A glass of red wine at 3–4 hours before bed may improve sleep quality, as it’s the richest natural source of resveratrol. But, the best red wines for a good night’s sleep are Malbec, Sangiovese, and above all, Merlot cultivars, as they’re great natural sources of melatonin; also known as “the sleep hormone”.
Wine helps you fall asleep
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.
Furthermore, people who drink alcohol to fall asleep have poor sleep quality and decreased sleep duration. Also, they feel sleepy during the day!
Drinking red wine before bed may cause poor sleep quality
A good night’s sleep is crucial for your health. Poor quality sleep can lead to stress, fatigue, mood disorders, higher risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.
Too much wine increases sleep apnea & snoring
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 consumed alcohol. 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.
Higher doses of alcohol lead to poorer sleep quality and higher odds of snoring and short sleep duration.
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 at night:
- you have up to a 3-fold increase in periodic leg movements!
- can cause thirst and polyuria!
So, drinking more than 2 glasses of wine before bed can cause 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.
On the other hand, wine helps you sleep at night because it’s an excellent source of melatonin.
Melatonin: the sleep hormone
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 high in melatonin can significantly improve sleep quality and duration.
Melatonin supplements may improve sleep disorders.
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, which peaks approximately 3–4 hours after ingestion.
You can find a wide variety of melatonin supplements at great prices on iHerb.
What are the best wines for a good night’s sleep?
Red wine is considered a beverage high in melatonin. Not all wine varieties have high amounts of melatonin, though. Only Merlot, Malbec, and Sangiovese cultivars are great natural 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! So, you could drink a glass of Merlot wine 3–4 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 improves sleep quality!
Moreover, red 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, resveratrol in grapes promotes weight loss, protects the skin from aging, fights inflammation, and may prevent from certain cancers.
Additionally, according to recent studies, resveratrol seems to be an important regulator of sleep patterns, and may improve sleep quality.[8,9]
It’s estimated that we get about 100 mcg of resveratrol a day. Mainly due to wine consumption.
In fact, red wine is one of the best natural sources 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 1,000-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, and pH value.
The worst time of the day to drink wine is right before bed
Alcohol before bed may lead to severe daytime sleepiness and lower alertness. Even low doses of alcohol late at night can severely affect sleep quality.
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 wine a couple of hours before bedtime. Even a glass of wine contains approximately 0.5 ounces of alcohol.
So, you better drink a glass of red wine at least 3–4 hours before bed. Always drink wine with food. Drinking a glass of wine at dinner significantly decreases alcohol concentrations in the blood.
The best time to eat dinner is also 3–4 hours before bed.
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 poor sleep quality at night, due to alcohol.
Furthermore, a glass of wine at lunch promotes weight loss and aids digestion.
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!