REVIEW: Vicks ZzzQuil

Vicks ZzzQuil

There were times during my post-college schooling that I would resort to NyQuil just to get some sleep. Afflicted with psychosomatic symptoms which, of course, were thin excuses to take the cold medicine, I would reach for that trademark-shaped bottle.

I conjured up symptoms like a scratchy throat while knowing I could scarf down salty pretzels with ease. Is my nose stuffy? Time for NyQuil, but I knew inside I was breathing fine. Is it 10:00pm? Time for NyQuil. You say the moon is out? Hells yeah, pour me two fingers please.

For the record, my favorite was the blue-green liquid because I thought the worse it tasted, the better it worked. Also, it looked like it was from the future. You know how movies let the viewer know it’s the year 3000 by having people at a bar drink blue or green cocktails in silver clothing. That’s what I imagined when I drank it.

I know a lot of us out there abused NyQuil’s magical qualities at one point. Then those stupid meth heads ruined all the fun. Medicines are now cut with weaker ingredients that frankly do not work as well as the old stuff.

I had to give the pharmacist my driver’s license just to buy the original NyQuil (renamed NyQuil-D) when the poor wife was suffering from a bad cold. Thanks a lot meth addicts. You deserve the sunken looks, splotchy skin and the occasional blown up limbs.

Suspiciously, it seems Vicks is keenly aware of NyQuil and its uses regardless if one is suffering from a cold. I have no evidence of this but how else to explain their new product ZzzQuil?

Not one to pass up a good time, I was fascinated by its name. It looked like a fake product hawked on a Saturday Night Live skit or a bad Wacky Packages card. I couldn’t believe it was real but tossed it in my cart along with the gummy fiber pills and rectangle tins of mustard sauce sardines.

Taking a picture, I posted the product on my social network to get a reaction. Friends alike kept asking if this was real. Yes Virginia, there is a ZzzQuil.

I went ahead and experimented in various methods to see how effective this purple berry flavored elixir was. Taking the next four days to get familiar with ZzzQuil, I rubbed my hands together and hoped for the best.

Night One: I ate a pot roast dinner about four hours prior to getting into to bed. No dessert so my stomach should be fairly settled. I removed the plastic mini cup and poured a shot of ZzzQuil. I sniffed and gagged as the distinguished bitter medicinal smell was there to say “Hello.”

I slugged it as fast as possible and noted that it was much more palatable than the blueish or the red cherry NyQuil. It’s true, a spoonful (or three) helps the medicine go down because it was damn sweet. The “warming berry flavor” was more of a nondescript sugary taste, thus explaining the ingredient: high fructose corn syrup. As viscous the medicine was, the ZzzQuil did not coat my tongue or throat. Like my favorite gin martini, it went down easy.

Despite the berry flavor, true as it states on the package, there was a warming effect in my stomach. However, there was a problem as I never felt groggy or sleepy soon after taking it. In fact, it took maybe an hour for it to work, if it did work at all. I wasn’t sure if it was the medicine or it was just normalcy that lulled me to sleep time.

Waking up, I did not feel out of it or tired as sometimes NyQuil does to a person. I was left with the question if this stuff works at all.

Night Two: I took ZzzQuil an hour earlier before bedtime. Watching Les and family toss out crazies in Hardcore Pawn made me laugh, which has some of the best confrontations this side of Cheaters. Two episodes in and I still did not feel tired.

Don’t judge me, but I enjoyed the mini-marathon so much I almost forgot I had taken the sleeping aid. I was able to devour quite a few “eff-youze” and only crashed when I decided to go to sleep. I never got that “fuzzy” or slow-motion brain thing when medicine makes you take a nap. Again, it failed.

Night Three: With my wife gone out of state to speak at some superhugeimportant symposium, I chose to take it so early that the sunlight was still out. Yes, I imbibed the purple concoction as soon as I got home from work. The 6:30 pm news blagged on about the thunderstorm warnings as I went through my evening routine of a shower, a neat scotch, and reading my e-mail as I made dinner.

It did not work. I was able to watch television, play some Diablo III and search for some Mexican Ghostbuster II t-shirts on eBay. I fell asleep when I went to bed at my normal time and I even broke the cardinal rule of no alcohol when taking this medicine.

Day Four: After spending Saturday morning getting a haircut, shopping for power ties, and buying some songs on iTunes, I went over to the almost empty bottle. I slammed down another shot and settled down with a couple of episodes of Lizard Lick Towing. Complimenting my trash television, I drank a couple of bottles of Newcastle’s Limited Edition Werewolf beer I acquired at my local Publix supermarket.

I followed my dosage by watching the underrated “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” listening to M83’s album twice (which some of its lush ambient songs themselves can bring you to sleep) while working on some manuscripts, half watched a rerun of Bridezillas, and internet shopped for some argyle sweater vests. I also drank three martinis sans olives, ate a mashed potato sandwich and scarfed down a handful of gumdrops. Not once did I get that sleepy feeling. Although, I did get drunk and felt like a loser because of how I spent my Saturday.

Vicks ZzzQuil Closeup

ZzzQuil was disappointing. It was also expensive and, frankly, there are better over-the-counter alternatives that do work. I never felt tired, rather all I felt was regret and disgust. ZzzQuil is a non-habit forming sleeping aid, but it doesn’t seem to work, which is, perhaps, why it’s non-habit forming.

Speaking of habits, I believe ZzzQuil has gotten me addicted to truTV’s lineup of colorful reality (or Actuality, as they brand it) shows and mashed potato sandwiches. The only effects this sleeping medication have had on me are embarrassment and self-loathing. I don’t condone the methods (except Night One) I’ve used, but I’m in need of some sleep and I think my throat is getting scratchy.

(Active Ingredients – 30 mL dose cup – 50 milligrams of dipenhydramine HCI. 10% alcohol. Inactive Ingredients – citric acid, ethanol, FD & C blue #1, FD & C red ##40, flavor, high fructose corn syrup, polyoxyl 40 stearate, propylene glycol, purified water, saccharine sodium, sodium benzoate, and sodium citrate dehydrate.)

Item: Vicks ZzzQuil
Purchased Price: $6.29
Size: 6 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Publix
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: Goes down easy. The name ZzzQuil is pretty awesome. Nice warming feeling in my belly. The color purple is nice. Wacky Packages. No groggy feeling in the morning. Watching Hardcore Pawn and Lizard Lick Towing.
Cons: The price. It is way too sweet. It was seldom effective. Learning about yourself may cause disappointment. Wasting an entire Saturday. Watching Hardcore Pawn and Lizard Lick Towing.

172 thoughts to “REVIEW: Vicks ZzzQuil”

  1. You realize that it’s just an expensive bottle of Benedryl, which costs 1/3 the price when purchased in the generic pill form?

    1. Exactly. Diphenhydramine (Which is, of course, sold as Benedryl) was originally marketed as an allergy medication. The major side effect is drowsiness. Now it is sold generically as “Allergy Relief” and “Sleep Aid”, which are far, far cheaper than the $6 you’ll pay to have Nyquil’s name slapped on the bottle.

    2. Oh my goodness what kind of sleep aid is zzzquil. It did not work, I was lying in bed with the lites off, next thing you no its morning time. CAN I GET MY MONEY BACK!!!!!

      1. I was just want know when y’all was doing the Z quil nighttime sleep-aid did y’all notice pupil dilation?

    3. Everyone is aware that this is the same drug as Benydryl? I have insomia very badly and have been looking for something to take over the counter…however, if one reads the lables, you will discover that they all contain just diphenhydramine (Benydryl) and sometimes one other drug like melotonin. If you don’t fall to sleep with Bendryl, you won’t fall asleep with this. Save your money.

    1. You know, sourdough bread, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, hot peppers, and an ice cream scoop full of leftover cold mashed potatoes. Totally yum.

  2. I use NyQuil regularly to fall asleep, so it’s nice to know that this doesn’t really work that well. I was hopeful there was a replacement that didn’t have the cold remedy aspect to it. So, I’ll stick to my NyQuil, which is probably cheaper in the 3-pack that I buy at Costco (otherwise known as the mother ship) instead of trying to find a retailer that is over-charging for this stuff. Thanks so much, Jeff, for your most entertaining review. Ooo-Ha!

  3. I found that I had extremely restless legs which prevented me from getting a good night sleetp. I wonder if anyone elss had the same effect on their legs

    1. I have the restless legs and arms going all night if I take anything like regular NyQuil or cold meds with sleep aid in it, horrible stuff!

      Again on nights I run out of my Ambien, I just stick to the 3 of the Dollar General Brand as it works great!!

    2. I had the same restless legs & also my arms. I couldn’t lay in bed it got so bad I had to go to my living room.

  4. Sigh!!! Here I sit, two hours after taking the zzzQuil gel caplets. I don’t feel the least bit tired. As a woman in her late 40’s, I have sleep issues anyway. I usually take the Dollar General sleep aid. Works great. Great for me though is 3-4 hours. The rest is being hot and cold….having a love hate relationship with my blanket. But today I just wasnt in the mood to drive a 1/4 of a mile further past Walmart to DG to get my usual sleep aid. So I thought surely this new product would work. How could it not, it’s about 3 or 4 dollars more than my 2.50 DG sleep aid. Another SIGH!! I have watched every episode of Lock Up, Women Behind Bars and most everything on the ID Channel. (former peace officer). So, tomorrow it is back to the DG for the good stuff! Wishing you all a sleep filled night. Whatever that is!! 🙂

    ps…if you wanna try the DG brand and don’t follow directions…I take 3, not 2 as it states. Also, take it at least an hour before bed. It’s slow but it will work.

  5. Hey can you say Very false advertising ? We just came home from Walmart. The wife wanted to buy it and just as soon as we walked up to it the label screams dipenhydramine right on the front. I am a nurse and instantly knew that’s just expensive Benedryl in sleepy sheeps clothing.

    So… I just saw that great TV commercial again just now. Hey… What do you know, in that commercial if you pay attention that label is edited. That line of text saying dipenhydramine right there on the pkg is removed! Guess you wouldn’t want to give it away in the advertising. Looked it up online and yep photos of product online clearly have that line of text on the label.

    I doubt that is just an honest mistake in editing there !

    Benedryl is a great sleeper, but slide on down the cold / allergy medication section and it is cheaper and don’t taste near as bad. Easier to swallow in more than one way !

    Keep ’em honest, this is the American way.

  6. Ok, I just have to say… Dipenhydramine, is an antihistamine that is also used as a sleep aid. It is not Benadryl, it is IN Benadryl. Benadryl also has more products in it than ONLY Dipenhydramine. You people need to do real research that yields proper results…Not something that you read on Yahoo answers. Each dosage calls for only 50mg of Dipenhydramine because that is what the United States considers safe, but the country Australia, Feels that 100mg is safe. With the US regulations, making 50mg of this drug suitable, sometimes all of us wont get the proper dosage. If your like 200lbs, I suggest you take 100mg. It IS considered safe in Australia….. If you are a heavy type person or a man….You may need a higher dose. No Benadryl and zzzquil are NOT the same thing! They have the same “MAIN INGREDIENTS” but the are NOT identical products.. Zzzquil has a 10% alcohol content, whereas Benadryl not longer contains alcohol as it has not for many many years now!

    Steve M…. If your a Nurse, then you need better training, from maybe..lets see…A pharmacist? Geez….

    I seriously consider looking up this information for yourselves on an actual site like maybe… Better yet, Ill friggen link ya.

    Well heres a decent Wiki about this. It doesn’t tell everything, such as dosing and such, but it explains that the drug is a main ingredient and Only USED in certain OTC products..Again the drug itself is NOT a medication alone in Cough syrup, benadryl or zzzquil.. Thank ya a g’day

    1. The only active ingredient in Benadryl and ZzzQuil is Diphenhydramine, which frankly is responsible for the sedative properties of ZzzQuil. The 10% alcohol is inconsequential, and if it makes anyone feel better that that is helping them sleep, take a half a shot of vodka with generic Diphenhydramine.

      ZzzQuil is just a marketing gimmick by Vicks for people who have no idea what drugs they’re really putting in their bodies. Repackaged Benadryl with a markup, that’s all it is.

  7. So lets get this right you purchase a sleep. Take the sleep aid. And then you do numerous activities to not fall asleep???

  8. Wow, thanks a lot for the review. I’ve been watching these new (here in the Bay Area, CA) Zzzquil commercials all week in utter awe. I was really hopefull that it might work. Did you try upping the dose? It’s also nice to know I’m not the only one who has used NyQuil as a sleep aid here and there. NyQuil is a godscend some nights, period. I was really hoping this ZzzQuil would work on those nights you just cannot sleep, leaving the NyQuil for colds. Bummer…

  9. I don’t know what your issue might be wifh diphenhidramine, but I took it les than sm hour ago and sm having trouble writing this post.

  10. Meth heads didn’t ruin effective drugs. Government ruined your access to those drugs. Who cares what meth heads do? There’s no reason to restrict access.

  11. I buyed yesterday and my first dosis was TOO BAD ! I couldn’t sleep. I had the same restless legs & also my arms that others said to have. SIDE EFFECTS ??, I have a strong and constant pain in my left arm al night long I thought i will have a heart attack !… AMazing how the goverment allow those companies to sell medicines or stuff like that to the general public !!

  12. What a well written and thorough review! Thank you Jeff. After reading your story and the many comments, I’ll be sticking with Jim Beam Black double aged bourbon. It keeps me up all night, gives me restless arms and legs (check out my wife’s black eye pic @ and helps me purge my potato sandwich with ease. Dollar for dollar, Beam is the clear winner for this insomniac.

  13. I know this has nothing to do with anything, but just for the record, NyQuil isn’t what’s used in meth production, that’s pseudoephedrin (Sudafed). NyQuil is controlled and mostly only sold to people over 18 because it has dextromethorphan, which is a dissociative that people will use recreationally.

  14. For those of you using NyQuil as an every-night sleep aid, you should reconsider. The amount of acetaminophen contained within it will wreck your liver. Especially if you drink alcohol in addition to it. By the way, I tried ZzzQuil for two nights so far and still suffered from sleeplessness.

  15. I don’t know what everyone’s issue is with it. I work nights, 12am to 8:30am and have trouble falling asleep when I get home. I’m 6′-0″ tall and 215lbs for reference to body size and dosing. I took it and watched TV the first time just to see if it worked. An within an hour I was nodding off. Now I just take it, take a shower, go to bed and I’m out until my wife gets home at 6pmg

  16. I find this review silly. You didn’t follow the directions (alcohol) and then complained that it didn’t work. You also did a lot of stimulating activities and were upset when you weren’t sleepy during them. Maybe the medicine is meant to only knock you out when you’re just chilling in bed?

  17. I tried it for the first time last night. I never got the drunken sleepy feeling that I get from taking 1/2 of an Advil PM BUT, it did give me a very sound sleep. I woke up with the same satisfying relaxed muscle feeling that I get from Advil PM. My mom is 65 and, has the sleeplessness issue that can come with age. It had the same effect on her. It never actually made her drowsy (she lay there watching TV too) but, once she laid down to go to sleep, she was out for the night and, did not wake up until 9 or 10 am (she’s normally up by 4 am, wishing that she had the ability to sleep longer).
    So, like another poster noted, I think the classification “sleep aid” is meant to be literal. It helps you to quickly fall and stay asleep when you lay down with the intention of going to sleep instead of, making you pass out while you’re in the middle of doing something else.

    Also, as far as the morning after goes, I was able to wake up and function but, I am still feeling a sedative-like feeling.

    1. Total waste of money. The Nyquil will make me sleep but that Zzzquil was USELESS! I called the company and complained and the woman with whom I spoke promised to send some kind of kit that would allow me to get a full refund less taxes. This was three weeks ago, she promised it would be out in two weeks. I have yet to get this so-called kit for applying for a refund. I was awake all night long after taking this medication. Let me explain that I have insomnia so it’s not strange for me to be awake all night, but sure didn’t expect to be up all night after taking a product that claimed to help with my sleep problems.

  18. OMG and I thought I would never type that…but the zzzquil made me do it. After 4 hours of sleep and nightmares and grogginess, I am here to say, don’t buy it. Count sheep, watch the real housewives, read about mitt Romney and you will probably fall asleep. faster,although I can’t guarantee you won’t have nightmares. Don’t waste your money.

  19. ZzzQuil is just diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl, Unisom, or the PM in Advil PM & Tylenol PM). This is not a new product. It is just a way to get people to purchase a name brand medication that has been generic for years. Save your money (and your taste buds) and take two OTC allergy pills (the pink ones), same medicine, no high fructose corn syrup, no bad taste, dirt cheap.

    1. Be careful with the Benedryl if you have hypertension as do I. It will cause your heart to race and may also elevate your blood pressure.

      1. Benedryl is just diphenhydramine, so if it does that, it’s not the only one. Don’t just single out one product.

  20. You guys, I had a problem on the opposite end of the spectrum. Zzzquil also comes in liquid capsule form, I took them the other night and slept 20 HOURS with only brief periods where I woke up for maybe 10 minutes. Nightmares all night. It really suprised me because im usually very tolerant to medicine, and I guess I was lucky it was the weekend.

  21. I found that this doesn’t necessarily put me to sleep any faster but it keeps me asleep for WAYYY longer. Like scary longer. I slept til 3pm today. And took it at 1am. Granted, I had woken up one or two times at 10:45am and noon but I still felt tired. And when I woke up at 3, it was more like, okay you must get up or you will sleep the whole day. I felt good though. It wasn’t that feeling you get when you oversleep and you sorta hate yourself. It was content, relaxed. Weird.

  22. Zzzquil liquicaps have made me dizzy. I took only the recommended dosage of 2 caps. This morning I am drowsy, Nauseous, and the room spins when i try to move about. Will never take this product again. rather be sleepy. ugh.

  23. Tried it several times and never worked for me. still laying wide awake till 4 a.m and up at 8:30. bah humbug

  24. I like the stuff. It doesn’t knock me out, but it helps me sleep the whole night without waking up 3 or 4 times a night.

  25. I tried this for the first time about two weeks ago and found that it does take a long time to actually kick in, at least an hour, considering the fact that it is a liquid. All in all I found myself hardly keeping awake in the middle of a movie around 1030pm at which time I am usually wide awake. I have weird dreams as it is so it never came to mind that it could be the zzzquil until reading this article. I sleep like a baby but do find it difficult to wake up on time. I can drink alcohol like a fish and be up till the sun rises so I don’t know why it hits me so hard but it does, no complaints on this end other than the price, a fifth of Southern Comfort is so much better…!

  26. I bought this product several days ago and have taken it for three nights in a row. I have a hard time falling asleep at night, no matter how early I wake up. I can’t fall asleep until 1:00 or 2:00 am. I’ve taken it at 10:00 most nights and took it at 9:30 last night. It does not make me feel all drowsy and sleepy, which is good, because I didn’t want something that made me feel that way. I have fallen asleep at 11:30 a couple nights and at midnight another night, which is fine with me. I’m up at 7:00 every morning and that’s a good night’s sleep for me.

    I did notice that I sleep better. I sleep solid until the alarm clock goes off and I wake up feeling well rested. I don’t feel groggy, etc., at all. I sure don’t think this is a miracle sleep aid, but it helps me. I don’t want to take it every night, but hope that maybe I can get on a better sleep pattern.

  27. Bought the caplets. The blister was humanly impossible to open. No doubt the manufacturer was deeply concerned about child safety. Don’t worry. it’s practically adult proof too.

    The first night I didn’t fall asleep any faster than I would have anyway. I slept through the entire night and woke up later than usual. I was sluggish and weak. It took another 30 minutes of just laying awake to clear my head.

    on the second night I fell asleep rather quickly. The problem was I also had several nightmares. And again I woke up week disoriented and it took about 30 minutes to find the strength to get out of bed.

    there won’t be a third night. This product just is not worth the side affects it causes. Oh well another 7 dollars down the drain.

  28. Took the 2oz. dose at 10pm last night, turned out the light. It is now 9am and I have not slept or even yawned. I read the ingredients and with the exception of the addition of 10% alcohol it is the same as the capsules I buy at the Dollar Store and get 40 day supply.
    After reading these reviews I think Vicks may have a quality/dose problem with this product. Some people are sleeping for hours and others do not become drowsy. Knowing there is a vast difference in people’s sleep patterns I am still convinced there are much better products on the market with less side effects and much more effective results.

  29. I have never slept well and have tried everything including prescription sleep aids. Nothing ever worked well without many side effects until I tried ZzzQuill soon after it came out. With other items I’d go to sleep but wake up several hours later bouncing off the walls. I only take 1/2 cup of ZzzQuil upon going to bed and soon fall to sleep, rarely do I now wake until morning and when I finally wake up I am grooy for awhile, but the good sleep was worth it. Before I would lay for long time before going to bed, and wake three or four times on a good nights sleep. ZzzQuil has been wonderful and I’m on my third bottle.

  30. The one thing I noticed you never described doing on any one of these nights was, you know, actually going to bed. Zzzquil is just diphenhydramine. The same stuff in Sominex. The same antihistamine ingredient in a lot of cold medicines. The same stuff Tylenol PM pairs up with acetaminophen in their nighttime product and all other sleep aids. The key word there being “aid”. Diphenhydramine works differently on everyone, but the one thing it’s not really supposed to do is compell you to go to bed. You’re supposed to go to bed, and then the diphenhydramine will help you get a good night’s rest. Really, if you’re good at fighting sleep, or just a night owl, it’s not really going to be that hard to fight off diphenhydramine. If anything, you should still be able to wake yourself in the middle of the night, if need be, in case of an emergency or just to go to the bathroom. But you need to settle down first. You have to make half the effort, as this stuff isn’t supposed to work like a sleeping pill. It’s just there to make sleeping a little more restful.

  31. The product put me to sleep the first night but caused me to wake up several times. I decided to try it another night and had the same results. I would fall asleep fairly quickly but would wake up several times which I am sure is what caused me to sleep until 2 in the afternoon. I woke up very sleepy as if I hadn’t slept 12 hours.

  32. I have been taking ZZZquil for several weeks, so I think that I have had enough experience with it to comment. For me, it works like a charm. After taking a dose of ZZZquil, I am asleep in just a few minutes (5 or less) after my head hits the pillow. I sleep though the night and I have no grogginess in the morning. I am puzzled by other commenters who complain that they don’t fall asleep while they stay up and watch TV. Duhhh. My advice is for them to turn off the TV after taking ZZZquil and let themselves fall asleep.

  33. I had to try zzquil. I love it. It makes me sleepy. Yea! Sleep all night. I only take it on nights I work late or not at all. I can sleep 10 hours and it makes me happy.

  34. It sounds like this guy is adicted. How many times do you need to take this stuff, if it doesn’t work? Just saying…

      1. This has got to be the funniest thing I’ve read all day. (Esp the comment). Thanks for the laugh Jeff!

  35. I was using 1/2 Ativan to get me through the night until I read that it cuases a number of ailments from memory loss to falling. I then tried Benadryl combined with Tylanol Night which did not work. I then tried a bottle of zzzQuil and it fared no better. Finally someone suggested I try Gravol which was not much help in falling asleep but allowed me to get up a couple of hours past my usual 5a.m.

  36. I paid quite a bit for ZzzQuil as I sometimes take Nyquil to aid sleep. I was disappointed to see that it has the exact same active ingredient as Benadryl at a much lower price and felt I was ripped off. No more Vicks for me!

  37. Zzzquil is just diphenhydramine. It’s an antihistamine, and is often called Benadryl. If you want the same identical effects, buy a bottle of Benadryl (for allergy relief), it’s the same exact stuff (check the ingredients yourself or ask your pharmacist if you don’t believe me) and when branded as an allergy aid is WAY cheaper than when branded as a sleep aid. You can pick up a bottle of 150 tabs of 25mg Benadryl for like 5-10 bucks. Don’t be fooled by name brands or “sleep aid brands”. All OTC sleep aids are antihistamines. Diphenhydramine is generally the weaker one, whereas the active sleep ingedient in Nyquil is called Doxylamine Succinate and is much stronger. This is why Nyquil works better. You can buy generic Doxylamine as an OTC sleep aid if you want. RiteAid and others make their own generic versions, it works great. Bottom line, Zzzquil is just a way to make money on a chemically illiterate public. Don’t be fooled.

  38. YOU ARE HILARIOUS. i bought zzzquil and wanted to get some opinions on whether it worked or not – came across your post and good lord i couldnt stop laughing. took it an hour and a half ago, NOTHING. gonna double the dose. i’m used to ambien so this prob won’t work but thanks for the laugh!!

  39. The product in this stuff can be found at Wal-Mart for four dollars for 100 doses. It’s diphenhydramine, and it’s the same medication and dosage that you can find in Benadryl. It saves you money to read the active ingredients and research before you buy.

  40. No you fools. Your not supposed to take the liquid version of this. You need to take the pills but not the recommended dose. Instead you need to take 6 of the pills (3 times the normal amount) and wait about 40 or so mins. You will eventually start seeing things that will freak you out if your not used to robotripping. The thing is if you take it every day you will eventually need more and more of this product to even feel the effects. (I know this because I use this when I run out of bud) Anyways the pills are way better and you need to take more than the recommended amount. Good luck to all you druggies out there 😀

  41. I took this product 3 hours ago and I am writing this review and not sleeping. What does that tell you?

  42. “Do not drink alcohol while taking ZzzQuil, this may increase drowsiness and become dangerous to your health.”

    Ingredients include: 10% alcohol


    More like “Do not drink alcohol while taking ZzzQuil, we have already spiked it for you.”

  43. Damn this stuff is horrible. I usually smoke myself to sleep bt cant cause of a drug test, so i got this.. this was the worst 8$ i spent. Im up and mad! I took the medicine around 830-9pmand took aboutdouble the recommened dose and it doesnt work. If you want to jus keep getting “hot flashes” all night and sweat thats what this is.. its 135am and i was just about to go cruising or something till i found this. Like everyone saying above its just a 9$ thick juice… itll only make u feel worse than not being able to sleep regularly.

  44. It sucks!!! Nyquil-D works better, so I use that whenever I’m out of Sero. Everyone knows that Seroquel is the best sleep med. Btw, the author, why is he married? Wouldn’t it be koolif he was with a dude instead? 😛 So, yeah, ZzzQuil sucks!

  45. Spilled on new white comforters while opening sealed bottle attempting to try for the first time….Off that bat, I don’t like it.

  46. I have found this stuff to be very useful. I take it, then go to bed within an hour. I sleep all night, or if I need to get up to use the bathroom, I go right back to sleep. Without it, I don’t sleep at all.

  47. first time buying Zzquill, it made me tired with an hour fell asleep then only woke up once to use the bathroom and went back to sleep within 15 minutes I got my full hours of sleep I think it all depends on the person, first time users just buy the capsules of 12 pills. I’ll keep on taking them they really make me sleep good now days it’s really hard for me to sleep I have a lot of nerve damage in my left arm it’s hard to sleep without any sleep aids, I get a lot of pain in my hand at my mind focuses on.
    black people don’t like this part I think it’s because they are not ready for bed not in bed so the medicine can kick in when you take them you just gotta be ready for bed be warm stay warm be comfortable let your mind relax I do recommend for people to take these just give it a try if it helps them at all. I bought mine at Walmart close to 5 dollars for 12 pills I gave it a try I like it so far

    1. myself typer on my tablet I think it hates black people lol no but really sorry I was trying to mean I don’t think people like these cause arent ready for bed or they’re body doesn’t like it

  48. I completely agree! Im in college and rarely get a good nights sleep. I have tried this MULTIPLE times as well and felt no different whatsoever.

  49. I started taking the pill version of this since i can’t stand the flavor of the syrup. I think it works TOO well. I take it at 10 PM, fall asleep around 10:30 PM and I’m still drowsy at 10 AM the next day. I think i’m going to start only taking 1 pill. But if I don’t take it I’m up till 2 AM reading. -___-

    1. @Axia – Look up sleep studies and the time associated with how long you sleep. If you sleep 12hrs, you will always wake up still groggy/sleepy. There’s times that you reach REM sleep, come out of it and then return to it. It’s something like, on even hours, you are in REM sleep. For instance, if you sleep 7 hours, you should wake up rested, once you reach 8 hours, it’s harder to wake since you are back in deep REM sleep. ZzzQuill just gives people a better regulated sleep feeling. So, you will stay asleep and not wake up all night long. It’s just Diphenhydramine (Benadryl and/or Sominex) Same ingredient.

    2. All you are really taking is Benadryl. You can get a store brand of Benadryl in liquid or tablets for far less than this product. Word of caution…do not take this or Benadryl if you have restless leg syndrome.

      1. Very well stated. I felt like I was having an anxiety attack and where I would usually shake my ankles, instead felt like they were seizing up causing even less sleep..

  50. Look at the active ingredients and compare to allergy medicine…. You will save LOTS of money doing a little bit of research!

    1. Yep. It’s just really expensive diphenhydramine. I get it a Dollar Tree for, you guessed it, a dollar. Sold as both allergy pills & sleep aid.

  51. I haven’t taken the liquid form, but I’ve started to try out the Zzzquil capsules. I’m an anxious person and suffer from depression so I find that taking things like Nyquil (or other medicines that help make you sleep) help me out a lot at bed time. So far, it hasn’t done anything for me (but maybe that’s because I have a high tolerance from trying out so many things). Once I’m done with this box, I’m switching back to Advil PM. That stuff works really well! Under less than a half hour, I’m drowsy and ready to crash. No grogginess in the morning, and I can wake up to alarms when on it.

    A note on Advil PM: the capsules are packaged individually, but a dose for an adult is actually TWO capsules. Once I figured that out, it was extremely effective. Hope this helps!!

  52. Well, I am trying this. I got the “warm berry” liquid flavor bottle. However, if you call taking it at 8:45pm and not falling asleep until after 12:30am, and waking up at 5:30am working, then yes, it does work. While the berry flavor does taste good, I won’t be getting another bottle.

  53. I’m one of those people it works too well for. The nights I’ve taken it, I’ve slept for 10+ hours and still woken up groggy.

  54. Definitely works for me too well, like in other posts. I just take a mini swig. Took normal dose Sun and mon nights and slept through both nights with crazy dreams. Got full 8 hrs. I fell asleep fast, but woke up a little sleepy, still, but felt good from sleep. Tried to skip tuesday night and slept terrible. Anxiety dreams and waking up constantly like usual. Took a small swig and finally got some rest. Took a small swig just now, and I’ll see how I feel in the morning.

  55. Save your money. ZzzQuil is just really expensive diphenhydramine. It’s the exact same stuff as regular Benedryl, which is sold in generic form as both allergy pills & sleep aid. The allergy pills are red, the sleep aid pills are blue. But it the EXACT same stuff. All you’re doing when you buy ZzzQuil is paying for a name.

  56. It works well with my hot flashes. I am not sure if I am sleeping through the flashes or if I am not having them. I like this stuff!

  57. diphenhydramine is the active ingredient. dimenhydrinate is the active in Gravol.
    Gravol works very well,and not day after grogginess. MUCH CHEAPER.

  58. Wal-Mart Equate house brand has 2 packs of 32 count 50mg diphenhydramine liquid caps for $3.96… 1 pill a dose. Works like a charm.

  59. The bottle says sleep aid and yes it does aid. I was not having trouble falling asleep, i was having trouble staying asleep. I am only on day 5 of using this product, but it does work well for me.

  60. My problem is staying asleep. Took Walgreen’s version of this and did not wake up once until dawn. No hangover at all. It didn’t make me get that sleepy feeling that other products do, but once asleep I did not wake up so that is great for me. Once I wake up in the night, I am awake for the rest of the night.

  61. If this does work for you, just get diphenhydramine caps and use those. It’s much cheaper. You should be aware of what the active ingredients are in all OTC meds you use. I cold / allergy meds, there are often ingredients that you don’t want or need. You’re better off to dose them individually. If you’re not sure, ask the pharmacist.

  62. I tried ZzzQuil several times and it DOES NOT WORK. I’m going back to generic Benadryl or generic NyQuil. Whatever they did to it, it does not work as the dosage of the med implies.

  63. I am a merchandiser for Proctor & Gamble, the company which distributes all ‘NyQuil’ products. ZzzQuil was their #1 priority product for last year. It ended up being one of the most frequently stolen as well!! The purple color was no accident. Definitely capitolizing on the infamous ‘Purple Drank’/’Syrup’/’Lean’/’Sizzz-urp’, etc, etc (Prescription Codeine/Promethazine cough syrup)… I can just see broke teenagers mixing this stuff with Sprite after school.

    The main ingredient IS generic Benydrl in the same dosage. You’re better off smoking a joint and having another neat scotch. Or making friends with a doctor to get real ‘Lean’.

    1. Seriously? Your name is really Ian Fleming? Or are you just pulling my leg.
      Do you take your Nyquil shaken, not stirred? Sorry, I’m a big James Bond fan and couldn’t resist.

  64. I found this article to be informative and entertaining. I myself have odd work hours with on and off days so I am trying Zzzquil pill version currently and will see how it works. Thanks of the awesome review getting sleepy.

  65. For some reason the pills work for me within an hour, but the liquid form was not effective. I had to google how long it takes for the zzzquil liquid to work, which led me to this review. Oh well. Guess I’ll go work out to tire myself into some au naturale zzzs.

  66. Just to let you know Zzzquil IS NOT the same as NyQuil. They have two different active ingredients. ZZzquil is made with diphenhydramine (otherwise known as Benedryl).

    NyQuil uses Doxylamine succinate. Any “sleep aid” should be checked. Even Unisom who used to use Doxylamine completely is starting to use diphenhydramine in some formulations (I’m guessing its cheaper, however, it doesn’t work nearly as well).

    If you want the NyQuil without the cold medicine try Unisom Sleeptabs. (Has to be TABS. Not melts, sleep gels, sleep caps, etc. TABS). NyQuil has 12.5 Doxylamine in a dose but the unisom has 25 mg in a single pill. I cut it in half and it works like a charm.

    Hope this helps explains things a bit and remember check the back and look at the active ingredient. Don’t get suckered into paying for overpriced Benedryl .

  67. It’s not the meth addicts. That was a very stupid statement. However you can teenagers for that problem. It’s the kids that were abusing it. If a meth user was to use this is would probably be to sleep off the comedown or withdraw effects.

    Anyways I have tried this product and love it 🙂

  68. For me, ZzzQuil doesn’t work well as a sleeping medication, but more as just a relaxing medication. When I took the pills, the didn’t make me fall asleep, but they did make me chill out. If you want to fall asleep quick, use something else, but if you just want to relax and watch a movie or something, this is a good choice.

    1. In large numbers of people most drugs will have a common effect. However, some it will act outside normal.. ZzzQuil works perfect on me.. I am out in 10 minutes and wake up feeling great.. amazing for me.. I use to use Nyquil once in a while when I couldn’t sleep.. it also knocked me out but I woke up feeling hung over.. This zzzquil works perfect.

  69. i actually agree it is not very effective. standard nyquil is better effective but you shouldn’t be taking it regularly as it has other ingredients which your body does not need.

    I think there is a strong need in the market for an effective OTC sleep aid.

  70. Not very effective at all. Big thumbs down. Waste of money even with a coupon. generic Wal-Mart or Grocery Store Benadryl does more. And I was hoping that this would be better since Benadryl was losing it’s touch lately. I am taking Ambien now as I cannot sleep due to high dose Prednisone and Humira use.

    Also, take note this does contain alcohol and high fructose corn syrup. I didn’t realize til I took it and was looking at the label. I figured incorrectly that since it wasn’t cold medicine it wouldn’t have that i it. I should have looked before I bought it. Ooops. I am borderline diabetic and stuff like this shoots my sugars up a little especially while taking steroids. So something good for others with sugar issues to look at before using.

  71. It has diphenhydramine HCl has the active ingredient.. the SAME ingredient as Benadryl. So it is the same exact stuff, marked up for dummies.

  72. I tried it last night, It didn’t work much. It still take quite a long time for me to fall asleep, more than an hour,..and i still wake up in the middle of the night.
    Again, in the morning, I feel restless,,not fresh at all. I’ll try again, but if it fails for the second, it really doesn’t work.

  73. I tried it last night… it relaxed me a lot until I fall a sleep. The problem is that it is 11 am now and I feel so tired, I can’t get up. I am going to try again tonight, I hope it works. I do HATE the fact it has artificial color, HCL, sugar and alcohol, I am going to be looking for a more natural formula out there.

  74. Lots of variation in reaction to ZzzzQuil. I will NEVER touch it again as I had the worst nightmare of my entire life the 1 time I took it as directed. I haven’t had a nightmare since I was a lot younger….A girl I know said her boyfriend also had a terrible nightmare and will never touch again.
    Husband likes it as he works nights and says it keeps him asleep all day. I hate just seeing it in the medicine cabinet as it reminds me of the horrible nightmare.
    Ever tried a potato chip on soft white bread sandwich???? Yummmmy, but oh so bad for ya.

  75. It worked for me. Although let me say first that I am pretty sensitive to medication. About an hour after I took it I began to feel groggy. It was hard to force myself to stay awake at that point. I have taken it about four times now, each with the same successful result. This medicine is perfect for those nights when you can’t wind down to sleep. Also, I think size/weight should be taken into account. I am a small female, so if you are a larger male I’d recommend 1 1/2 – 2 doses. That’s how much it took for my larger and taller boyfriend to feel the effects.

    1. I think you’re just lucky Kate. I’m a small female (4’11”) and 2 full doses in, I don’t feel a thing. This is pretty much a WASTE of money for me.

      1. That sucks, I’m sorry. 🙁 I will say that I agree with one of the posters above me, it’s more of a muscle relaxant than a sleep aid. I am generally pretty tired when I take it, and I usually can’t force myself to sleep since I get so distracted, but this seals the deal for me each time. Hope you all can find something that works for you, too!

  76. Took this 2 hrs ago and i am still wide awake. Insomnia sucks. I am so exhausted in my body but not sleepy. Dissapointed.

  77. I took it months ago and it worked off and on. I have to agree it gave me crazy nightmares. But I get them anyway, the difference was I couldn’t wake up from them. Like stuck in a dream about having too much gum in my mouth. Then I spend all night choking and pulling gobs out to no success.
    I’m on it now and can feel it kicking in as I type…
    Anyone out there like me who can’t sleep or has bad dreams, Sorry, I feel you. I’m always jealous of my wife who just goes right to bed. So jealous. What must that be like? How do you get all the questions and voices to stop playing out things that happened or you want to happen for hours?? I’ll never know…

    1. I strongly urge people to make the right decision to ask their doctors for Seroquel. Its commonly used for those having a hard time to sleep and/or having insomia. Low dose of two 50mg a night does the trick. Its very sedative. I’ve been on it past a year now. It takes about an hour to kick in. I also started on Xanax recently and now take 2mg bar with the Seroquel to boost the time to sleep quicker and definitely sleep much better. Talk to your doctors about those options. Experienced user here. Started on Seroquel then added Xanax to work together. Do not buy the OTC sleep meds, cuz they are solely gimmicks.

  78. I absolutely love this Zzzquil stuff, I have been trying to stop all alcohol consumption for several months now, but, when I needed to unwind and get some rest I would resort to multiple beers to overcome my hypertension.
    With Zzzquil, I can sleep for 7-8 hours, wake up ready to go back to work feeling fresh and replenished.
    A good diet and proper rest with the aid Zzzquil, I’m back in balance.
    Thank You Vicks for a great product…..!

  79. Taking an ambien after drinking a couple beers always did the trick for me… maybe take a klonopin if I really need the sleep. This stuff doesn’t do much

  80. ZzzQuil knocks me out in 10 minutes.. amazing stuff.. and I wake up feeling great.. love this stuff.

  81. I have been taking ZzzQuil over the last 2-3 Months and foumd that it will assistance me in relaxing and eventually falling aspeep. However, I will soon look for the generic alternative because ZzzQuil is quite expensive.

  82. That was a funny blog. Thanks for making me laugh. I have tried
    it before and I agree that it doesn’t work.

    Are you a writer? If not, write a book. Many would buy. 🙂

  83. I used zzzquil last night and it worked perfect. I usually cannot sleep and stay up til about 4 am. I am starting a new job so I knew I had to get in the habit of going to bed early so I took it around 11:00 pm took a shower got in bed put my tv on a timer started feeling relaxed closed my eyes and I went to sleep. I woke up at 7:30 this morning and felt great.

  84. Zzzquil sucks and does not work! took 2 Doses since 3Pm, and it is now 2am. no sleep, and im not an insomniac. nyquil knocks me out, zzzquil is a horrible excuse for nyquil lovers, & cost more!

  85. zzzquil actually does the opposite for me.
    If i take zzzquil and try to go to bed immediately, its nearly impossible for me to fall asleep and i toss and turn for hours. honestly, zzzquil really doesn’t work for me. I think its because of the lower dosage of diphenhydramine HCl and the rate of metabolization or something…

  86. It didn’t work for me at all.
    I took 3 hrs ago and I am still awake typing this.

    (I have jet lag)

  87. Zzzquil is just liquid Benadryl….. You’re paying way too much for marketing! You can get the same exact thing for $2.00 (probably less).

    1. I agree – it’s a rare person that doesn’t get drowsy taking diphenhydramine. Unless the dose is really low.

    2. True. That’s what most over the counter sleep aids are. It’s better to buy generic dyphedhydramine.

  88. Just buy some melatonin. It’s all natural and your brain produces the chemical when it’s sleepy time. Trust me. Best sleep you’ll ever get.

    1. Melatonin? No, thanks. Just 2 of 50mg Seroquel plus 2mg Xanax is the perfect solution. Both are used to treat insomnia from mild to severe. At first, Seroquel will work, but after a while..say a may be less effective unless depending on diet, etc. Seroquel helps to stay asleep while Xanax boost the initial “sleepy” process.

  89. I think you should try it again without drinking alcohol… also, while taking it, try to go to bed (not watching tv, that’s what keeps you awake). I take ZzzQuil liquicaps and they work on me. Most of the times I have trouble while trying to sleep, but when I take two of them, they make me sleep. Of course I stay in bed the whole time I’m waiting for them to work, I turn off my phone, my laptop and don’t have a tv in the room, so I don’t get distracted. It may not sound convincing, but believe me, I can spend hours trying to fall asleep.

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter the way you get a little sleeping aid, hope you can have a proper sleep.

  90. It just simply does not work. We bought the pill form, even took a more than recommended dose and….NOTHING. Waste of $

    1. Sad and great news. A family member died during the first night of using this product. It was extemely extensive and long wait, etc. Finally, to avoid the initiated lawsuit, the company settled for $1.3m. I will be receiving a chunk of percentage while its split among select family members, friends, charities, etc. $275,000 will not bring the person back but it eases the pain and give “closure” people refer to. Buy at your own risk!

      1. That is sad and shocking to hear!
        Did the family memmber have a pre-existing condition? or were they on a lot of other medications?

        It could be a coincidence maybe??
        I know for sure I will not be buying this product.

        If I can not sleep, some alcohol works quite well- esp strong stuff (one shot makes me sleepy+ having to take allergy med at night).

  91. Nyquil was the only over the counter medication that helped me to sleep when I had a bad cold. I tried the new zzzquil to sleep and it didn’t work and it’s too expensive!

  92. I used zzzzzquil for over a week. I did not get a full night sleep, I woke up at 3am and unable,e to go back to sleep.
    It raised my blood pressure which in turn give me excruciating headaches. I would NOT be purchasing it anymore.

  93. I used zzzzzquil for over a week. I di not get a full night sleep, I woke up at 3am and unable,e to go back to sleep.
    It raised my blood pressure which in turn give me excruciating headaches. I would NOT be purchasing it anymore.

  94. i take two or three shofs of the stuff, lay in bed for about four hours, i feel like the stuff is meant to keep you awake honestly.

  95. I don’t know. It worked well enough for me. It could be because I weigh so little, but it knocked me out within 45 minutes. (I took slightly more than recommended dosage.) I then, woke up feeling very sluggish and it persisted throughout the day. Later that night, I got an immense headache and felt sleepy very early in the evening. I fell asleep, mostly to try and subdue the throbbing head pain (which was primarily on the left side) and kept waking up due to the stinging sensation in my head. Not too soon after that, I started throwing up- much similar to migraine symptoms and practically cried myself back to sleep because I hurt so bad.

  96. I find it doesn’t work at all when you have had a lot to eat before taking it. I would reccomend taking it on an empty stomach


    1. And read the side effects on the Benadryl package – #1 is drowsiness. It’s also the primary ingredient in Dramamine. It helps with motion sickness, allergic reactions, and makes you sleepy. Part of it’s all about the time release profile of each.

    2. I wonder why allergy medicine have that stuff to put people to sleep?! People have allergy, not insomia. So fucked up!

  98. hahaha! Brilliant. Didn’t work on me either! What a load of crap it is. Enjoyed your humorous account of your experience though!

    1. oh and I felt groggy and crappy the next day! Needless to say this product made it’s way swiftly into my trash. I think having a red wine (or two) works far better than the Zzzquil!

  99. Nasty tasting stuff, do not know why nearly all otc liquids have that nasty berry flavor. why not try lemon/lime or mint or orange or apple?

  100. I forgot to mention,that I have found that celestial seasoning sleepy time tea with honey is a great bedtime relaxer and sleepaid.

  101. Ah, the good ole’ placebo effect, er, I mean marketing.

    Diphenhydramine has been on the market since the 40’s, first as an allergy medicine,then of course, they decided to market the drowsy side effect as if it were a different medicine, and voila, OTC sleep aid was born. Now, decades later, Vicks decides to slap a new name on it, market it as if it were some new miracle sleep aid, and charge 10 times as much for it. Sadly, people are falling for the scam. Because that’;s exactly what it is, a scam. I’ve actually encountered people who refuse to believe it’s an old drug. Sorry folks, but 25mg of diphenhydramine is the same whether you pay $1 for generic, $5 for Benadryl, $7 for Unisom or a ridiculous $12 for ZzzQuil.

  102. You realize this is liquid benadryl, yes? At my local walmart you can get two 100ct bottles of diphenhydramine HCL (active ingredient in benadryl) for about $6 and some change. Also I don’t think ZzzQuil is marketed to actually make you sleepy and what not. From my understanding it is used as a sleep aid, meaning that it will help you stay asleep longer and give you more of a sound sleep. You said you woke up not feeling groggy or anything, that’s because you slept the whole night. No tossing or turning. Just sleep. Sweet sleep. That is what ZzzQuil is marketed for. Buy some diphenhydramine, take 4-6 and tell me how you feel. Since all you want is to make yourself sleepy. I bet you’ll be knocked out within an hour. And no this is not harmful to your body. I do it 5-6 times a day. Diphenhydramine is the least harmful drug on the shelves from my experience and understanding.

  103. I’ve been stressed due to a move, waking up almost every night around 3am, and totally sleep deprived. Have taken 2 capsules on several nights and it definitely helped me. Although I still woke up a couple of time (always do) I was able to go right back to sleep.

  104. You are absolutely hilarious!!!! I accidentally grabbed
    the name brand, instead of the knock off (which has
    ONLY diphenhydramine)that’s all I wanted. Liquid Benadryl
    so I can sleep. Had sticker shock when the WalMart girl
    rang it up @ almost 8$!!! Thought”this must be great!”
    I don’t drink,so I don’t know if it was the”inactive”
    alcohol??? Or what!!! But I went on to sleep and woke up
    twice before 2:30 am, and then couldn’t get back to sleep.
    I wasn’t able to get to Church today. I’ll be paying attention from
    now on!!! For tonight, it’s back to the plain Equate Benadryl pills,
    that I have to take @7!!!!! for them to work at 10. Seriously
    you need to consider stand up:) thoroughly enjoyed your review!!!

  105. It doesn’t work, took it 2 nights and it took me 3-4 hours to fell asleep. Almost seems like to makes it harder to fall asleep

  106. It worked for me. My problem was staying asleep. I also woke up maybe once or twice throughout the night taking this last night, but feel right back to sleep unlike prior to taking it. I recommend it. I will however look in to buy straight up diphenhydramine HCL as many on here have suggested – since it’s suppose to be cheaper and has the same affect considering that’s what supposedly is in the zzQuil.

  107. I tried Zzzquil and it did nothing for me. However, Dayquil will put me to sleep like a baby. It has the nice warming effect in the tummy. Even Dollar General’s generic equivalent to Dayquil works like a charm.

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