Hangovers: Why Do They Happen and How to Avoid Them
A hangover is the unwanted state that results from a long night of drinking. Generally, the more you drink the more likely you are to experience a hangover. This isn’t a perfect science- some people are more susceptible while others can drink copious amounts of alcohol and wake up feeling fine the following morning.
Regardless of how unpleasant they are, almost every hangover will fade on its own. As you get older, you may notice them varying in intensity. For most, hangovers grow worse with age.
A hangover can take many forms, but it almost always has an effect on your health and wellness. They can make getting an early start difficult, through symptoms like:
- Dry mouth
- Naseau, vomiting or stomach pain
- Poor or decreased sleep
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Decreased concentration
- Anxiety and irritability
- Rapid heartbeat
Here are some reasons why hangovers happen:
- Alcohol increases urine production. Because you’re urinating more, you get dehydrated faster.
- Alcohol causes inflammation. As it is technically a toxin, your immune system responds as such. Certain agents are released to combat alcohol in the body that produce physical symptoms like decreased appetite, pain, and swelling.
- Alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand, resulting in headaches and head pounding.
- Alcohol can make you feel sleepy, but it prevents productive, deep stages of sleep so you may wake feeling more groggy and tired in comparison to a sober sleep.
There are many products on the market that claim to cure or prevent hangovers. However, the only tried and true way to avoid a hangover is to not drink any alcohol at all. In general, alcohol has negative effects on our health and wellness, especially when done in excess.
- If you are drinking alcohol, here are some tips to help:
- Eat before and while drinking
- Choose beverages with fewer congeners (usually alcohols lighter in color).
- Sip water between drinks
- Drink in moderation