General Question

shego's avatar

I was wondering if it is ok to have a beer to help me sleep?

Asked by shego (11083points) September 20th, 2009

Well, I have a hard time sleeping, and always have. I don’t however know if there is something wrong with me. I survive on less than 3 hrs. a night. So today, I was at the store, and I bought a beer, and I don’t really drink, and when I do drink, it makes me very sleepy. Is it ok to do every once in a while? Or if you have any other suggestions, that might help, I would appreciate it.

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39 Answers

Dog's avatar

I would try melatonin before resorting to beer.

Here are the issues with beer:
1. Will make you need to hit the restroom during the night.
2. Fattening.
3. Addictive. You will need more and more as time goes on to get sleepy. This also increases #1.
4. For some such as myself it helps you get to sleep only to wake you up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep.

shego's avatar

I have never woken up in the middle of the night, and I do try to be very careful about what I expose myself to, because addiction occurs in my family.

evegrimm's avatar

Benadryl is great for making you sleepy.

Random fact: the “PM” in Tylenol PM and similar “sleepy-time” pills is, in fact, the same active ingredient as Benadryl itself (diphenhydramine).

Habits + scheduled sleeping times will help, as will boring books and listening to boring music (classical music is great for this—by boring, I mean it doesn’t grab your attention the way, say, heavy metal will) or boring podcasts. Lots of talking (in the podcasts), is great, I find. Or download an audiobook at Librivox.org. It’s almost guaranteed to put you to sleep. (Or find a great audiobook at your library; historical/non-fiction audio books are great for this.)

Good luck!

MissAnthrope's avatar

They say that the quality of sleep under the influence of alcohol is not as good as when you haven’t been drinking, in that it interferes with sleep cycles and you don’t get the quality of sleep you’d get naturally. If one beer helps you fall asleep and you sleep fine, then I guess it works for you. However, if you wake up still tired, that’s a sign the alcohol interfered with your sleep cycles.

Probably, better solutions would be to take melatonin or a “PM” (Benadryl), the only issue with that is that you need to dedicate roughly 8 hours to sleep, at least with the latter. You’ll likely have trouble waking up after 3 hours on Benadryl.

I’ve had insomnia forever.. the things that have helped me are minimizing caffeine intake after 5 or 6pm, taking Benadryl, and smoking a bowl before bed.

Aethelwine's avatar

I don’t see how one beer a night will hurt you. It can be very relaxing if you know how to control yourself and limit yourself to just one or two drinks.

dpworkin's avatar

A cautionary note about melatonin: mis-dosage can have effects on the serotonin reuptake system, and most “supplemental” melatonin is insufficiently regulated as to dose.

If you have a serious sleep problem, there is a relatively new drug that is not a hypnotic, like Ambien and Lunesta, and actually works by using the same receptor system as melatonin, but without the danger of triggering a depressive episode.

It is called Serzone, and as they say on TV, you could ask your Dr. about it. (It ain’t cheap if you’re uninsured – about $120 a month.)

peedub's avatar

Bach makes a homeopathic sleep remedy called RESCUE-SLEEP that works well.

I would say it’s no big deal but if your family has a history of addiction you may want to forgo the idea. Then again, if you think you self-disciplined enough to not let something get out of control, one beer or glass of wine is not so bad.

Zen's avatar

@shego If I have a beer late at night, I fall asleep while drinking it, the bottle breaks on the floor and then smells up the house. I get cramps from the chair, and I’m probably just in my tee shirt and no-one to cover me, so I catch a cold, feel sick and hung-over in the morning.

The fun doesn’t stop there: the alcohol makes me wake up to pee every thirty minutes, and ultimately I wake up at around 2 a.m. and can’t fall back asleep.
The next day, at the office, I’m a mess.

My guess is you’re youngish. This will have no bearing on you whatsoever. Have a beer.

shego's avatar

I am a “young’n” or at least that’s what everybody at work tells me. I don’t do it very often, and really I guess it is the buzz that helps me. I don’t know. Yes I get buzzed off one beer cause I have a drink like every 2–3 months, so I am a super lightweight.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m assuming you are of legal age to drink alcohol.

Don’t drink alcohol is you are responsible for young children, or are going to drive, but a glass of wine about an hour before bed is supposed to be good.

Check with your doctor to see if there is any particular reason you should avoid alcohol.

shego's avatar

Don’t worry, I am of legal age. Trust me. I just turned 22.

madcapper's avatar

yes I see no problem with this. I do the same thing! :) someone once called me an inhibitor though… haha

madcapper's avatar

heay and listen to @YARNLADY and don’t drive young children around. Perhaps a glass of wine and a beating. But in no way do not fucking drive them!

XOIIO's avatar

ddid you know every time you take a drink you kill off brain cells?

I would never resort to headach medicine just to make me sleep

madcapper's avatar

sweet did you know every time you drink a diet soda you kill brain cells? did you know every time you listen to Fox news you kill brain cells? fuck it…

YARNLADY's avatar

@madcapper Maybe you’ve already had more than your limit – it’s a well know fact that I am completely and totally against hitting children

madcapper's avatar

I’m far from my limit… tell me you have raised children that you have never hit. I mean my parents spanked me but I turned out ok and they are still my wonderful parents that I love. I do not think they are bad people for spanking me… let’s hear it

oratio's avatar

My opinions, for all it’s worth.

If a beer helps you sleep, I think it’s great. I wouldn’t start eating pills, which otherwise seem popular. I don’t think you want to make that a habit, and I really don’t think it’s good for you. A beer now and then is far more natural for the body than most of what the pharmacy can give you.

It seems as if you have problems winding down to fall asleep. I would try to get to the root of why that is. Are there things in your life that feels unsatisfied, unfinished. Are you stressed in any way?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@YARNLADY I agree I too am totally against having children. Oh wait, I read that wrong, sorry~

jamielynn2328's avatar

One beer every once in while is not going to harm you. People say that benadryl is a better option? That is a drug designed to knock you out. It seems much safer and more natural to have a beer and go to sleep. Many many people have a glass of wine before going to sleep. Just don’t let it get out of control, but geez, let yourself live a bit!!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

As a person who’s suffered from insomnia going on 3 years now, let me counsel you on using alcohol to knock out because it will take more and more to get you there and you’ll be lucky if you get 5hrs sleep out of it. Better to suffer it out and let your brain do what it needs right now, there’s a reason for it and your body will eventually tire out or regulate. Sleeping pills just hedge off what work your brain needs to work through, the insomnia will go on and on, just my two cents.

Darwin's avatar

Warm milk and a turkey sandwich can help. It isn’t because of the tryptophan, it is more because of the warmth, the carbs, the touch of protein, and also the Lactium in the milk, which is soothing, as well as the diversion of blood to the stomach for digestion.

A warm bath can also help relax you, especially if you then lie down to sleep in a cool room.

whatthefluther's avatar

In the spirit of altruism, I have downed two Heinekins in a matter of five minutes and can report no drowsiness, whatsoever. I’ll embark shortly onto a third and promise to advise if drowsiness ensues (the lack of response does not infdicate that I necessarily passed out….I have some interesting, fun activities currently in mind). See ya….Gary/wtf

Dog's avatar

I am with ya Gary! Anything in the name of science!

Darwin's avatar

I’ll have one, too. Just don’t tell my doctor!

Anon_Jihad's avatar

I would try wine instead. More relaxing for me at least. Beer gets me riled up. Two glasses of wine slipped slowly over like thirty minutes while reading should work quite effextively. And you won’t need to piss all night.

YARNLADY's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra I think you have made a wise choice.

shego's avatar

Update to all, I had the beer while I was looking at the responses last night, and I fell asleep. It really was a nice sleep, until the dog poked her cold ass nose on my foot. But, I do appreciate the advice. But however, I am not too big on taking pills, to make me sleep, and I can’t drink milk. @hungryhungryhortence yes there is some things going on.

rottenit's avatar

I have been trying to get this under control for the last 7 years.

Some of this is summing up other points and some are mine:

Beer = Bad, it will make you sleepy, but reduce the quality of the sleep you get.

Benedryl = Pretty safe drug, will make you sleepy (I used it for 5 years almost 5–7 times a week. Will make you feel “hung over” the next morning, non addictive.

CAUTION – I would not recommend Tylenol-PM just get the straight benedryl if you are in pain for some reson than take a couple of tylenols, this is much easier on your liverthan taking the acetaminophen in tylenol when you really dont need it.

Other non drug related ideas:

Routine – Getting in a daily routine helps alot your body will get sleepy at the right time
Exercise – When I do this daily I have an easier time going to bed
Enviorment – Some people recommend that you use your bed/bedroom for 2 things only, sleeping and sex. Dont watch TV in bed.

That brings up TV – Try to stay away from mental stimulation provided by reading Fluther (computer use), video games, TV, etc for at least 30 min before you want to sleep.

Some peronal notes on perscription drugs that I have tried:

Ambien – Wooooweeeee I am one of those people who go nuts and dont remember it, this included “camping” in my bed with my wife, hiding from black helecopters, and the “people truck”, I poured a bottle of wine into a laptop. And apparently came up with this revolutinary “Relationship Points” system that I talked about for 2 hours. This was all what my wife reported, the next day I thought I slept all night long.

Rozerem – This stuff is newer and says it works on the melatonin receptors, It cost me like about $3.50 a pill and didnt work Gee thanks doc for the 90 tablets of this crap.

Trazadone – This is an old school anti-depressent that has a serious sleep side-effect, it was way too strong felt like I drank a gallon of vodka when I work up.

Lunestra – This is the current one, it doent have the “kick your ass to sleep” effect so you have to pick a time to go to bed, take the pill and go right to sleep, I do seem to fall asleep faster and harder (I am on day 4 of this stuff)

If this is an ongoing problem for you I would suggest to see a MD and/or get a sleep evaluation by an MD.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Actually, I second the “orgasm” suggestion, as it floods your system with the body’s natural tranquilizers. Another thing that puts me out is audiobooks. I love books and I would love to listen to audiobooks, but after like half an hour, I can’t keep my eyes open. It’s kind of weird.

XOIIO's avatar

I’ve actually found that if I ha e trouble sleeping, and desperately need to sleep, a heavy masterbation session helps me sleep wonderfully.

No, I don’t usually masterbate

god why did I put this up here?

Anon_Jihad's avatar

Actually masturbation has always worked for me when I’m tired but just not falling asleep. So I’ll add my support to that solution.

shego's avatar

lol masturbate. You will bow down to the Domme Shego.

XOIIO's avatar

Domme shego?

shego's avatar

@XOIIO it is a form of FemDom a dominatrix. I just thought that Domme Shego was more appropriate

evegrimm's avatar

@shego, sometimes I find that orgasm works, whereas sometimes it seems to “rev me up” (for lack of a better phrase).

It’s a girl thing. Guys are predisposed to be sleepy and relaxed after orgasm, whereas girls aren’t, as much.

MagsRags's avatar

Valerian is another option to consider – it’s an herbal remedy that has been used for insomnia and anxiety for thousands of years. It tastes kind of stinky though. Here’s a factsheet on valerian from the NIH
http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/valerian.asp
For me, it seems to make it a little easier to turn my brain off on nights when I’m having a hard time with that. Even when I was still taking call, I could safely use it – if I had to get up after an hour or two to deliver a baby, I didn’t feel groggy or sedated.

Anon_Jihad's avatar

I use to use ungodly amounts of Valerian root to have fucked up dreams. Certainly slept like a rock.

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