Why Does Beer Make Me Sleepy?

why does beer put us to sleep
Local drunk sleeps while his “Weekend Vibes” Coronado Brewing beer waters the plants

I hate it when beer makes me tired. I like it when beer keeps me up AND gives me a buzz! You know, makes me feel good and stuff?

Instead, many times, it makes me tired. Why?! I want to be able to day-drink and not have to take a damn nap after my first beer. Is this really that much to ask?

So the question today is…

Why Does Beer Make You Tired!?

Reasons you find yourself asleep on the floor or on the cement somewhere (oh is that just me?) after one beer:

  • You did not sleep that well the night before. This is almost always the case with me and probably you too? Unless you’re single and 22, who the hell has time to get enough sleep? These Sienfeld episodes at 12:30 at night when you have to get up at six ain’t gonna watch themselves now, are they!?
  • You have not drank enough water. We have all figured out by now that beer dehidrates you – even though the dang thing is mostly water! WHY OH WHY God did you do this!? You let us figure out this delicious beverage that makes us feel things and then you have it dehydrate us?! Booooooo!
  • Hops. The hops in the beer made you tired. There are studies out there (I will not bore you with the details) that prove hops relax you (basically) and when you couple that with alcohol that is generally already relaxing you along with the hops, that is a tough combination to battle through. But battle we must.

In a related twist, according to a Harvard study, you actually get a “boost” from drinking a few hours after your first drink – even if the your beer made you sleepy.

Several hours after that nightcap, the alcohol raises the body’s level of epinephrine, a stress hormone that increases the heart rate and generally stimulates the body, which can result in nighttime awakenings.

Harvard study on alchol and fatigue

I cannot say I have noticed this epinephrine boost before. Not saying it isn’t a thing, I just haven’t stopped to notice it. Now I have another fun element to my beer drinking: waiting for the boost!

Next time I drink I will start a three hour timer after I crack open my first beer and WAIT FOR THAT RUSH BABY!

There is also the kind of sleep we get after beers. This dude is a whisky guy but seems to know things and talks about the good and bad about drinking before sleep:

So What Can We Do About This Beer Sleeping?

I am just trying to keep things simple and stop feeling drowsy after a beer. So what the hell are we going to do about it?

Obviously now, we know we gotta start by sleeping as much as we can the night before. Then we need to have been drinking water before we crack something open. And have water next to you as we drink. I also up the anty by having a Coke Zero around for some caffeine intake.

This is a lot of fluid going into the body, I know. It’s good fluid though and the only way I know to stay awake during a mellow, lo-fi drinking session.

Good luck to you and if you have any tips on staying fresh while still having some nice beverages, please reply to this post below in the comment section. Cheers!

Side Note: If you liked this sleepy drinky post, you might like my newsletter Drinking & Thinking and also maybe leaving something in the tip jar so I can go get some more beer to make me sleepy! 🍻😴

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