The Nyquil Hangover

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.


47 thoughts on “The Nyquil Hangover

  1. Wow, I just took Nyquil for the first time yesterday and you’ve perfectly described my experience…except for the fact that I actually did have to go to work today. Boy was that a mess! I COULD NOT FUNCTION AT ALL. This Nyquil stuff really wiped out my system. I imagined that it would only last during the night while I was sleeping and maybe a little in the morning, but boy was I wrong! Anyway, great commentary! Take care!

  2. I just googled “Nyquil Hangover” – and came across this blog post…I think yesterday I took 4 doses throughout the day and night…today I’m at work….I cannot even focus on my bosses’ eyes and felt like I could burst out in deranged laughter at any moment…this is BAD!
    Reading this post made me laugh…I’ve tried the coffee…you are so right…it doesn’t work.
    I’m due to meet up with some gal pals at happy hour after work today…wondering if I should nix the tequila shots or welcome them…

  3. like everyone else found this through “nyquil hangover’ search b/c boy I feel sooooooooo funny and your post made me giggle and think hey that’s how i feel. Took it last night for the first time ever after fighting the husband like a 5 year old. Here’s how that went: i don’t need it…hack hack…i’m fine…cough cough…cough cough cough………..COUGH…fine i’ll take it…GROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS…tastes like death…..COUGH COUGH COUGH….i’m not drinking this @#$%…NO I”M NOT DRINKING IT…hack hack hack…tears…hack…tears….{upon husband’s return from 24 hr drug store w/ nyquil pills in hand}….thanks love you honey…much better…the end. anywoh now i’m at work after swimming in and though i know i know how to do my job i am struggling. i think i’ll take your advice and give it up and go home. good thing i live close to work… thanks for this. good to know i’m not alone.

  4. Lindz: Haha, well, I’m glad this post made you giggle b/c your comment made me giggle too! You’ve definitely got to give in to the hangover and veg out on your couch for the day!

  5. So true- everytime I get a cold It ends up mutating into a dry hacking cough that keeps me up. Nyquil knocks me out. Here I go…timber!

  6. Happened to me once. I’m younger than 18 and I had to stay home from school because I felt all weak and I could not walk without wanting to fall back into bed.

  7. Awesome. I rarely take any medication. Took nyquil last night, woke up feeling like I got hit by an ice cream truck. My arms feel like they are made of play doh. Tried to make coffee and accidentally knocked the entire coffee machine over on the counter. I would make a lousy heroin addict.

  8. I took Nyquil last night at 10, it is now 2:32 and I still have the Nyquil hangover… I had to go to a university class and my prof kept asking me if I was going to make it… And The sad thing is I wake up while on nyquil and last night I had difficulty breathing at one point… I’m never taking nyquil again! EVER!

  9. I thought it was just me that reacted to Nyquil like that! And spilling coffee everywhere – I’d never have thought it was from taking Nyquil.

  10. I’ve taken DayQuil once before and it knocked me out and gave me a hangover exactly like you describe. I slept badly tonight and I was wondering if I might just run to the drugstore and get NyQuil for a solid three hour nap, but now I know that’s a bad idea, because I have a big meeting today! Thank you!

  11. I once took Nyquil right before school by accident… I was 16 and barely functioning in my classes and in band class-the music was swimming on my page hahaha

    1. So @3 am I wake up and am not able to go back to sleep….no I have to, I got tons of things to do….I know Ill take some benadril pills that usually puts me out….no. I will still be drowsy in the morning….I know I will take some Nickquil ……OMG!!! the worse mistake in my life…..I woke up at 630 feeling as if I were drunk…..I struggled horribly getting kids and husband out of the house…took my kids to school extremely afraid to drive….walked into the school feeling in a daze…spoke to friends and teachers and had the hardest time at staying focus….sad to said that I am now at home laying on my sofa with a extremely messy house ….millions of errands to run and a research paper to finish and all I want to do is sleep……aghhhh

  12. I take just under a dose every night. Sleep much better. A slight hangover but it is gone soon. I’d rather sleep with a slight hangover than not sleep at all. JohnnyBrutal

  13. The original blog post is OLD! Yet, nothing has changed…I took Nyquil last night just to helpo me sleep (been challenged to get a full night’s sleep in the last week or two). I’ve taken it for colds before to similar hangover results, but I needed to sleep so I took it. I was surprised that after the initial drowsiness I was hit with what felt like a bolt of electricity and I was tingly warm in an uncomfortable way all night long. It was awful. Never again. And to top it off, I’m at work today and unable to function, of course.

  14. WOW!! I could not figure out why i could barely function at work yesterday… It seriously felt like i had a hangover! I just thought, a) i didnt get enough sleep or b) i was still all stuffed up from my head cold. I could not wait until my shift was over so i could crawl back into bed. Turns out i just ended up watching some tv instead. Thankfully my energy came back a couple hours later and here i am at 1:45 am still awake! Definitely NOT taking Nyquil tonight nor ever again.

  15. I’m at work, but my body still feels like it’s bundled in warm blankets. Your article does a good job of promoting Nyquil Hangover Awareness.


  16. Unfortunately, I love, love, love the taste of Nyquil, but hate, hate, hate the Nyquil Hangover. I have a serious inner debate over the lesser of the two evils before I decide to take it when my head cold is just unbearable. I usually cave in to the sweet temptation of a good night sleep and just know that I’m going to feel kind of crappy in the morning. (The sleep is worth every delicious drop)!!!

  17. Ha, clever and informative as well…was going to get some for wifey but no need for her to be jellyfished-out while the little one breakdances on her. Hmmm, thoughts on Buckley’s?

  18. I’m so prone to colds that my body is used to using NyQuil to go to sleep and i cant get any rest so my question is that if i use ZzzQuil will i still have that “hangover”?

  19. HELP!!!! I am trying to figure out what is wrong with me???? I took ZzzzQuil
    when I could not sleep, and yes, it did help me sleep but I still felt like sleeping the next day. I could not function effectively at work. Even though it has been about 5 days since I took it, I feel like it is still in my system and
    and I am not myself. I even went to the doctor today for bloodwork to see if there is something else wrong with me, but the Nyquil “Hangover” is exactly how I feel. I could just go home and go back to bed. Could this have some long term “side effects”. I am really baffled!!!! I will not use it again….I do not like feeling like this….any one ever had anything like this from this product. If so, would love to hear about it.

  20. Whenever I was sick, I would take 2 pills of Nyquil before bedtime. There was this one time where I took 2 pills after 11 PM, which was too late for me since I had to get up at 6 AM for school. I woke up the next morning, not being able to walk or move properly. It was so bad. I found it difficult to get myself out of bed and get to bathroom. I literally had to crawl everywhere, so I missed school and went to the doctor’s that day (with the help of my mother). I looked up the side effects, and I figured what I had was a Nyquil hangover. Not fun at all. I’m never taking Nyquil that late ever again.

  21. I’m glad I read this! Thank you. I’ve been contemplating whether to take it tonight. Now I know that’s really not a good option to get a good sleep before an early meeting.

  22. Well, I’m here because this is totally a thing and I totally had it for the first 4 hours of my day at work. Made things interesting, but I managed to not make too much of a fool of myself! Good luck out there, everybody :p

  23. I just take a half dose of the liquid version. That usually does the job and with 8 hrs sleep I can usually function in the morning.
    But I have to say, anyone trying to drive the next morning after a full dose is at risk. Don’t do it, you might end up in the hospital with a lot more than a cold.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s