It’s a feeling familiar to most pregnant moms. Tossing and turning in the middle of the night, lying wide awake in bed hoping you’ll soon drift off to sleep. It’s broken sleep night after night, and it doesn’t get better. You’re constantly feeling tired in the day, and can barely function... You can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep!
After a bit of research on sleeping aids, you come across “Unisom”, a relatively common drug often prescribed to help people fall asleep. But now that you are carrying a baby, you want to be extra careful, and make sure Unisom is actually safe for pregnant moms to take.
While the FDA generally recognizes Unisom as safe for pregnant women, there have been other studies (by UCLA, University of Washington, and other institutions) suggesting that Unisom may lead to negative birth outcomes and cause unwanted side effects to the user.
Also, does Unisom really help you sleep better? Or does it simply “knock you out”? We’ll get to all these questions shortly. But first, we need to understand what is Unisom.
What is Unisom?
Unisom (Doxylamine) is actually an antihistamine. Antihistamines are drugs that are used to provide relief from common allergy symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes. These drugs are relatively safe to use for the general population, and can be purchased over the counter (OTC) at most drug stores without a prescription.
Eventually, researchers started to realize that antihistamines could cause other effects like drowsiness, and drugs like Unisom were marketed as a short term sleeping aid.
How does Unisom work?
Unisom is an antihistamine that blocks the production of certain chemicals (histamines and acetylcholine) within your body. Blocking these chemicals makes the user feel drowsy, and helps them fall asleep.
Now we get to the main question:
Is Unisom safe to take during pregnancy?
While the FDA recognizes Unisom as safe for treating temporary sleeplessness, many pregnant moms who use Unisom have reported some nasty side effects, including:
- Feeling groggy or “hungover” the next morning
- Anxiety, nervousness
- Dry mouth/ weird lingering taste in mouth
There have also been studies finding that antihistamines may result in premature births or low-birth-weight babies. One such study was published in 2013 by UCLA.
The study examined almost 600 pregnant women over six years and found that more than 50% of the women who experienced adverse effects during their pregnancy had taken over-the-counter antihistamines such as Unisom.
So, while the FDA claims that Unisom is generally safe to take during pregnancy, we just can’t tell for sure what the long term side effects are...
Does Unisom really help pregnant women sleep better?
Apart from the unknown side effects of Unisom, we also have to ask - “Does Unisom even help to improve sleep for pregnant moms?”
As mentioned above, Unisom blocks certain chemicals in your brain (histamines and acetylcholine). This causes drowsiness, making it easier for you to fall asleep. But while you’re “sleeping”, the lack of these chemicals makes it difficult for your body to get the deep, restorative sleep it needs.
So even though you’ve spent eight hours “sleeping”, most of that sleep is light sleep. Which explains why some moms who take Unisom still wake up the next morning feeling fatigued, like they haven’t slept!
Worse yet, drugs like Unisom quickly lose effect (usually within 2 weeks) as your body gets used to it. This means if you continue to take these drugs every night, you will eventually need a higher dose to sleep. Eventually, drugs like Unisom stop working even at very high doses.
Avoid the dangerous side effects of Unisom, and get better sleep with this safe alternative.
Our recommendation - avoid Unisom altogether
The main reason pregnant moms take sleeping drugs like Unisom is to get a good night’s sleep. But as we’ve discovered, Unisom won’t actually give you the high quality sleep you need!
Not to mention the nasty side effects like grogginess, dizziness, headaches, anxiety etc. and the potential risks of an adverse birth outcome as highlighted in the UCLA study.
Thankfully, there is an all-natural alternative to Unisom that is safe and effective in helping pregnant moms get a good night’s sleep!
Introducing 8 Sheep Organics “Sleepy” Body Lotion
The Organic Sleepy Body Lotion is an all natural body lotion specially formulated to help pregnant moms get a good night’s sleep!
It is handcrafted in small batches from natural ingredients that have been proven to help promote sleep, and ease other pregnancy pains like leg cramps, restless legs syndrome (RLS), lower back and hip pains.
Over 21,000 moms today use the “sleepy” body lotion to fall asleep naturally and wake up feeling refreshed the next morning!
If you struggle to fall asleep and want a safe, natural alternative to Unisom (with no side effects), this is a product you’ll definitely want to try!