These days I drink almost as much liquor as I do beer, and it seems like beer more commonly causes sleepiness and fatigue, where liquor gives a straight up 'drunken' effect.

I wonder, though, is this actually the case or is my perception of the two drinks a self fulfilling prophecy?

2 Answers 2


It could definitely be a perception thing or any difference with the situation in which you consume beer vs liquor. (IE, if you're drinking a lot of Jack and Coke maybe that caffeine is helping keep you alert?)

I think the most compelling answer is that there's actually a decent amount of research that shows hop compounds actually have a slightly sedative effect, especially in conjunction with alcohol. So...you know, beer.

Some sources:

National Institute of Health: The concentration of 2 mg of hop extract effectively decreased nocturnal activity in the circadian activity rhythm.

WebMD (Look under "Interactions"): Alcohol can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Hops might also cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Taking large amounts of hops along with alcohol might cause too much sleepiness.


While this is merely anecdotal, I agree with you that beer makes me more sleepy than liquor. My theory is that perhaps it has to do with the carbohydrates (think thanksgiving dinner).

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