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Non-alcoholic beer has sedative effect

You'll sleep better if you drink a glass of non-alcoholic beer in the evening, according to a human study published in PLoS One by researchers at the University of Extremadura, Spain. The hop extracts in beer improve the quality of sleep by boosting the functioning of the GABA receptor.

A small glass of beer contains about one gram of hops, or rather, lupulin: a powder made up of dried parts of the female hop plant. Animal studies have shown that lupulin contains substances that help lab animals to sleep for longer and more often, and that boost the effects of other sleeping pills.

The most important of these is 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol [J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Mar 28;116(3):383-96.], but other substances in hop such as myrcenol [J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Apr 5;54(7):2514-9.] and xanthohumol [Planta Med. 2006 Jun;72(7):656-8.] have a sedative effect too.

2-Methyl-3-Buten-2-Ol, myrcenol and xanthohumol improve the functioning of the GABA receptors. GABA is a neurotransmitter that deactivates processes in the brain, thus inducing sleep.

2-Methyl-3-Buten-2-ol Myrcenol Xanthohumol




So could these substances found in beer help people to sleep better? This is the question the Spaniards set out to answer in their study.

The researchers monitored the sleeping behaviour of 17 nurses working in a hospital, all of whom reported having stress [Control].

The researchers then got the women to drink one glass containing 333 ml non-alcoholic beer with their evening meal for two weeks, and monitored the women’s sleep during this period [Treatment].

As a result of drinking that one glass of beer the women fell asleep faster after going to bed. Their sleep latency was shorter. Although the number of hours that the women slept did not increase as a result of the beer, the women did move significantly less during their sleep, which means they slept more deeply.

Non-alcoholic beer has sedative effect

Non-alcoholic beer has sedative effect

Non-alcoholic beer has sedative effect

Drink a glass of non-alcoholic beer in the evening and you'll sleep better. Sounds good. But would that one glass be even more effective if you took a GABA supplement as well?

PLoS One. 2012; 7(7): e37290.

Litre of non-alcoholic beer keeps marathon runner healthy 10.08.2012