One of the deadliest side effects to one of the best medicines ever invented, the Nyquil hangover is an absolute certainty after ingesting the substance. You have a cold. You’ve been sniffling for a week now and you just can’t sleep. Your nose is stuffy, causing you to snore, and you have to sleep with your mouth wide open if you want to keep breathing during the night (which, you know, is usually a good idea) so your throat ends up sore in the morning. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle and one that can only be broken with the coma-inducing goodness of Nyquil (to be fair, you’ll have the same results with the less expensive but equally effective store brand).
The Nyquil experience starts out something like this: You’re tired, achy, and ready to sleep off whatever it is that you, your roommate, your significant other and two thirds of the people in your office have contracted. You pop the pills (or for the brave among us, you swallow the appropriate dosage) and you wait. If you go the liquid route, you’ll quickly experience the warming sensation down your throat as though you’ve just taken a shot.
Anywhere from 5-15 minutes later you’ll start to feel pretty good. Your whole body feels warmed and your aches start to melt away. On top of this, your eyelids are drooping. The temptation at this stage is to get excited about the fact that you know you’re sleeping tonight–RESIST! That anticipation tends to counteract the drowse factor you’re experiencing and can throw off your entire Nyquil experience.
Settle into bed. Get your pillows and blankets arranged into that perfect squish position and get comfortable. Side, back, TV on, TV off, whatever it takes. Then just enjoy. Relax and let the drug-induced splendor of a good night’s sleep kick in. And enjoy it. Because when you wake up you’re going to wish you hadn’t…at least not yet.
It doesn’t matter how much sleep you get–6 hours, 9 hours–it’s all the same. You’ll wake up feeling a little bit like you’ve been run over. Your eyes will still be heavy and you’ll have trouble focusing for quite awhile. It is at this point that most of you will turn to the caffeine. Go ahead, it’s not going to help. If you haven’t slept off every last drop, you’ve got no chance. Hot shower, cold shower, coffee, tea–none of it will make a difference.
But this is where the beauty sets in. You’re still unable to go about the business of your daily routine. You can’t operate a vehicle in this state. And even if you could manage to get to work, someone is going to trust you to handle their finances? Or their health? I don’t think so. Thus, you are stuck (and I use the term loosely) with another day home on the couch. Sip your orange juice, watch crappy daytime TV and nap as much as you can. Because once you do, you’re going to have take another dose of a doze-inducer to ensure a good night’s sleep that will get you back on your feet. But let’s face it, there’s nothing better for a cold than a few days of cough drops, tissues, and zero responsibility.