You know when you have a bad cold and you are almost positively going to spend the next two or three days of your life in bed, snuggled up in blankets with only your computer, phone, and snacks for company? Possibly with a box of tissues on standby? That’s when you need Nyquil.

Nyquil is an over-the-counter medication designed to ease the symptoms of colds and flu. It’s also the perfect cocktail for completely losing your mind if you try it before going to bed. It doesn’t actually contain any alcohol (thank heavens), but drinking it feels like having a few shots of hard liquor. If you don’t believe us, read on to find out more about what makes this nighttime drink so unusual…

What is Nyquil?

Nyquil is an over-the-counter medication designed to ease the symptoms of colds and flu. It’s also the perfect cocktail for completely losing your mind if you try it before going to bed. Nyquil is a combination of antihistamines, decongestants, and other ingredients designed to make your symptoms less severe. It’s not designed to cure your illness, just to make you feel better while you have it.

Antihistamines are used to combat the itching, sneezing, and watery eyes associated with allergies. Decongestants are meant to ease the stuffy nose and other congestion that comes with colds. Other ingredients like paracetamol, vitamins, and magnesium are used to help relieve general aches and pains.

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How Does It Make You Feel?

Nyquil is really good at making you feel drowsy. So drowsy, in fact, that you’ll probably end up passing out without even meaning to. Drinking this before bed is likely to result in a very deep sleep that you’re not likely to wake up from. You’ll likely even pass out before you even hit the pillow.

Nyquil also has a reputation for making you feel “weird.” This is because most people who drink it describe feeling like their bodies are moving and their minds are still. This is thought to be because the ingredients in Nyquil disrupt your body’s natural state of movement and mental clarity.

Is it dangerous to drink Nyquil before going to bed?

Like we said, Nyquil is really good at making you feel drowsy. This means that if you take it before going to bed without any consideration, you’re not likely to wake up. This can be dangerous in itself, but it can also be dangerous if you decide to drive home while you’re still drowsy.

Nyquil is also notorious for making you feel a little “weird” in its after-effects. If you take it before going to bed and decide that you don’t like the way it makes you feel, it’s pretty hard to wake up enough to do anything about it.

What is in Nyquil?

If you’re curious about what’s in Nyquil, keep reading because we’ve got a list of the main ingredients and what they’re meant to do. Keep in mind that these quantities and the ingredients themselves may vary depending on the brand you’re using, though.

  • Doxylamine Succinate: This is an antihistamine that’s meant to tackle allergies, itching, and watery eyes.
  • Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide: This is a cough suppressant that’s meant to help with a tickly or sore throat.
  • Acetaminophen: This is an analgesic that’s used to help relieve headaches and general aches and pains.
  • Guaifenesin: This is a substance that’s meant to help with chest congestion.
  • Caffeine: This is a stimulant that’s meant to increase mental alertness, but also has a diuretic effect (makes you pee more often).
  • Magnesium: This is meant to help with muscle aches and pains.
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Tips for Using Nyquil Safely Before Bed


Always read and follow the directions on the back of the bottle. There are some people who should avoid taking Nyquil altogether, including people who have glaucoma, a gastrointestinal problem, cardiovascular disease, or an enlarged prostate.

If you’re unsure about whether or not you can take Nyquil, it’s best to consult your doctor before taking it before bed. If you’re taking other medications, be sure to speak to your doctor before adding Nyquil to your routine. If you’re taking medications that are used to treat insomnia, like benzodiazepines, it’s not recommended that you take Nyquil.

Final Words

If you’re sick, Nyquil is a great choice to help you feel more comfortable and get more out of your day when you need it. But if you’re not sick and you just want to try the effects that drinking a cup of Nyquil has to offer, don’t. It’s fun to try new things from time to time, but you never know when you’ll meet a new friend you don’t like or if you’re going to regret your decision in the morning when you finally get to wake up.


David Warren
Author

David Warren is a pharmaceutical specialist that dispenses prescription medication on a daily basis. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Tennessee in 1991. With over 50 publications on medication-related and pharmacy topics, David has been able to share his experiences and knowledge with others. David with lots of experience and knowledge in medications that are utilized to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Before David dispenses a medication to a patient, he will go over the side effects, dosage recommendation and contraindications.

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