Why Does Beer Make Me Sleepy?

Are you someone who enjoys a good pint of beer but ends up feeling drowsy afterward and find yourself often wondering, “Why does beer make me sleepy?” The answer is that there are several reasons why drinking beer can make you feel drowsy.

Why Does Beer Make Me Sleepy?

The following are the top 4 reasons why beer puts you to sleep….

Reason #1 – Beer is a Depressant

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows down your brain function. This can make you feel tired and fatigued. Additionally, alcohol inhibits REM sleep, which is the stage of sleep where you get the most rest. So, although beer will make you sleepy at first, there is a good chance that you may wake up more often during the night after drinking beer than you would if you hadn’t had any.

Reason #2 – Lowers Blood Sugar

Another reason beer might make you sleepy is that it lowers your blood sugar levels. When you drink alcohol, your liver focuses on processing the alcohol before anything else, which can lead to low blood sugar levels, causing feelings of tiredness.

Reason #3 – Hops have a Sedating Effect

IPAs may make you feel more tired than other beers because they are brewed with lots of hops. Hops contain a sedative compound called myrcene that can make you feel even more tired. Myrcene boosts GABA activity, similarly to alcohol, and then depresses glutamate activity. So, an IPA is a good choice if you want a beer that will knock you out quickly.

Reason #4 – Dehydration

Lastly, dehydration can play a role in why you feel sleepy after having a beer. The alcohol in beer is a diuretic, which means it causes your body to lose more fluids than it takes in, leading to dehydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue and sleepiness.

How Much Beer Does it Take to Make You Feel Sleepy?

The amount of beer you need to drink to affect your sleep depends on your weight, body composition, and metabolism. Generally, most people need to drink at least 3-4 beers to start feeling tired and having trouble staying awake. 

man sleeping on a couch with a beer in his hand, next to the words why does beer make me sleepy.
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If you drink more than 4 beers, your blood alcohol level will rise, causing your body to become more relaxed and making you feel sleepy. This can lead to a disruptive sleep throughout the night and increased chances of waking up. Alcohol consumption also reduces the amount of deep sleep, leaving you feeling tired the next day. This is because…

Beer Can Also Keep You Awake

An interesting fact about beer is that not only can it make you feel sleepy it can actually have the opposite effect and keep you awake. This is because beer has a biphasic effect on sleep, which means it can prevent you from staying asleep. This happens for two reasons:

Hops Can Interfere With Sleep

Hops contain compounds that can inhibit sleep. Bitter acid is the main compound in hops that can keep you awake, and has been shown to interfere with GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep.

Alcohol Prevents Deep Sleep

Alcohol prevents your body from entering a deep sleep, the most restful and arguably the most important stage of sleep, where your body repairs itself. Without deep sleep, your body can’t function as it should, making you feel tired and sluggish the next day.

Should You Use Beer to Help You Sleep?

Having a beer before bed to help you sleep is not uncommon, but weighing the pros and cons before doing so is important.

Pros of Using Beer as a Sleep Aid

– The alcohol in beer can help you fall asleep faster.

– The alcohol can also make you feel more drowsy and relax your muscles.

– Beer, when consumed in moderation, does have some health benefits.

Cons of Using Beer as a Sleep Aid

– Drinking too much beer can disrupt your sleep later in the night.

– Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it will make you go to the bathroom more often during the night.

– Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration, which causes headaches and can make it difficult for you to concentrate the next day.

– Alcohol abuse can lead to health problems, to include include liver damage..

Overall, while drinking beer may help you fall asleep faster, it is not a recommended sleep aid. The negative effects on your sleep quality and overall health outweigh any potential benefits. Instead, it is recommended that you establish a consistent sleep routine and make lifestyle changes that promote good sleep hygiene. This can include avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensuring that your sleeping environment is comfortable and conducive to sleep.

Last Call

To sum it up beer can have both positive and negative effects on sleep, depending on the amount consumed and the individual’s unique physiology. While moderate consumption answers the question of “why does beer make me sleepy” as it may help you fall asleep faster, drinking too much can lead to disrupted sleep and feelings of fatigue and grogginess the next day. It is important to approach alcohol consumption with moderation and to make lifestyle choices that promote healthy sleep hygiene. If you are experiencing persistent sleep problems, it is recommended that you seek professional medical advice to identify any underlying causes and receive appropriate treatment.

P.S. If you brew your own beer or wish to start be sure to pick up your gift of Big Robb’s top 5 favorite beer recipes from his brewpub. Details are on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on your phone. Cheers!

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