What Really Happens When You Take NyQuil Every Night

Sleepless nights may have you desperate for some relief. Reaching for the NyQuil bottle can be tempting, but experts say it shouldn't be a long-term solution for insomnia. There is no research or evidence that shows the safety or effectiveness of NyQuil as a sleeping aid (via Healthline).

NyQuil is a cold and flu medication that helps relieve symptoms temporarily and can help those who are sick get some much-needed rest. It contains a pain reliever (acetaminophen), a cough suppressant (dextromethorphan), and an antihistamine (doxylamine).

While the antihistamine in particular can make you drowsy, it can also cause other unwanted side effects. Daytime drowsiness, blurred vision, headache, mouth, nose, and throat dryness, nausea, respiratory congestion, and restlessness are a few side effects you could experience, according to Healthline. 

So what happens if you continue to take NyQuil on a regular basis? First and foremost, you can develop a tolerance for antihistamines quickly, meaning it eventually may not even help you fall asleep.

Risks of taking NyQuil to help with sleeping

NyQuil can also become addictive, as you could become dependent on it to sleep, according to the Addiction Center. Other risks include consuming too much acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage and other health issues. This could be an issue especially if you are consuming alcohol or antidepressants along with NyQuil.

A better option may be to take a non-prescription sleep aid for temporary relief and avoid the other ingredients that are in NyQuil (via Healthline). You can also try implementing a new bedtime routine, or implement changes to your diet and physical activity to promote better sleep.

You can also seek treatment from a medical professional if you continue to struggle with sleeping. Otherwise, save NyQuil for when you have cold or flu symptoms, and be sure to check with your doctor to ensure it doesn't conflict with any other medications.