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Home / News / The Real Reason Why Red Wine Makes You Sleepy
All, Booze Science, red wine, red wine hangover, wine

The Real Reason Why Red Wine Makes You Sleepy

March 02, 2021

The Real Reason Red Wine Makes You Sleepy 

If you’ve enjoyed a glass of red wine and felt those warm and fuzzies that make you want to curl up cozy and drift off to sleep, you are not the only one! It is true that red wine can make you feel quite sleepy, even more-so than white wine and other alcoholic beverages in general. Read on below to find out why.

Alcohol Is a Depressant

While it is that red wine most commonly has the drowsiness-inducing reputation, all alcoholic beverages can make one feel sleepy. Overall, alcohol is a depressant, meaning it depresses the central nervous system and can slow brain activity. This results in somewhat of a sedative effect, making the drinker feel tired and/or relaxed. While a drink or two can make it easier to fall  asleep, excessive drinking can have a negative effect on sleep quality and sleep duration through the night. Always drink responsibly! 

Red Wine Contains an Extra Sleepy Element

In addition to being a depressant like all alcohol, some of the most common grapes from which red wines are made also contain melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone in the brain that is triggered by darkness and helps regulate our sleep. Until recently, scientists thought only mammals produce melatonin, but it has been discovered in plants. Particularly in the case of red wine, it's found in grape-skin at various levels. Here are the types of red wines that ranked highest in melatonin in one Italian study:

  • Nebbiolo
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Sangiovese
Some lower levels of melatonin were also detected in these wine varieties:
  • Croatina
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Barbera

What About the Dreaded Red Wine Hangover?

The melatonin in red wine is most likely not to blame for the particular intensity of a red wine hangover that some claim to experience. Instead, most scientists agree that high levels of tannins and the presence of phenolic flavonoid radicals in wine are the culprit, especially for that particular red wine hangover headache. 

Sulfites have also commonly been noted as another potential reason for the red wine hangover. While sulfites are in many other foods, those with a sulfite allergy will feel the negative effects of red wine more intensely. 

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Try Flyby At Your Next Wine Night

Next time you host a dinner party or grab a bottle of red wine to share with your friends, have Flyby Recovery Capsules on hand! While Flyby post-party relief will not make you any less tired from drinking wine, it may help to lessen those rough red wine hangover symptoms. Three pills before drinking and three before bed, and see how you may wake up feeling more refreshed than usual. Again, always drink (and recover) responsibly: pace yourself, have a full meal and plenty of water, and get a good night’s sleep after a night of drinks!

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