If wine makes you sleepy, it may not be just the alcoholic content. The Times Online reports,
Grapes are filled with melatonin, a useful sleep hormone, or at least researchers at the Institute of Plant Virology, in Milan, claim they are. But the world of grape science is being shaken by an unseemly row over the suggestion. The Society of Chemical Industry, which is based in London, flatly contradicts the Italian assertion, saying data has been misinterpreted.
Medical Science News is even more specific:
Scientists in Italy say they have discovered that the grapes used to make some of the most popular red wines contain high levels of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Melatonin is naturally secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, especially at night. It tells the body when it is time to sleep.
The discovery of melatonin in grape skin could explain why so many of us hit the bottle in the evening to wind down after a day’s hard slog. ‘The melatonin content in wine could help regulate the circadian rhythm [sleep-wake patterns], just like the melatonin produced by the pineal gland in mammals,’ says researcher Iriti Marcello at the University of Milan.
So… not only will that glass of red wine prevent heart attacks, it will help set your body’s internal clock.