For a few years I rarely had a beer at home in the evening. It may be because I tended to be the guy who could not stop at 2 beers when I was younger, it could be because of a fear of alcoholism that runs in the family, or it could be because I was concerned about fitting into my pants… Whatever the reason, when I drank it was outside of the house or when I had company.
Now I also had a problem falling asleep at night. So much so that I had tried medication and melatonin to help me get to bed at a reasonable hour.
But then I started having one or two great craft beers a night. Now I fall asleep easier, and have a much better nights sleep. And yes, in my instance it is anecdotal, but instead of having the soda with dinner (and all it’s caffeine) or water, the beer makes me hit that relaxed and comfortable state that helps me sleep.
What is great to see is research coming out of the London Sleep Center confirms moderate drinking of beer will help you fall asleep faster.
Scientists reviewed 20 studies that included 517 participants who were tested in 38 sleep laboratory experiments. The volunteers drank varying amounts of alcohol, ranging from a low of one to two drinks, a moderate amount of two to four drinks, to a high of four or more drinks. While some experiments examined the results of only one night of drinking, others extended into several consecutive nights. Most of the participants were healthy young adults, and none had drinking problems.
“This review confirms that the immediate and short-term impact of alcohol is to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep,” lead author of the study Irshaad Ebrahim, director of the London Sleep Center, said in a statement. “In addition, the higher the dose, the greater the impact on increasing deep sleep.” Via Time Magazine
Further, the article confirms my own experience:
In contrast, drinking has long been known to reduce REM sleep, the deepest sleep stage in which most dreams occur and during which memories are likely stored and learning occurs. And the current review suggests that it’s the amount of alcohol people drink that may have the biggest effect on their sleep quality. One or two drinks, for example, can increase slow-wave sleep while not affecting deeper REM sleep. But more alcohol can cut into the time spent in the REM stage. So that nightcap may be helpful in getting you to doze off, while a wild night of heavy drinking is likely to make you more restless. Moderation, it seems, is the key to a good night’s sleep.
So the big picture is, go ahead and tell your significant other that the beer you are having is been proven to help you sleep better and is good for your health.