The science of beverages are complicated. Look no further than Science’s current inability to teach a robot not to spill coffee for proof; the fluid dynamics are simply too complex. Sometimes, though, the science is just a little too damn easy. Like this new study, for instance, that finds drinking wine at night after consuming coffee helps you sleep better. Truly unpredictable.
As reported by The Drinks Business, the “first of its kind” study was recently published in the journal PLOS One. In it, researchers from the Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors at the University of Washington and UC Berkeley’s Center for Human Sleep Science sought to discern the combined effects of coffee and alcohol on sleep.
They postulated that, since both beverages negatively impact sleep in test participants—“caffeine reduced sleep quantity by 10 minutes per cup, alcohol reported a 4% decline”—drinking both over the course of the day would have adverse knock-on effects. But it turns out, the opposite may actually be the case.
When examining the caffeine and alcohol consumption habits of a “group of 17 financial traders” over a six-week period, comparing it to sleep data for each, researchers found when participants consumed alcohol later in the day after drinking coffee, the combination had “a positive effect on subjective sleep quality.”
From the study: “This finding suggests the sedating effects of alcohol and the psychoactive stimulant effects of caffeine obscure each other’s impact on sleep quantity and sleep quality, respectively.”
So if you feel like drinking coffee is having a negative effect on getting a good night’s sleep, consider this study permission to have a little splash of something before bed. You’re doing it for your sleep, and sleep is important.