Diphenhydramine as a Sleep Aid
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®, Sominex®, and many other brand names) is an antihistamine product that is available both by prescription and over the counter. Although most people use this medication as a treatment for allergies, some people use diphenhydramine as a sleep aid as well.
Like many antihistamines, diphenhydramine also works as a sedative. This action has made the medication useful as a sleep aid but also limits the usefulness of the medication for other uses (since drowsiness can be a bothersome side effect).
It is important to know that not all diphenhydramine products are approved and labeled for every use. For instance, Benadryl is not labeled appropriately for treating insomnia, while Sominex is not labeled appropriately for treating allergies, even though they both contain diphenhydramine.
(Click What Is Diphenhydramine Used For? for more information on using diphenhydramine as a sleep aid, to learn about other approved uses for this medication, and to find out if this product is approved for children.)