Does beer make you sleepy?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “does beer make you sleepy?”, the reasons why it makes you sleepy, and other queries related to this topic.

Does beer make you sleepy? 

Yes, beer may make you sleepy. Beer contains alcohol that affects your sleep in two ways. After a few hours, alcohol will make you feel sleepy and tired but after that, you will feel very alert and sleepless.

However, even if you took a nap or you had enough sleep the night before drinking or going out, you may feel tired and sleepy.

Why does beer make you sleepy?

Beer contains alcohol which affects your whole body and more specifically your brain and your central nervous system.

Within about 20 minutes, the alcohol can be absorbed from your digestive system into your blood. Once in your blood, alcohol will affect your brain and the secretion of a specific neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA secretion helps in relaxation. Alcohol enhances GABA secretion with an increase in its relaxation effect and the sleep feeling.

However, alcohol also stimulates the secretion of epinephrine which is a stress hormone. Usually, stress hormones increase the heart rate and make you feel sleepless. Moreover, in the long term and after several hours, you will feel full of energy.

Furthermore, if you drink alcohol and you sleep directly, there is a chance of waking up in the middle of the night due to the alcohol effect.

Why does beer make you more sleepy than other alcoholic drinks?

The hops in the beer are the reason why you feel sleepy when you drink it. Hops are the dried flowers of the hop plant and it is one of the main ingredients, along with grains, yeast, and water of the beer.

Moreover, hops are added during the brewing process and give a bitter taste to the beer. However, hops are used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and relaxation.

Why can alcohol keep you up?

There are several reasons why alcohol can keep you up. First, as mentioned earlier it increases your heart rate. However, it affects your rapid eye movement which is a very important stage of sleep which is when you sleep deeply. Also, alcohol is a diuretic, so you will wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

Moreover, alcohol will cause sleep apnea, since it relaxes all your body muscles, so you might have difficulty breathing properly. Also, since alcohol disturbs the circadian rhythm of the body it will lead to insomnia.

How much time should I wait between drinking and bedtime?

If you are planning to drink, make sure there are at least 4 hours between your drink and your bedtime. Providing the needed time for your body to get rid of alcohol is necessary to ensure that you are having a good night’s sleep. However, you might think that alcohol makes you sleep but it will affect the quality of your sleep, and you will get up the next morning very tired.

How much does it take to affect sleep?

As long as you are drinking in moderation and you are giving your body the needed time to clean-out alcohol, your sleep will not be affected. It is recommended for men to drink 2 drinks per day and for women 1 drink per day.

Exceeding the limit will cause adverse effects, leading to a poor night’s sleep. The more you drink the more your sleep quality will worsen and the more you will have severe consequences.

However, some people will be affected more than others by alcohol since every person can metabolize alcohol differently.

How to avoid feeling sleepy after drinking?

To avoid being sleepy after drinking, drink in moderation and do not exceed the limits. Also, before drinking beer or any other alcoholic beverage, plan to eat a meal rich in proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fat, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach.

However, drink a low alcohol beverage, and if you feel that beer is making you sleepy, consider substituting it with another drink because the hop in the beer might be the reason.

To get a good sleep after a night out, drink at least two to three hours before bedtime so that you will sleep peacefully. Go to the bathroom before sleeping and avoid drinking coffee or caffeinated beverages after drinking alcohol because it will interfere with your sleep.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “does beer make you sleepy?”, the reasons why it makes you sleepy, and other queries related to this topic.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.