If you’re someone that has struggled with motion sickness, then chances are you’ve tried at least one or more remedies to alleviate those symptoms. One common medication used for this purpose is Dramamine.

Though it can do wonders to stop nausea and vomiting, it is not without side effects. Among those is drowsiness.

In this article, we will explore the science behind how Dramamine causes drowsiness as well as provide tips to avoid it. Additionally, we’ll discuss natural alternatives to Dramamine and provide expert insights on its effects on the sleep cycle.

The Science Behind Dramamine: How it Causes Drowsiness

Before we dive into how to avoid drowsiness when using Dramamine, let’s take a quick look at the science behind it.

Dramamine contains an antihistamine called diphenhydramine. Antihistamines work by blocking the histamine receptors in the body. Histamine helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle by promoting wakefulness during the day and drowsiness at night.

Because antihistamines like diphenhydramine block histamine, they can cause drowsiness and sedation as a side effect. This is why some people will use diphenhydramine as a sleep aid.

How to Use Dramamine Without Getting Sleepy

Now, for those of us that still need to function after taking Dramamine, drowsiness can be a significant inconvenience. But, don’t worry. There are things that can be done to avoid it.

Firstly, you can ask your doctor for a less sedative medication. There are other types of medication for motion sickness that won’t cause drowsiness like antihistamines do.

If you plan on taking Dramamine, it’s advisable to take the medication at least 30-60 minutes before the journey. This should help decrease the amount of drowsiness you experience while on your trip.

You can also try taking smaller doses. For people prone to drowsiness from Dramamine, taking smaller doses more frequently can be an effective way to minimize the sedative effects.

If you are traveling by car or plane, make sure you are seated in a comfortable position and stay adequately hydrated. Also, try to avoid reading, using your phone or watching videos while traveling to reduce the risk of drowsiness.

Does Dramamine Always Make You Sleepy? The Answer May Surprise You

No. Not everyone who takes Dramamine experiences drowsiness. Different people react differently to medications. Some may feel sleepy after taking it, while others who take the same dose may not feel drowsy at all.

Also, certain factors can increase the likelihood of experiencing drowsiness. These include taking a higher dose, being physically inactive, consuming alcohol or taking medications that affect the central nervous system.

Tips for Avoiding Drowsiness While Taking Dramamine

If you don’t want to risk sleepiness while on your trip, here are some additional tips :

  • Avoid consuming alcohol while taking Dramamine. Alcohol can increase the sedative effects of the drug.
  • Avoid caffeine. Caffeine can reduce the effectiveness of Dramamine and contribute to dehydration.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration can worsen the symptoms of motion sickness and increase drowsiness.
  • Avoid operating heavy machinery or driving while taking Dramamine.
  • Take frequent breaks to stretch and move around, especially during road trips.

It’s also wise to ask your doctor before taking Dramamine or any other medication.

The Pros and Cons of Using Dramamine for Motion Sickness

Like any medication, Dramamine has its pros and cons. On the positive side, it is an effective remedy for motion sickness, and it works quickly.

However, the drowsiness and sedation that can occur when taking Dramamine can be problematic for some people. It’s also important to be aware of other side effects such as dry mouth, blurred vision, and constipation.

It’s best to consult your doctor about the risks and benefits of Dramamine before taking it as a regular medication; especially if you are taking any other medication that may interact with it.

Natural Alternatives to Dramamine for Motion Sickness and Drowsiness

If you’re looking for natural remedies that can help alleviate motion sickness symptoms without causing drowsiness, here are a few to consider:

  • Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce nausea and vomiting. You can drink it in tea form or use supplements.
  • Psi Bands: Wristbands that stimulate pressure points on the wrist to help alleviate nausea.
  • Peppermint oil: Peppermint is an antiemetic, which means it helps control nausea and vomiting. Inhalation of peppermint oil can help reduce nausea and discomfort.
  • Acupressure: Some people find that acupressure can alleviate symptoms of motion sickness.

Note that natural alternatives should not be used as a substitute for medication without consulting a healthcare professional first.

Expert Insights on the Effects of Dramamine on Your Sleep Cycle
Expert Insights on the Effects of Dramamine on Your Sleep Cycle

Expert Insights on the Effects of Dramamine on Your Sleep Cycle

Dramamine can significantly affect your sleep cycle, especially if you consistently take it. It can make you feel drowsy during the day and interfere with your ability to sleep well at night.

Dr. Michael Breus, a sleep expert, says that antihistamines like Dramamine can cause daytime drowsiness and reduce the amount of REM sleep you get at night.

To minimize the disruption, Dr. Breus suggests that if you must use Dramamine, try to take it only when needed and at the lowest effective dose. Additionally, it is essential to establish healthy sleep habits like getting enough exercise, avoiding caffeine or nicotine, and dedicating a sufficient amount of time to sleep each night.


In conclusion, while Dramamine can do wonders in stopping motion sickness, it also comes with a side effect of drowsiness. However, there are ways to avoid it, like taking smaller doses, staying hydrated, and avoiding alcohol.

Natural alternatives like ginger and peppermint oil can also be effective remedies in helping to reduce nausea and discomfort without causing drowsiness.

It’s best to consult your doctor before taking any medication, natural remedies, or supplements. And if you do decide to take Dramamine, remember to take it cautiously and be mindful of its effects on your sleep cycle.

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

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