Hops, A Natural Sleep Aid. Beer, Not So Much

By: Katie Schroepfer

We’ve all gone to lunch for a burger and a beer and ended up feeling the huge desire to take a nap at work afterwards. Hops, one of the ingredients in your favorite craft beer that makes it your favorite, is also the ingredient that makes you want to take a nap after that lunch brew.

Not only is hops a tasty additive to your beer but it is also a natural, mild sedative. The only thing is that, although hops is a great insomnia remedy, it isn’t the beer that is a sleep remedy.

No shocker there, remember all those nights in college after you’ve slammed about a dozen beers, slept the night away only to wake up exhausted? There is the chance that you could’ve blacked out and ran around the town, but there’s also the greater possibility that you did sleep…just restlessly.

Beer causes a restless sleep because it interferes with the nerve cells in the lower brainstem, causing you to drift to sleep easily but wake up and have trouble falling asleep again. Glutamine, essentially your “brain fuel”, is produced more than necessary after having a few drinks, which causes your brain to be overstimulated so you can’t reach the deepest levels of sleep. Having too much glutamine can also cause restlessness and increased blood pressure.

So how can hops be a natural sleep aid? Simply take out the rest of the ingredients of beer, aka make it a hops supplement, add it to tea, and you have yourself a natural sleep aid.

Of course I’m not telling you that if you have sleep issues to go find some hops and eat ‘em up or put them into a tea. Natural remedies are meant to be researched and taken to your doctor for consideration, this is merely the beginning of research to hops being a natural remedy for sleep deprivation. At least now you understand why you’re sleepy after your favorite beer. Those damn hops.


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