Why Does Wine Make Me Sleepy – 4 Top Reasons

 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

SuperHumans are the toughest, fittest, healthiest and happiest human beings on this planet. My mission is to help you realize your superhuman potential and learn how to live a long, happy and healthy life.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’m a content organizer, fact-checker and super mom who ensures content is medically-reviewed, highly accurate, and engaging. My passion is organizing information and ensuring the facts are presented in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand.

why does wine make me sleepy

“Why does wine make me sleepy?”

It happens to the best of us: after a night out with friends wine begins to kick in and you feel drowsy. Wine can certainly be relaxing; this is why many people unwind quietly with a glass of wine at the end of a busy and stressful day.

So why does wine make you sleepy? Some argue that it is due to the alcohol content, while others believe it has more to do with the other components found in wine.

Red Wine vs. White Wine

“Why does white wine make me sleepy as well?”

It’s not just the color. Both red wine and white wine can make us sleepy, but what are the main differences between these two?

The first thing to know is that all wines contain alcohol, which has a calming effect on your body. However, this effect is different for each type of wine.

Red wines have more tannins than white wines, which are known for their crispness and lighter taste. Tannins are found in red grapes, so they give red wines their characteristic astringent taste. Red wine tannins can also cause irritation in your mouth and throat, which can make you feel tired if you drink them too often.

On the other hand, white wines have less tannins than reds because they don’t come from grapes with stems, which is the part of the plant that holds the flower. The stems contain most of the plant’s tannin content; thus, white wine contains less tannin than red ones.

While there is no clear answer as to why some people feel energized after drinking red or white wine while others feel sleepy, research found that it could be due to a number of factors. Here are four more reasons why wine in general makes you sleepy:

  • The alcohol content of the wine
  • The type of grapes used in the fermentation process
  • Personal preference for sweet or dry wines
  • The amount consumed
pouring white wine

Why Does Red Wine Make You Sleepy – 4 Reasons

When you drink red wine it replaces the water in your blood with alcohol, resulting in a lower blood pressure and an increased heart rate. As a consequence of these effects, red wine can cause drowsiness.

Caffeine is another well-known substance that’s capable of causing sleepiness – even though it’s a stimulant and not an intoxicant.

This discrepancy is because caffeine affects areas of the brain involved in wakefulness and arousal, while alcohol dulls our neurotransmitters – messengers between nerve cells that help transmute nerve impulses into electrical signals to be sent to other parts of the body.

How else does red wine make us sleepy? Here are four more reasons behind it:

#1 – Contains Sleep Hormone

It contains higher levels of the sleep hormone – melatonin. The main active ingredient involved in the sedative effect of wine is the melatonin, produced by the pineal gland.

The melatonin levels are affected by age, time of day, season, stress and light. It has a short half-life (about 25 minutes) and acts as both a neurohormone and as a powerful antioxidant.

#2 – Alcohol Content

Red wine grapes have higher alcohol content. One of the reasons we say that red wine makes you sleepy is that the alcohol content in it is higher than most other alcoholic drinks, and we know alcohol often has a drowsy effect.

#3 – Contains Tannins

Red grapes are higher in tannins that have sedative capabilities. There are two types of natural chemicals found in wine grapes that act as sedatives prior to sleep; these chemicals are also known as tannins.

sleepy after drinking wine

When tannins react with certain proteins, a chemical reaction takes place that releases acetylsalicylic acid (known more commonly as aspirin). This is also the same chemical that relieves pain and is also the basis for many over-the-counter headache medicines.

#4 – Very Relaxing Warm Flavors

People find the warm flavors of the red wine very relaxing. Red wine is known for its warm, relaxing taste.

Some research suggests that this may be due to certain compounds in the wine that interact with the brain’s receptors for dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are associated with feelings of reward, pleasure, and relaxation.

The presence of these compounds may explain why people find the warm flavors of red wine very relaxing. The calming effects can help induce sleepiness, which may be why many people enjoy drinking a glass before bedtime.

5 Ways To Drink Red Wine Without Falling Asleep

“Why does a glass of wine make me sleepy?”

As stated in the reasons above, wine makes you sleepy because of the type of grapes, the actual alcohol and melatonin content, and the warm, relaxing flavors that wines come in. There are ways you can drink wine without feeling sleepy, though, and I am listing them down for you:

Keep Your Body Hydrated All the Time (Before, During & After Drinking)

Your body needs a certain amount of water to function properly and avoid dehydration. That is especially true if you are drinking wine. Drinking water will help keep your body hydrated and ready for the alcohol, which means that it won’t have to work as hard to process it.

Eat a Healthy Serving of Food Before Drinking

If you want to drink red wine without getting sleepy, make sure you eat a healthy serving of food before you start drinking. The carbs in the food will help your body process the alcohol and keep you awake.

Enjoy Your Glass of Red Wine at a Safe Pace (It’s Not a Race)

If you want to enjoy your glass of red wine without falling asleep, it’s important to drink at a safe pace.

enjoying the glass of wine

Drinking red wine too quickly can cause the alcohol to go straight to your head, which can cause you to feel light-headed, dizzy, and even make you nauseous. It can also impair your judgment and slow down your reaction time.

If you want to avoid these symptoms, try taking small sips and allow them to coat your mouth before swallowing. This will help you taste the full complexity of the wine as well as give it time to be absorbed into your bloodstream.

Limit Yourself to Just One or Two Glasses of Red Wine

Red wine contains a lot of alcohol and caffeine, which can make you feel drowsy. Also, if you drink more than two glasses of red wine, it could cause dehydration which can make your body feel tired.

Finish Drinking at Least 3 Hours Before Going To Bed

This will give your body enough time for the alcohol content to metabolize before hitting its peak level at which point it will begin affecting your brain waves and other bodily functions like heart rate, which can be disruptive.

Safest Way To Fall a Sleep And Get a Deep, Peaceful Sleep

The safest way to fall asleep and get a deep, peaceful sleep is to make sure you’re in a comfortable environment. If your bedroom is too hot or too cold, noisy, or otherwise uncomfortable, it can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.

It’s also important to make sure that you don’t have any distractions in the room with you. Turn off your phone and put it out of reach so that you won’t be tempted to check it while trying to fall asleep. Don’t leave anything else on that might distract you—no television, no music, no computer.

If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because of pain or discomfort in the body, such as back pain, try massaging some lavender oil onto the area where the pain occurs before bedtime.

Lavender oil has been shown to help reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure, which can help people relax into deep sleep more easily.

woman getting her beauty sleep

Take natural sleep aids to supplement your efforts in getting a good night’s sleep. While red wine has its benefits, you should also be aware of the possible consequences of consuming wine excessively.

Products such as Serenity is a breakthrough natural sleep supplement that encourages better sleep and rest, and wakes you up feeling more energized and focused. I would recommend taking these supplements that would heal and take care of your body, rather than depend on alcohol or pills just to get some peaceful sleep.

Why Do I Get Sleepy After Drinking Wine?

If you’re a wine lover, you may have noticed that you get sleepy after drinking a glass or two. That’s because alcohol is a sedative, which means it slows down your brain and body. Sedatives work by calming the activity of nerve cells in your brain. This helps you relax, which in turn helps you sleep.

How Do You Stop Wine Making You Sleepy?

There are a few things you can do to make sure that the wine you drink doesn’t make you too sleepy. First, try drinking water before and during your wine. Second, if you’re going out for a night on the town, avoid eating anything heavy just before bedtime. Finally, avoid drinking too much alcohol too quickly.

Does Wine Make You More Sleepy Than Other Alcohol?

NO. A glass of wine before bed can help you sleep more deeply, but it’s not the only alcohol that can help. It depends on how much you drink.

glass of red wine

Alcohol and wine affect each person differently, so what makes one person fall asleep quickly may not have the same effect on another. Two different people could both drink the same amount of wine or alcohol, and one would fall asleep quickly while the other would remain awake.

Alcohol is a sedative, which means it slows down your brain and body. It also lowers inhibitions and helps you feel relaxed, which can be helpful when you’re trying to fall asleep. Even though wine has been touted as the best kind of alcohol for sleep since ancient times, there are other options that work just as well—and they might even be better for your health.

Why Does Wine Make Me Sleepy but Not Liquor?

Wine is a mild sedative and a good option for helping you fall asleep. The alcohol in it slows down your brain activity, which can help to calm you and make you feel sleepy.

The same effect can be achieved by drinking liquor, but the effects are more intense because liquor is higher in alcohol content. Liquor also speeds up your heart rate and breathing, which can make it harder to fall asleep if you’re not used to drinking it regularly.


So now you know the four most common reasons why a person would get sleepy after drinking wine. If your answer is yes to number one on the list, then you might want to take it easy on alcohol overall.

The best rule of thumb is only to drink when you are going to be productive afterwards and are not vulnerable to any of these other situations.

If you are going to consume alcohol, make yourself aware of why people fall asleep after drinking a glass of wine or enjoy some herbal tea as an alternative. Most importantly, have fun!

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