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Why Does Wine Make Me Sleepy? Solved (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 13, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Have you ever noticed how drinking wine makes you want to doze off? If your answer is yes, you’re not alone. But why does wine make me sleepy? 

We’ve taken the time to conduct in-depth research on what it is about wine that induces sleep. Read on to know what we’ve learned.

Does Wine Make You Sleepy?

Does Wine Make You Sleepy?

Yes, wine can make you sleepy because there’s melatonin in grapes, the primary ingredient of wines – especially red wine. 

Melatonin, a hormone helping maintain our circadian rhythm and sleep patterns, induces the sleepiness you feel after drinking. 

And since it contains this hormone, we can assume that it causes the sedative effect, making you feel drowsy.

Reasons Why Wine Makes You Feel Sleepy

Reasons Why Wine Makes You Feel Sleepy  

Depressant

Alcoholic beverages, including wine and other forms of alcohol, are depressants inhibiting our central nervous system (CNS). 

So after alcohol consumption, the alcohol enters the bloodstream and starts interacting with your CNS, particularly in the GABA-A Receptors, 20 minutes after drinking. 

These receptors will interact with the neurotransmitters of the gamma amino butyric acid (GABA-A), slowing down neurons. And that’s when you begin to feel relaxed and drowsy. 

Melatonin

Melatonin

Every wine’s melatonin content may vary depending on the variety of grapes used.

For instance, the Nebbiolo grapes had very high levels of melatonin – primarily used in Italian red wines like Barolo and Barbaresco. 

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon have high melatonin content. But wines made from Cabernet Franc Grape (primarily used on red blends) have low melatonin amounts.

Other (Possible) Effects 

Its Other (Possible) Effects 

Hangover Headache

When a red wine makes you experience a hangover headache, it is because of the high levels of tannins and phenolic flavonoid radicals present in red wine. 

Another potential cause of hangover headaches is the presence of sulfites (a food additive). And those allergic to sulfites will intensely experience the adverse effects of drinking red wine. But what’s the best wine for no hangover?

Disrupts Sleep

Disrupts Sleep

Drinking alcoholic drinks (especially hard liquor) at night can result in frequent waking and fragmented sleep – disrupting your sleep patterns.  

Yes, you can be dozy when you sip wine before bed, but it only lasts for some time. After the alcohol metabolizes, the sedative effect will start to wear off. 

And due to the alcoholic nature of the drink, it will start to reduce the quality of your sleep – disrupting your sleep.

Makes You Feel Tired

Alcohol depresses your nervous system making you feel tired. CNS is composed of the nerves in your brain and spinal cord, responsible for your body and mind’s significant functions.

So whenever you consume any alcoholic beverage, such as wine and beer, it can immediately relax and tranquilize your CNS. It can also induce euphoria, making you fall asleep.

Drowsing Effect

Drowsing Effect

Drinking a glass of wine can cause sleepiness and drowsiness due to the sedative effects of alcohol. It is present in all kinds of spirits, especially drinks with higher alcohol concentrations, like vodka.   

Read: Do Americans Drink More Beer Than Wine?

Red Wine vs White Wine 

Grape skins contain melatonin, which also your brain produces to induce sleep and aid circadian rhythm and sleep cycles. 

Red wines are made from crushed grapes, including grape skins. White wine is made from crushed grapes also, but excluding the grape skins, which are removed before the fermentation process [1]. 

Hence, it doesn’t provide the same effect as red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon makes you fall asleep faster at night than white wines, as the melatonin in red wines is higher. 

How To Drink Wine Without Being Sleepy 

How To Drink Wine Without Being Sleepy 

Eat first. As a general rule, before consuming alcohol, eat first. It helps delay the rate at which the body absorbs and feels the effects of the drink.

Stay hydrated. You need to be hydrated before, during, and after consuming alcohol. You should drink enough water before, during, and after consuming a glass of wine (especially larger amounts of hard liquors).

If not, you can definitely experience the harmful effects of alcohol, like vomiting, blackouts, dizziness, and sleep disorders.

Drink moderately. Most importantly, you should drink in moderation. You sip wine to relax – it is not a race.

Make sure to sip at a safe pace that works for your body unless you want the opposite effect of alcohol, especially at night. But how much wine can get you drunk?

FAQs 

Does wine make you more sleepy than other alcohol?

No, the wine will not make you sleepier than other alcohol.

All forms of alcohol, including wine, are depressants – interacting with the central nervous system and receptors. This process makes you dozy and drowsy. 

Is red wine good for insomnia?

No, red wine is not advisable for people with insomnia.

While red wines can help fall you asleep, they can disrupt your Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep – to wake you up in the middle of your deep sleep. The melatonin present in red wine can also result in an unpleasant morning. 

Final Thoughts

Wine can make you sleepy, which can be a good alternative to melatonin supplements.

However, it’s worth noting that it can reduce sleep quality due to the drink’s alcoholic nature. Either red or white, wine can disrupt the REM sleep cycle, resulting in more wakefulness.   

But having a glass or two before going to bed is fine, and make sure to follow a few pointers: eat first, stay hydrated, and pace yourself.

Reference:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/wine/Fermentation

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