil. It is not suitable for children under the age of 12. It is not addictive at the standard recommended dosage. However, if people consume it in high dosage or accompany it with alcohol, it can pose many serious complications.

Alcohol may further increase drowsiness and dizziness when one already has diphenhydramine contained in Zzzquil in his body. Both must not be consumed together as they can exceed the recommended dosage of alcohol content inside the body which can cause many side effects. It must also be remembered to refrain from engaging in activities that require mental alertness as these medications are meant for relaxation and for increasing alertness.

Thus, maintain a sufficient time gap between the consumption of two drugs to ensure that there is no danger of any severe complications. As a sleep aid, Zzzquil can be a great short-term solution for sleeplessness however, combining it with alcohol is certainly not a wise choice.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. I have to admit, I tend to mix alcohol with my night pills. This post really made me rethink my habits.

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