The question of whether or not you would like a glass of wine before bed is a no-brainer (yes, obviously); the question of whether or not you should have a glass of wine before bed, not so clear-cut.
While wine has often been looked to as one of the more enjoyable sleep aids, it might not actually be helping you get the good night’s rest that you think it is.
Just to be clear, the idea of a nightcap isn’t entirely misguided. Wine does have certain sedative effects on the body, including lowering your body temperature and triggering changes in metabolism. So in that sense, it will help you nod off initially. The real problem, though, is that the sleep-inducing effects of wine are short-lived, and after a few short hours, the wine in your system starts doing more to hurt your sleep than to help it.
The adverse effects of wine on sleep, according to a report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), start becoming apparent during the second half of the sleep period. Once the initial sedative effect of wine has worn off, the brain starts to show heightened levels of what is known as alpha activity, a function that generally occurs when you are awake. That leaves your mind unable to restore itself through the night as it would during a sound sleep, and you end up tossing and turning without getting rejuvenative rest that your body needs.
Because wine has a negative impact on the quality of sleep throughout the night, its consumption before bed is subsequently linked to increased fatigue the following day. Not to mention, making a habit of sipping wine before bed may ultimately lessen the drink’s sedative effects over time while heightening its sleep-disrupting qualities, says NIAAA report.
The good news is that there’s no need to cut out evening wine altogether. All you have to do is make sure that a glass of vino isn’t your go-to sleep aid, and that you are drinking in moderation and trying to limit your consumption to several hours before bedtime.