Why Does Alcohol Make You Sleepy?

By James Madeiros


Alcohol makes you sleepy because you’re old, old-timer! Put down the pint and hit the sack before you bust your hip!

Just kidding. Alcohol can make people of any age sleepy, because it’s a muscle relaxant and a sedative. But, what does that mean, exactly?

The truth is that alcohol and its effects on the human body are much more dynamic than that. Alcohol is commonly labeled as a depressant (as opposed to a stimulant), but this is wholly dependent on the amount consumed and the arc of consumption. In other words, it is only when blood-alcohol content (BAC) is descending that alcohol triggers fatigue and relaxation – the sedative side of booze.

When BAC is on the rise, though, it causes excitement and a lowering of inhibitions … which generally leads to more excitement.

It can also be argued that it depends on what kind of alcohol you drink. Some scientists contend that the melatonin found in the skins of red grapes can have a sleepy-time effect on people beyond the typical depressive effects of alcohol; however, it could just as easily be argued that a person is on the same BAC seesaw described above when they drink wine as they are when they drink anything else alcoholic.

So, at the end of the day, alcohol refuses to be pigeonholed. In more ways than one it is what you make of it, which is always good to (try to) remember when your BAC is on the rise.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =)

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