Why Does Beer Make Me Sleepy?

Everyone knows that beer can make you sleepy, but why does it have this effect on us, and is there anything you can do to avoid feeling tired after having a few beers? In this post, we’ll take a look at the reasons why beer makes you sleepy and provide you with some tips for avoiding feeling tired…

Why Does Beer Make Me Sleepy?

There are a few different reasons why beer makes you sleepy…

It’s a depressant – First, alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which simply means it slows down your brain function. This can lead to feelings of drowsiness & fatigue, alcohol also inhibits REM sleep, which is the stage of sleep where you get the most rest. As a result, you may find that you wake up more during the night after drinking beer than you would if you hadn’t had any.

Lowers blood sugar – Another reason beer might make you sleepy is because of its effect on your blood sugar levels. When you drink alcohol, your liver focuses on processing the alcohol before anything else. This can lead to low blood sugar levels, which can create feelings of being tired.

Hops have a sedating effect – If you’re a fan of IPAs, you might notice that they tend to make you more tired than other types of beer. This is because IPAs are brewed with lots of hops, which contain a sedative compound called myrcene. Myrcene acts similarly to alcohol in that it boosts GABA activity and then depresses glutamate activity. So if you want a beer that will knock you out quickly, an IPA is a good choice.

Dehydration – Lastly, dehydration can also 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. Which of course can lead to dehydration, which in turn can cause fatigue and sleepiness.

Why Does Beer Also Keep You Awake?

A funny thing about beer is that instead of putting you to sleep from time to time it can also have the opposite effect and keep you wide awake. It turns out, beer has a biphasic effect on sleep, which means it can help you fall asleep, but it can also prevent you from staying asleep.

There are two main reasons why beer before bed might keep you up at night…

The first reason is beer contains hops, which yes as we just covered hops do have a sedating effect, however, they also contain compounds that can inhibit sleep.

The main compound in hops that can keep you awake is called bitter acid. Bitter acid has been shown to interfere with GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep.

The second reason why beer before bed might keep you up at night is that alcohol prevents your body from entering a deep sleep. Deep sleep is the most restful and arguably the most important stage of sleep, as it’s when your body repairs itself. Without deep sleep, your body can’t function as it should, and as a result, you will feel tired and sluggish the next day.

How Much Beer Does it Take to Affect Sleep?

The amount of beer that you would need to drink in order to see an effect on your sleep would depend on a few factors, including your weight, body composition, and metabolism. Overall, it is safe to say that most people need to drink at least 3-4 beers in order to start seeing any negative effects on their sleep.

It is when you drink more than 4 beers, that you will likely begin to feel tired and may have trouble staying awake. You might also find it more difficult to fall asleep when you go to bed. As your blood alcohol level starts to rise, your body becomes more relaxed and you will start to feel sleepy. This can lead to a disruptive sleep throughout the night as well as an increased chance of waking up. Alcohol consumption has also been shown to reduce the amount of deep sleep that you get, which can leave you feeling tired the next day.

What About Using Beer as a Sleep Aid?

A good night’s sleep is important for overall health and well-being, and as most of us have experienced sometimes it can be hard to fall asleep. If you are struggling to get some shut-eye, you might have thought about having a beer to help. After all, having a couple of beers is a common way for many people to unwind at the end of the day. But does it really work and is it a good idea? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using beer as a sleep aid.

The Pros of Using Beer as a Sleep Aid

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

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

3. Beer when consumed in moderation does have some health benefits.

The Cons of Using Beer as a Sleep Aid

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

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

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

4. Alcohol abuse can lead to health problems, which include liver damage and some types of cancer.

5. Drinking alcohol can interact with different types of medications making them less effective.

6. If you have a history of alcohol abuse, you should completely avoid drinking alcohol.

7. Due to concerns over harming the fetus pregnant women should avoid drinking alcohol.

8. People who are struggling with addiction should avoid drinking alcohol as it may trigger a relapse.

9. If you have any medical conditions, you should speak with your doctor before drinking alcohol as it could make your condition worse.

There are both pros and cons to using beer as a sleep aid. If you do decide to drink beer before bed, do so in moderation and be aware of the potential risks involved and possibly think about speaking with your doctor first.

Tips for Avoiding Beer Fatigue 
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 want to avoid feeling tired from drinking beer, there are a few things you can do…

First, drink beer in moderation. Drinking too much beer can obviously lead to feeling tired, so it’s important to not overdo it.

Second, eat food while drinking beer. Eating food will help to absorb some of the alcohol and will also help to sober you up some.

Third, drink lots of water.  Being dehydrated can lead to feeling tired and water will help prevent it from happening.

Fourth, avoid sugary drinks as they can make you feel more tired.

Fifth, get lots of sleep.  Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your overall health and well-being, and it will also help to prevent any hangovers or fatigue the next day.

Tips for Sleeping After Drinking Beer

1. Drink in moderation. This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s worth repeating. If you want to avoid waking up in the middle of the night drink beer in moderation. If you are planning on going to bed within a couple of hours have no more than 1-2 drinks beforehand.

2. Stay hydrated. Drinking beer can dehydrate you, so it is important that you drink lots of water throughout the day and evening. A good rule of thumb is to drink 1 glass of water for every beer you have.

3. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you awake, so it’s best to avoid it altogether at night, especially if you are having a few beers.

4. Eat a light dinner. A heavy meal right before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, so if you are hungry before bed try having a light snack instead of a big meal.

5. Get some fresh air before bedtime. Taking a short walk or spending some time outside can help you wind down before bed and it will make it easier to fall asleep when you finally hit the pillow.

6. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. If you have trouble falling asleep, establish a relaxing bedtime routine that includes winding down for 30 minutes before bedtime.  Try reading or having a bath or shower.

By following these tips, you’ll be more likely to get a good night’s sleep even after enjoying a few beers!

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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