How Long Does Nyquil Last And Can It Improve Your Sleep?


While researching about Nyquil, I came across a very frequently asked question from many people, which is: how long does Nyquil last? Before I give you the correct answer, few of you might not be aware as to what Nyquil is and what does Nyquil do?

Let me explain you in the below section.

What Is Nyquil?

How Long Does Nyquil Last


Nyquil is an over-the-counter medication, which is popularly called “Vicks Nyquil”. From the world renowned Procter & Gamble (P&G) manufactures this product. Nyquil was initially marketed in the year 1996 at United States.

What Does Nyquil Do?

Nyquil is used to relieve the symptoms of common cold.Some people having the pain bearing conditions used to take Nyquil for sleeping.

Almost all the medications within Nyquil imprint contain,

  • Alcohol
  • Hypnotics & Sedating Antihistamines.

It is taken before bedtime. Usually, it puts you to sleep. On the other hand, there is also daytime counterpart that avoids drowsiness.

How Long Does Nyquil Last?

The answer on how long does Nyquil last is right over here,

The sleepiness effect after taking a Nyquil dose usually lasts about 4 to 6 hours / 7 to 8 hours. And, let me also clear you that this isn’t exact. Since every human is unique, the effect may vary from one person to the other. To few, it can last more than 8 hours too.

Once you take the final dose of NyQuil, even after the eight hours you may experience a slight dizziness. It may suspect you, whether the NyQuil stay in your system. it affects your motor driving capability, impairs the school or college work , affects work with machinery etc. This is the reason why you should know how long does NyQuil stay in your system. To estimate the duration, you should consider the half lives of NyQuil chemical ingredients.

All NyQuil formulations would contain doxylamine succinate to bring on sleep. It would stay up to 2.29 days to completely eliminate from the body.Others based on the NyQuil subtypes. NyQuil D, NyQuil flu and NyQuil cough.

Know More About The Nyquil Hangover…

A common time where one goes after taking Nyquil is “cold”. You will see yourself sniffling most of the time & you just cannot sleep. Moreover, you will observe that you have a stuffy nose, making you snore & sleep with your mouth open just to breathe freely at night. So, your throat naturally ends up very sore in the mornings.

The experience starts something with this:

  • You feel tired
  • You feel achy
  • You will want to sleep no matter where you are

Essential To Read: Top 15 Proven Home Remedies For Cold

How Long Does It Take For Nyquil To Kick In,

Now, this is exactly the time when you pop few Nyquil pills. In case, you prefer the liquid route, you rapidly experience a warm sensation in your throat. It is as if you have just taken up a shot. Nyquil takes around 10 minutes to kick in the system, later you start feeling good. Your entire body feels warm & your aches begin to fade away. Soon, your eyelids begin to droop. At this phase, temptation to sleep gets higher. However, try to RESIST because you have to sleep tonight. That expectation tends to neutralize your drowse factor & can throw your whole Nyquil experience.

how long does nyquil last

Get your blankets and pillows arranged. Feel comfortable — back, side TV off, TV on or whatever it takes. Just relax and allow the induced drug to make you have a nice night sleep. No matter what but after you get up in the morning, you wish you had not taken it…

Yes, no matter how much you sleep – 6 hours, 8 hours or 9 hours or doesn’t matter how long does nyquil last, it is all the same. You will wake up as if you have been run over. Eyes still feel heavy and you will have a hard time focusing (only for a while). And this is exactly the stage, where one will turn towards caffeine. Yeah, go ahead because it is still not going to help you in any way. If you have not slept off every drop, you have no chance. Cold shower, hot shower, tea, coffee – none of these will make a difference.

Read more about Home & Kitchen Stuff

The best part – even after taking Nyquil, you still feel powerless to make it for your business day. If you do, you will not be able to operate your car properly. If you still manage getting to work, you think someone will trust you handling with his or her finances? I don’t think. It is better to take complete rest for another day to get back to your original well-being. And for a cold, there is nothing better than few days of rest, cough drops, zero responsibility and tissues.

Essential To Read: 10 Best Home Remedies For Typhoid Fever

There are different versions of Nyquil. Some are listed down along with the ingredients in Nyquil. Check them out

1. Nyquil Flu/Cold Multi-Symptom Relief

The Nyquil Flu/Cold Multi-symptom Relief is a liquid version, which is available in LiquiCap and syrup form. One-half adult dose has:

  • 15 ml / 325 mg Acetaminophen (fever reducer or pain reliever)
  • 15 ml / 15 mg Dextromethorphan (cough suppressant)
  • 15 ml / 6.25 mg Doxylamine succinate (hypnotic or antihistamine)

LiquiCap capsule Nyquil version has below listed active ingredients in each pill. One-half suggested adult dose has:

  • 325 mg per pill Acetaminophen (fever reducer or pain reliever)
  • 15 mg per pill Dextromethorphan (Cough Suppressant)
  • 6.25 mg per pill Doxylamine succinate (hypnotic or antihistamine)

2. Nyquil D

Nyquil D is sold in many retail stores and pharmacies. This contains the below listed active ingredients. One-half of suggested adult dose contains:

  • 15 ml / 500 mg Acetaminophen (fever reducer or pain reliever)
  • 15 ml / 15 mg Dextromethorphan (cough suppressant)
  • 15 ml / 6.25 mg Doxylamine Succinate (hypnotic or antihistamine)
  • 15 ml / 30 mg Pseudoephedrine (nasal decongestant)

3. Nyquil Cough

This has an antihistamine & cough suppressant but no painkillers. Active ingredients include:

  • 15 ml / 15 mg Dextromethorphan (cough suppressant)
  • 15 ml / 6.25 mg Doxylamine Succinate (hypnotic / antihistamine)

Can You Use Nyquil As A Sleeping Aid?

Although Nyquil is designed for cold which induces sleep, it is not advisable to consume it as a sleeping aid. If you put Nyquil for sleep you may fall asleep without any pain or worry all through the night but it will lead to the serious problem in the long run. People who use Nyquil as a sleep aid reported that they had a disrupted sleep, they saw  very strange dreams which increases the anxiety so the they again fail to sleep again. This actually leads them to consume another pill to get back to the sleep. One pill itself will stay in your body for 6 hours so how would be when you swallow yet another one?

However, when the Nyquil puts them in a sleep possibly they would see the positive effects. So again they become addict to the Nyquil psychologically. For them sleeping without a Nyquil will bring anxiety. This actually makes them to buy and use more Nyquil. But over the time when they use this medication it will not bring the same kind of sleepiness. They will feel a longer for sleeping and when they sleep their sleep will not continue for long hours. Taking frequent doses or larger dose for sleeping proves that your body got addicted to that medication. If it’s the case you should consult the doctor as soon as possible.

Hope you got an answer for how long does nyquil last and why it is important to know your medicine better before pushing into your body. Because every drop counts!



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  1. My boyfriend said he took Nyquil at 6 am today because he couldn’t sleep last night (he was very sick). When will he wake up for good/when can I drag him out of bed? In other words, when will it be out of his system?

    • Nyquil usualy last for 8 to 12 hours taking at bedtime the drowsyness should disapear with in the morning nyquil with the chemicals that make you fall asleep are for night time cold medicine just like dayquil is for the day is daytime cold medicine.

    • It’s probably not a good idea. Once the expiry date has passed a manufacturer can no longer guarantee its safety or efficacy.It’s probably not a good idea. Once the expiry date has passed a manufacturer can no longer guarantee its safety or efficacy.

  2. I can get any relief from this cold… just wanted to know if there is any harm in taking Sudafed around 7:00 pm and then taking NYQuil around 11:00P.M.?

    • You are possibly over dosing a little on pseudoephedrine especially if you are taking the long acting Sudafed (120mg).
      If you are taking 60mg Sudafed then its probably OK to take the Nyquil at 11pm.

      Taking too much pseudoephedrine could make it difficult for you to sleep.
      What about trying a decongestant nasal spray – they are very effective at relieving nasal congestion and would be safe to take with the Nyquil.
      Have a chat with your pharmacist

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