You probably know that alcohol can wreck your sleep. Non-alcoholic beer, on the other hand, might not only help you fall asleep faster, but also sleep more soundly throughout the night.
Photo by Ibrahim Owais
A study conducted in Spain evaluated 17 nurses' sleep using a wrist sensor. During the control week, the women drank what they normally did before bed, and in the following two weeks they each drank one non-alcoholic beer.
In those two weeks, the volunteers fell asleep an average of 12 minutes faster and they had fewer movements — less tossing and turning — during sleep. As a bonus, they also reported having less anxiety (maybe because they slept better).
The researchers believe it's the hops in the beer that act like a sedative, raising the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), which soothes the central nervous system. The hops also affect another neurotransmitter, serotonin, which is involved with sleep regulation and the body's circadian rhythms.
So if you often have trouble sleeping, try having a beer about one hour before you go to bed. You won't get buzzed, but you might get more zzz's.