The title is already the question.

How is it that I sleep well after drinking beer but I sleep terrible after drinking vodka?

I am talking about 2 - 3 German 5,5% beer and about 100 - 200 ml vodka.

  • Are you mixing the vodka with anything? Beer brewed per the purity law is all malt and the remaining sugars are maltose. Maltose contains no fructose but sugar and corn syrup do. Fructose has to be processed by the liver and maltose doesn't. It's a bit of a one-two punch on the liver when you drink sugary mixed drinks.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 18:33
  • I mix the vodka often with sprite but the volume remains the same. I wrote the ml there without sprite. I watched this phenomenon about 5 times now.
    – MCSell
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 6:14

2 Answers 2



Primary causes are dehydration and toxins built up in your system from the impurities in the alcohol you've been drinking, but in my personal experience and research sugar content can also contribute.

  1. Dehydration

Alcohol makes people urinate more, which raises the chances of dehydration occurring. Dehydration can give the individual that sensation of thirst and lightheadedness.

  1. Impurites

Most alcoholic beverages contain small amounts of chemicals other than ethanol as a by-product of the materials used in the fermenting process (e.g., grains and wood casks). Congeners are complex organic molecules with toxic effects including acetone, acetaldehyde, fusel oil, tannins, and furfural.

Spirits have these in higher quantities than beer or wine due to the distillation process.

  1. Sugar content

Depending on what specific brands you are drinking and/or what you are mixing with high sugar content can cause you to have a sugar crash contributing to the hangover feelings.

  1. Quality

In my personal experience the mornings after indulging with top shelf spirits are notably better than those done on a budget. Bargain spirits tend to be cut with grain alcohol and balanced with corn syrup contributing to the issue, but in general higher priced spirits tend to be more highly refined (Vodka for example tends to have more filtration the more expensive it is).




  • Point 2 is slightly misleading, spirits do not have these is higher quantities due to the distillation process. The distillation process does not add more congeners (the chemicals need to come from somewhere after all, distillation is not typically a chemical change). Some spirits will have more because of differences in the original fermented material. For vodka, which the question is about, the objective is to remove as many flavoured compounds as possible, so it is likely that even cheap vodkas have less congeners present that beer or wine.
    – Jack
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 3:45

Your body takes a while to break down alcohol that is in your bloodstream. I believe it is 1 hour per 3%.

During this period you will not rest, as your body is still hard at work.

  • thats right but why is there a difference between the sort of spirits? Is this just my own thinking? My own subconscious? Or is there a real difference?
    – MCSell
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 12:03
  • The alcohol that you are consuming, ethanol, is the same* in any alcoholic drink. The volume of ethanol is what is different. But, looking at your volumes, the amount of ethanol is very similar. Do you mix your vodka? Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 12:07
  • I mix the vodka often with sprite but the volume remains the same. I wrote the ml there without sprite. I watched this phenomenon about 5 times now.
    – MCSell
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 12:13
  • 1
    it is probably the sugar in the sprite that is keeping you up/making you not sleep well ! :) Try drinking that volume of sprite, but without the vodka, and see how well you sleep. Then drink the same amount of whisk(e)y as you would vodka, but drink it with water. Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 12:25
  • One other thing: If you are drinking really cheap vodka, it may have other chemicals in it that might affect your body as well. Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 12:25

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