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Do muscle relaxers make you sleepy?

Do muscle relaxers make you sleepy?


Muscle relaxers act as a Central Nervous System depressant, thus slowing down brain activity. This results in drowsiness and sleepiness in users. However, it does not affect all users and is reported only by some people. 



“Do muscle relaxers make you sleep?” is probably one of the most sought-after questions due to the high probability of people experiencing dizziness after their administration. A study involving Cyclobenzaprine indicates that 30% of people taking a muscle relaxer experience drowsiness [1]. 

Muscle relaxers are ideal for short-term acute pain and are proven to work more efficiently in conjunction with rest and physical therapy. The most commonly prescribed muscle relaxers, such as the Soma pill, Flexeril, and Metaxalone, are identified by the FDA for inducing sleepiness in the user. However, the question here is, how long do muscle relaxers make you drowsy? Or do muscle relaxers make you tired the next day? 

This guide on muscle relaxers will help you understand the “if” and “how” do muscle relaxers make you feel loopy and sleepy. 


Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Feel Loopy And Drowsy? 

Yes, muscle relaxers affect the central nervous system to cause a sedative effect; which can thus result in sleepiness and tiredness. 

Scientific evidence and the FDA list sleepiness, dizziness, and drowsiness as the more prevalent adverse signs of muscle relaxers. However, not all muscle relaxers react similarly and induce the exact same effect. So let us deeply understand the association of two of the most popular muscle relaxers- cyclobenzaprine and Carisoprodol with sleep.  


Does Cyclobenzaprine Make You Sleepy?

A clinical trial in collaboration with the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation also indicates that using muscle relaxers (cyclobenzaprine) improves sleep in patients with chronic pain [2]. The website “Medical News Today” reports that dizziness and drowsiness are cyclobenzaprine's two common side effects [3]. 

Other trustworthy sources, such as GoodRx, further state that using Cyclobenzaprine can make you sleepy and affect your focus and concentration [4].  


Does Soma Make You Sleepy?




Carisoprodol, the generic version of the Soma pill, is a noncontrolled skeletal muscle relaxant whose active metabolite is Meprobamate. However, unlike Cyclobenzaprine, Carisoprodol has mixed evidence and anecdotes on its correlation with sleepiness. 

Sudden discontinuation of the Soma pill can cause withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia (a sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep) [5]. The Rxlist also asserts the inability to sleep as a common side effect of the Soma pill.

On the contrary, there are pieces of evidence indicating Soma causes sleepiness in users. The website Drugs advises users not to operate heavy machinery or drive a vehicle if Carisoprodol makes them sleepy [6]. 

A study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports drowsiness and dizziness as the most common side effects of Carisoprodol. The package insert of the Soma pill states that 17% of patients experience sedation from Carisoprodol [7]. 

To prevent experiencing sleep issues from Carisoprodol, beginners are advised to buy Soma 350mg over higher doses as they are less prone to causing side effects. 


How Long Will You Feel Sleepy?

The sleepiness associated with muscle relaxers lasts as long as their action. Thus, most muscle relaxers can make you sleepy for 4 to 6 hours from the last dose. 


Why Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Sleepy?




To understand how and why muscle relaxers make you sleepy, it is crucial to have a brief insight into their working mechanisms.

The mechanism of action of the Soma pill involves its primary metabolite (meprobamate) working at the GABA receptor. Since muscle relaxants are total body relaxers, they help induce sleepiness or grogginess. The two important factors that result in sleepiness on administering muscle relaxers are- 

The Sedative Effect Of Muscle Relaxers - 

Muscle relaxers act as central nervous system depressants, thus causing a sedative effect. Muscle relaxers produce a sedative effect that is ideal for evening use [7]. 

So, how does sedation cause sleepiness? 

Sleep induced by sedation is due to the slowing down of the brain's activity. It can also result in lethargy and tiredness [8]. 

Drowsiness Induced By Muscle Relaxers -

Muscle relaxants can also cause drowsiness. This can be very effective for the recovery of people after surgery or injury. It is also an effective option for cases where pain disrupts a person's normal sleep cycle. The drowsiness imparted by the muscle relaxer involves tamping down the central nervous system. They act on the nerves that stimulate muscle tension [9]. 


Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Tired The Next Day?

There is no reason why muscle relaxers should make you tired the next day. However, grogginess and tiredness are reported in a few users administering muscle relaxers [10]. 

A few possible reasons for experiencing tiredness from Muscle relaxers are-

  • Muscle relaxers target specific brain receptors that can affect the quality of your sleep, thus causing fatigue the next day.

  • Dry mouth is a common side effect of muscle relaxers [10]. This may contribute to dehydration, causing weakness and fatigue. 

  • CNS depressing ability of the muscle relaxers causes lethargy.  


Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Drowsy When Taken With Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol with muscle relaxers can be dangerous. Such interactions intensify the sedative effect of the muscle relaxer, which in severe cases may be fatal. 

Both muscle relaxers and alcohol are CND depressants, and when administered together, they can slow down brain activity resulting in sleepiness and calmness. When they are taken together, they can have a synergistic effect causing dizziness and drowsiness. 


Scientific Evidence On The Sedative Effect Of Muscle Relaxers

Clinical studies establish that muscle relaxers may not always cause drowsiness. In a study sponsored by Cephalon, Inc, patients with acute muscle spasms were treated with extended-release Cyclobenzaprine of 15mg and 30mg. The report's analysis showcases little to no reports of drowsiness [11]. 

However, studies that support the ability of muscle relaxers to cause drowsiness and sleepiness are listed below. 

Clinical Study 1

A study in the Journal of Rheumatology concludes that using muscle relaxers such as cyclobenzaprine in patients with Fibromyalgia helps improve sleep quality. The study also suggests the possibility of experiencing fatigue [12]. 

Clinical Study 2

A study by Roger Chou, MD, in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (Volume 28, Issue 2, August 2004) suggests the rate of occurrence of drowsiness from muscle relaxers such as cyclobenzaprine is 38% and 33% in diazepam users [13]. 

Clinical Study 3

A study by M. D. Robertson states that side effects associated with Carisoprodol therapy include sleepiness, dizziness, and drowsiness [14]. Soma constipation is often reported in a few people; however, it is not a prevalent issue. 

Clinical Study 4

A clinical trial on skeletal muscle cyclobenzaprine which is known to induce its effect via inhibiting the tonic somatic motor nerve. The study concludes that using the muscle relaxer exhibits a sedative-hypnotic effect and drowsiness [15]. 

Clinical Studies reported by FDA -

Two double-blind trials were conducted on 1387 patients treated with 250mg and 350mg of Soma three times a day for seven days. The table below displays the adverse effects of Carisoprodol with their frequencies as stated by the FDA [16].


Patients with adverse reactions in controlled studies 

Adverse effect


Soma 250mg

Soma 350mg










The Use Of Muscle Relaxers Just for Sleep Disorders

Muscle relaxers are medications that affect skeletal muscle function and decrease muscle tone. The FDA disapproves of using muscle relaxers just for sleep disorders. They are prescription pain medications and should be taken accordingly. Using muscle relaxants can help with sleep issues associated with body pain. They should not be taken as an alternative treatment for insomnia. 


Side Effects Of Muscle Relaxers

The adverse effects of muscle relaxers are not just limited to making you sleepy. Most of the side effects are mild, and cases of severe effects are not frequent. The other adverse effects of muscle relaxers include:

  • Dry mouth

  • Dizziness

  • Tiredness

  • Drowsiness

  • Sedation

  • Decrease in blood pressure

  • Depression

  • Weakness or fatigue 

  • Soma affects the heart if not administered properly. 

Notify your doctor if you experience any of these signs and symptoms. To minimize the risk, it is best to inform your physician of any history of health disorders or abuse. 


Best Time To Take Muscle Relaxers To Avoid Sleepiness

Most people taking muscle relaxers are often unaware of the best practices to follow while taking the medication. The best time to take muscle relaxers is just before bedtime at night and two to three times during the day. 

The other essential administering guidelines to follow while taking any muscle relaxers are- 

  • Using muscle relaxers while driving and operating heavy machinery is not advisable. 

  • One must also avoid mixing alcohol and other medications, which may elevate dizziness and drowsiness in the user. 

  • Do not co-administer muscle relaxers with other supplements and medications. 

  • Avoid overdosing or long-term use of muscle relaxers. 


User Review On Muscle Relaxers And Sleepiness 

Now that we know the clinical and scientific views on muscle relaxers making you sleepy, let us look at their user reviews and anecdotes. 









Tips To Cope With Tiredness Related To Muscle Relaxers




The treatment for recurring tiredness and muscle fatigue depends on their underlying causes and accompanying symptoms. In most cases, muscle tiredness from muscle relaxants improves with rest. However, if you constantly feel groggy and it affects your normal functioning, it is advisable to consult a physician.

The recommended tips for coping with muscle tiredness and protecting against muscle fatigue and weakness are:

  • Staying hydrated.

  • Maintaining a healthy diet.

  • Consult a doctor to develop better treatment strategies.

  • Establish a good sleep routine.

  • Reduce stress.

  • Eliminate the consumption of alcohol. 


The Effect Of Muscle Relaxers On Sleepiness- Our Final Vedict 

One can summarize whether a muscle relaxer makes you sleepy by stating its effect on the sleep cycle. In a nutshell, yes,” muscle relaxants make you sleepy. Thus, it is ideal for taking muscle relaxer doses at night. Also, performing activities such as driving or operating machines after using muscle relaxers is not recommended. However, not everyone taking muscle relaxers experiences drowsiness.


Muscle relaxers help relax the body, which may develop sleepiness and drowsiness in the user. It also induces a sedative effect that makes it unsafe to operate heavy machinery, drive or make crucial judgments while taking muscle relaxers.

The action of muscle relaxers begins within 30 minutes of administration, and the effects typically last for 4 to 6 hours.

Most muscle relaxers make you drowsy. However, the severity may differ in people. Reviews of muscle relaxers and the possibility of drowsiness show that not all people experience drowsiness, and not all muscle relaxers are reported to induce such effects.

Muscle relaxers can produce drowsy and sleepy effects in users. Therefore, taking muscle relaxers at night is advisable. It will assist in inducing a night of good sleep and keeping your pain at bay.

Muscle relaxers act on the central nervous system to induce a calming and relaxing effect on the user.

The use of muscle relaxers just for sleep is not advisable. It is a pain medication, not a prescription drug for sleep disorders. The use of muscle relaxers can be effective with sleep associated with pain.

Yes, the use of Flexeril can cause sleepiness.


  1. The skeletal muscle relaxer cyclobenzaprine is a potent non-competitive histamine H1 receptor antagonistThe FASEB Journal. 

  2. Pilot Study of Cyclobenzaprine for Treatment of Sleep Disturbance in Aromatase Inhibitor-treated Breast Cancer Patients, clinicaltrials. 

  3. Cyclobenzaprine, oral tablet, medicalnewstoday. 

  4. Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), GoodRx.

  5. Soma - Uses, Side Effects, and More, WebMD. 

  6. Carisoprodol: 7 things you should know, drugs. 

  7. Carisoprodol, 

  8. The difference between sedation and sleep - Ipnos.

  9. Drugs That Affect Your Sleep, Healthgrades.

  10. Side Effects and Risks of Muscle Relaxers | Spine-health.

  11. Muscle Relaxants May Not Always Cause Drowsiness When Effective: A Post-Hoc Analysis of Cyclobenzaprine ER, empr. 

  12. Effects of Bedtime Very Low Dose Cyclobenzaprine on Symptoms and Sleep Physiology in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Double-blind Randomized Placebo-controlled Study, 

  13. Comparative efficacy and safety of skeletal muscle relaxants for spasticity and musculoskeletal conditions: a systematic review, ScienceDirect. 

  14. Carisoprodol — Effects on Human Performance and Behavior, researchgate.

  15. The Skeletal Muscle Relaxer Cyclobenzaprine Is a Potent Non-Competitive Antagonist of Histamine H1 Receptors, aspetjournals.

  16. Highlights of prescribing information, FDA.