Can a glass of wine before bed help you sleep better at night?

drink a glass of red wine before bed to sleep better at night

Drinking a glass of Merlot wine a couple of hours before bed helps sleep better at night. Merlot is the richest beverage in melatonin, known as the “sleep hormone”.

Wine helps you fall asleep

Certainly, drinking wine at dinner helps you fall asleep at night. Actually, alcohol is a convenient and cheap hypnotic! It has a relaxing effect. People with problems of insomnia tend to consume alcohol before bed, as it helps them fall asleep.

But, although alcohol helps you fall asleep, it disturbs sleep later at night. Alcohol causes frequent nighttime, and early morning awakenings. After all, insomnia is a common side effect, among regular drinkers.[1]

Furthermore, people who drink alcohol to fall asleep have poor sleep quality and decreased sleep duration. Also, they feel sleepy during the day!

Drinking wine before bed may cause poor sleep quality & decrease sleep duration

A good night’s sleep is crucial for your health. Poor quality sleep can lead to stress, fatigue, mood disorders, and higher risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.

Alcohol may impair sleep, due to snoring or apnea

Drinking too much wine before bedtime is bad for you, as alcohol increases sleep apnea and snoring. It prevents entry into deep sleep!

In fact, the number of nighttime awakenings due to snoring is highly related to the amount of alcohol consumption. But, even a single drink increases the risk of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.

Actually, alcohol relaxes the upper airway muscles, increasing resistance during inhalation. It significantly restricts breathing.[2]

Higher doses of alcohol lead to poorer sleep quality and higher odds of having snoring and short sleep duration.[3]

Alcohol may disturb sleep

Alcohol impairs sleep in other ways as well. For instance, alcohol may increase movement disorders that disturb sleep. If you drink more than 2 glasses of wine a day, you have up to 3-fold increase in periodic leg movements!

Moreover, more than 2 glasses of wine before bed can cause thirst and polyuria! This means many awakenings during the second half of the night, significantly affecting sleep quality.

Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption can induce gastritis, and esophageal reflux!

So, although alcohol initially promotes sleep, chronic night drinking may disrupt sleep-related physiology. Even small doses may be bad for you.

Melatonin in wine helps sleep better at night

On the other hand, wine helps you sleep at night because it’s an excellent source of melatonin.

The human body produces melatonin naturally by the pineal gland at night. Actually, melatonin is known as the “hormone of sleep”. It’s the biological clock of the body. It promotes sleep anticipation in the brain, and regulates sleep rhythm.

The body produces vast amounts of melatonin at night, in order, to promote sleep.

As, the production of melatonin decreases with age, getting melatonin from supplements, or eating foods rich in melatonin can significantly improve sleep quality and duration.

Melatonin supplements may improve sleep disorders.[4]

For better results, get melatonin from supplements or diet at least a couple of hours before going to bed. For instance, melatonin doses of 0.1-1.0 mg from supplements can produce significant drowsiness. It peaks approximately 3-4 hours after ingestion.[5]

As a rule of thumb, wine is considered a beverage high in melatonin. Not all wine varieties have high amounts of melatonin, though.

What wine is better for helping you sleep?

Only Merlot, Malbec, and Sangiovese cultivars are exceptional sources of melatonin!

Most noteworthy, Merlot has the highest content of melatonin, among all foods and beverages. Its melatonin content is up to 150,000 ng per gram![6]

So, you could drink a glass of Merlot wine 4 hours before bed to sleep better at night.

Other beverages with a decent amount of melatonin, which promote a good night’s sleep, are apple juice and cranberry juice.

Resveratrol in red wine aids good night sleep!

Moreover, wine is pretty rich in resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant compound. Only red wines are high in resveratrol, though.

Resveratrol has many health benefits. For instance, it fights inflammation, may prevent from certain cancers, and has anti-aging effects![7]

Furthermore, resveratrol in grapes promotes weight loss, and protects the skin from aging!

Additionally, according to recent studies, resveratrol seems to be an important regulator of sleep patterns, and may improve sleep quality.[8,9]

We get about 100 mcg of resveratrol a day. Mainly due to wine consumption.[10]

In fact, red wine is the best dietary source of resveratrol. It has up to 1.97 mg of resveratrol per liter. White and rosé wines have significantly lower concentrations of resveratrol.

Even red grapes have about 1000-fold lower concentrations of resveratrol, as compared to red wine!

Certainly, the resveratrol content of wine varies greatly. It highly depends on many factors, such as the production process, temperature, or pH value.

The worst time of the day to drink wine is before bed

Alcohol before bed may lead to severe daytime sleepiness and lower alertness. Even low doses of alcohol can severely affect night sleep.

Alcohol helps people fall asleep, due to its sedative properties. But drinking alcohol before bed disrupts sleep cycle. Even two glasses of wine at night can cause a restless sleep and frequent wake-ups.

As a rule of thumb, you should avoid drinking within a few hours of bedtime. Even a glass of wine contains approximately 0.5 ounces of alcohol.

So, you better drink a glass of red wine at least 4 hours before bed. Always drink wine with food. Food and particularly carbs promote alcohol absorption. Drinking a glass of wine at dinner significantly decrease alcohol concentrations in the blood.[11]

What’s the best time of the day to drink a glass of wine?

The best time of the day to drink a glass of wine is at lunch. We take advantage of all the health benefits of wine, while preventing bad sleep quality at night, due to alcohol.

Furthermore, a glass of wine at lunch promotes weight loss and aids digestion.[12]

Also, a glass of red wine a day boosts the immune system and reduces the risk of catching the flu or a cold.

If you really like drinking a glass of wine before bed, at least prefer Merlot. It’s the richest beverage on melatonin, which promotes a good night’s sleep.