sleep and wine

Sleep and wine, cheese and sleep….I covered the latter a while back.

Now, what do I want to discuss about wine. One of my “New Year Resolutions” is to drink less alcohol, particular wine. Why? Because it is healthier and I should rather go the gym or for a walk to relax. However, after 10 days of not drinking, I really fancied a glass of wine. Mainly because I read my wine magazine and therefore thought I should have a glass.

The first night I had a glass and didn’t sleep well. The next one I had a glass and a half (honestly) and thought the next day that I felt as if I was hangover? Wow, I thought, there must be a reason for it. Is it the food I had or the wine? Now, this morning, after quite a lot of food and half a bottle of wine, I feel fine. And, I did sleep ok but not as long as I would have if I had not been drinking.

Summary:

  • I drink and don’t feel like I sleep better but cope with less sleep.
  • I don’t drink and sleep better but can sleep longer.

Why is that?

A quick internet search got me this article about sleeping and wine, outlining the benefits of wine for sleep.

They say that  “in addition to reducing risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, pre-mature aging and several forms of cancer, red wine also helps the body obtain the rest it needs to recover from the daily grind. The benefits of wine on sleep are not only from the alcohol, which, despite helping people fall asleep may actually worsen the quality of the sleep itself. The sleep benefits of wine come from a chemical called melatonin, found in high levels in the skins of red grapes.”

melatonin-in-wine1 The graph shows, that my most favourite wines, e.g. the heavy Cabernet Sauvignon, are the right ones for better sleep. So is my thesis wrong to say that I don’t sleep as well after having a glass of wine? They say if you have too much alcohol, you feel dehydrated, wake up and cannot go back to sleep. But that of course, is after a very heavy drinking night out.

Even the Daily Mail suggests to have a glass to get to sleep. And another online health journal suggests the same.

So, what is that Melatonin? It makes us drowsy, works as an antioxidant and helps our immune system. Wow, that is like a shake of fruit and vegetables, isn’t it? Grape juice of course 🙂 An overdose on Melatonin can cause hallucinating, however you also get more vivid dreams.

So, to look at my summary above, maybe it is different:

  • I drink and have a better, deeper sleep with more vivid dreams that make me feel like I had worse sleep. However, I can cope with less hours of sleep because I slept deeper.
  • I don’t drink and don’t sleep as well and therefore, I need more sleep.

Maybe and quite certainly, the truths is anywhere in between.  A glass a day keeps the doctor away and is good for my sleep.

Now, I have changed my New Year’s Resolution. How wonderful that science is helping me out here….now I will look for ways to avoid the gym 😉

Have a great Sunday,

Volker