How long should I wait to fall asleep after drinking a glass of wine?

How long should I wait to fall asleep after drinking a glass of wine?
Nov 11, 2020

Q: How long should I wait to fall asleep after drinking a glass of wine?—Sloan, Flagstaff, Ariz.

A: Alcohol and sleep don't go well together. Even though you may be getting the recommended hours of shut-eye, drinking before bed can adversely impact sleep's restorative effects. According to Stanford University sleep specialist Dr. Rafael Pelayo, it's OK to enjoy a glass of wine at night, but it's best to go to sleep sober.

"The advice I give my patients is to give yourself an hour per drink before you get into bed," Dr. Pelayo told Wine Spectator. "This is especially true for people who snore, because alcohol makes your snoring louder and worse."

Because alcohol is a depressant and impedes motor functions, it's not uncommon for an overserved person to lose consciousness, but sleep quality actually decreases with intoxication—people who go to sleep under the influence are prone to waking up frequently and experiencing fragmented sleep. "The whole point of sleeping is that it restores you for the next day," Dr. Pelayo said. "So if you're not getting that restorative effect of sleeping, then what's the point?"

Alcohol should never be used as a sleep aid, and Dr. Pelayo advises against going to bed feeling tipsy or buzzed. Alcohol is also counter-indicated with sleep aids, especially sedatives such as Ambien; consult your physician about any medications you are taking and how wine can be safely incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.

Q & A Health Sleep

You Might Also Like

How does alcohol intoxication cause “glassy” eyes?

How does alcohol intoxication cause “glassy” eyes?

Glassy or glossy eyes—eyes that look glazed over, shiny and unfocused—are often associated …

Jun 22, 2022
My dog tries to drink from unattended wineglasses. What happens when pets consume wine?

My dog tries to drink from unattended wineglasses. What happens when pets consume wine?

Here at Wine Spectator , we love dogs, especially the canine companions who help in the …

Jun 8, 2022
Can wine and cannabis be consumed together safely?

Can wine and cannabis be consumed together safely?

As social attitudes and legal restrictions around marijuana have loosened in recent years, …

May 25, 2022
Does grappa have the same health benefits as wine?

Does grappa have the same health benefits as wine?

Traditionally served as a digestif, grappa has undergone a renaissance in recent years, led …

Apr 27, 2022
Why does wine make me pee?

Why does wine make me pee?

Our kidneys play a pivotal role in regulating water excretion and absorption, and alcohol …

Apr 13, 2022
Does drinking wine impact the effectiveness of a multivitamin?

Does drinking wine impact the effectiveness of a multivitamin?

Multivitamins serve as a dietary supplements that are intended to fill in nutritional gaps. …

Mar 30, 2022