How To Sleep After Drinking Red Wine

Sip, snore, repeat - it's that simple!
How To Sleep After Drinking Red Wine
Tom Greenspan
December 21, 2022

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When you drink red wine, do you find you can't sleep? Thousands of people around the world have the same problem. Fortunately, you can take action and still enjoy your red wine.

The best way to sleep after drinking wine is to avoid drinking on an empty stomach, drink earlier in the evening and not before bedtime, and create a sleep environment that will help you sleep better. Avoid waking up with a headache by rehydrating before sleeping.

Does A Glass Of Red Wine Affect Your Sleep?

If you enjoy red wine, you will know this popular drink offers many health benefits when consumed in moderation, like one glass a day.

Having a glass of red wine at the end of the day may be your way of unwinding from the day's stresses and relaxing.

In fact, not all red wines contain the same amount of alcohol, with some containing as much as fourteen percent.

Therefore, different wines will affect your sleep in different ways.

Is The Alcohol Content Of Wine Labels Accurate?

In the days of trading standards, you would naturally assume that what’s on the label is precisely what is in the bottle. It’s a reasonable assumption. Otherwise, what’s the point of the label?

The label design is intended to make the bottle look attractive to you and in general, what’s on the label is correct.

However, the label and the contents on the label, such as alcohol content by volume, were more to do with taxation than providing the consumer with accurate information.

If a winery exceeded, say, 14% by volume for each bottle, then the winery would receive a larger tax bill, This increase of tax revenue would be passed on to the retailer and ultimately you, the customer.

The knock-on effect means that certain wine bottles containing higher alcohol volume would sit on the supermarket shelves for much longer than their rivals.

Unless you are a red wine connoisseur, you will hardly notice the difference, well, indeed, for the first couple of glasses.

So, the wine you purchase maybe a little stronger than you first thought, mainly if coming from a smaller winery, which may not be such a bad thing.

Common Misconceptions

Without glass or two of red wine before bedtime, you may feel that your sleep patterns would just not be the same.

You enjoy that feeling of jumping into bed, and as soon as you lay your head on the pillow, you drift off to sleep only to wake in the morning feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

Sounds ideal. I am sure you will agree. But, the reality is the alcohol content of the red wine performs very differently in your body than your expectations.


Red wine or alcohol dehydrates your body, causing you to wake through the night to urinate. You will urinate more as alcohol forces water from your body.

This is the leading cause of the flathead in the morning. You are dehydrated and slightly poisoned by the alcohol.


The alcohol in red wine is a stimulant that increases adrenaline. We usually increase adrenaline when we are excited or in fear of impending danger. Adrenaline is part of the fight or flight hormone system we all have.

Poor Sleep Quality

Alcohol can prevent you from entering REM sleep, which can have some long-term effects on your health.

Rem Sleep or rapid eye movement sleep is a crucial stage of your sleep pattern. It helps your brain consolidate information for processing into long-term memory, and with no Rem you'll have poor concentration.

You will agree this is critical for your work life and day-to-day living.

The downside of not getting REM sleep is the long-term effect on your health. Your immune system could be compromised. REM sleep is partly responsible for regenerating cells in our body so that healing can take longer.

Red Wine Helps me Sleep?

Sure a few glasses of red wine will make you feel sleepy and a little drunk even a bit, the negative side of alcohol consumption can have long-lasting consequences.

Can I Drink Red Wine And Negate Its Effects Before I Sleep?

If you must drink to assist with your sleep, don't drink on an empty stomach. Drinking with food in your stomach slows down the rate of alcohol absorption.

Try to drink earlier in the evening and not so close to your bedtime. It takes alcohol around 6 hours to work its way out of your system. 

Drink a glass of red wine instead of drinking the bottle. We are humans, and having a bottle of our favorite red wine can be so delicious and morish. It’s sometimes hard to resist.

You know overindulging is now and again. We all do it. However, keep the overindulgence limited to maybe once every six months and learn how to enjoy and savor the red wine in a single glass.

Tips To Help You Sleep

Believe it or not, avoid alcohol. Without alcohol, you will sleep much better, but the tips below will certainly help if you struggle to drop off.


Light exercise will help you sleep. A walk for 30 minutes is proven to help with sleep and, of course, keeps you fit.

Strenuous exercise like long runs or sprinting can have the opposite effect due to the adrenaline and cortisol release.


Light yoga workouts are the perfect way to stretch out the stresses of the day and relax your muscles. It is important not to overexert yourself. Overexertion is detrimental to sleep, and you will lose the benefits of the exercise and the whole purpose of doing Yoga in the evening.


So many folks overlook meditation as a way to enhance sleep. However, it is the best way of placing ourselves into a state of sleepiness.

Meditation will relax your mind and reduce stress which helps with sleep.

You can include several poses with meditation that have yoga-type qualities to relieve stress from the muscles.

Read a Book

Reading before bed makes our eyes heavy and removes the stressful thoughts from our minds which may have built through the day.


Create an environment conducive to sleep. Remove electronics and don't take your work into the bedroom. Emails can be replied to in the morning.

A comfortable mattress or topper will help support your body when combined with pillows that support the head and neck.

You can compare the best mattresses in our Mattress Comparisons.


Don’t eat too close to bedtime. When you eat, your digestive system works to digest the food. If you eat too close to bedtime, your muscles are all working hard to keep that food moving, making it harder for your body to relax and sleep. Eat earlier in the day, so your digestive system doesn’t have to work so hard to digest the food.

Warm Bath

Spending half an hour or more in a warm bath before bedtime is a great way to relax. If you listen to some music or converse with your partner, this will keep the thoughts in your head and allow you to sleep well.

Essential Oils

Essential oils in the bedroom have therapeutic remedies for sleep disorders and give your sleep environment an overall relaxing element.

Choose your favorite essential oils. Lavender is known for its benefits when it comes to inducing sleep.

Relaxing Music

Listen to soothing and sleep-inducing music. Some great tracks are suitable for soothing.

Avoid using earbuds or headphones if possible, but if you have to, use headphones. They are comfortable if you fall asleep while listening.

Red Wine Benefits

Red wine is not all bad and has some benefits for our well-being.


This substance is contained in red wine and has enormous positive effects on our bodies. It is anti-inflammatory, good for the heart, and a free radical scavenger helping to prevent cancer. 

Resveratrol is also known as the “French Paradox.” Why? Because the quantity of red wine you need to consume for resveratrol to be effective can be excessive. 

The adverse effects of alcohol may far outweigh the benefits of resveratrol.

The Bottom Line

You have heard this a million times, drink responsibly. If you do, your chances of getting a good night's sleep will increase tenfold.

By creating an ideal sleep environment, you can sleep easily after drinking red wine and wake refreshed if you follow simple rules like eating while drinking to slow the absorption of alcohol.

Drink water before bedtime to rehydrate yourself. You will be grateful in the morning when you wake with a clear head.