Red Wine and Sleepy Time (Why Red Wines Makes You Tired)

You may remember the Seinfeld episode when Jerry dates a woman who is protective of a vintage toy collection, and so treats her to copious amounts of red wine and turkey so she will pass out and leave her spoils unguarded.

The myth that tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey and other foods, causes drowsiness has since been debunked. But, is the same true of red wine?

It’s true that scientists discovered that the skin of red grapes contains the hormone melatonin, which is associated with regulating sleep in humans; more specifically, it is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that determines a body’s circadian rhythm. But, as with tryptophan (of which melatonin is a product), there are myriad competing chemical processes occurring in the human brain from moment to moment, and it is hard for anyone – scientific pedigree and debate team experience notwithstanding – to argue that red wine makes a person sleepy.

At the end of the day, those who enjoy drinking red wine can count on two things. One, if they are having their wine at the end of a long day, and they are winding down, they will likely “notice” the wine is making them drowsy. And second, if they drink enough of it, eventually its alcoholic effects as a depressant will actually make them drowsy, like any other alcoholic beverage.

But, if sleep is the desired result, one may easily opt for a warm glass of milk and a few paragraphs from the nearest risk management book, a la George Costanza, rather than popping the cork on that pricey Bordeaux.


Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid. Drinkwel is the world’s first daily multivitamin for healthy people who drink alcohol. For more info, check out our site:

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