Curing a hangover with Science!

Whenever the topic of curing hangovers is brought to the fore, the conversation gets littered with hearsay and personal antidotes. The aim of this article is to provide Scientifically-proven tips and information about hangovers and how to cure them.

Water!

Drinking alcohol leads to an increase in urine production. This causes dehydration, which leaves you with afflictions such as dry-mouth, nausea, headaches and dizziness. To stave off some of the effects of having a hangover, you will need to rehydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water.

The colour of your urine will give you a good indication of how hydrated you are. When you are dehydrated, your pee will be a dark yellow / brownish colour, whereas a clear / light yellow colour indicates that you are hydrated. Fortunately, you won’t need to check your urine when you wake up after a night of heavy drinking, simply because your mouth will be as dry as a sandbox and you’ll be crying out for a bottle of water.

TIP: If you’re in work the next day or you’ve got somewhere important to be, then you should set your alarm for 6AM. Wake up, drink a pint of water (or two, if you can) and go back to bed.

Sleep & naps!

A lot of people fail to realize that a night of drinking will lead to sleep deprivation and a general feeling of tiredness throughout the day. More often than not, we place our attention on the more-obvious symptoms, such as headaches and thirst.

The thing about alcohol is that it will never allow you to have a proper night’s sleep. This is because it disrupts your sleeping patterns. As soon as you get into bed, you will fall into a deep sleep. This causes you to miss out on the first stage of normal sleep: REM (Rapid Eye Movement Sleep). As the effects of alcohol begin to wear off, your body will begin to switch back into to REM mode. This is the reason that many people wake up early after a night of drinking.

To combat the effects of tiredness, you should make an effort to sleep in. If that is not an option, you should take a power nap or two throughout the day.

Carbohydrates

A night of heavy drinking will leave you with low blood sugar. This is one of the main causes of the “hangover headache.” To combat this, you should make sure that you get some carbohydrates into your body, simply because they can help you bring your blood sugar back up to an acceptable level.

Examples of carbohydrates include bread, crackers, cereal and rice cakes.

Tip: Scrambled eggs and toast make a great hangover breakfast.

Shower

Taking a shower will not only make you feel better about yourself, it will also help you to freshen up your senses. Remember: Anxiety is one of the many afflictions that a hangover can bring, so be sure to do whatever you can to clean yourself up and boost your mood (because lets face it, most of us feel like crap after a night of drinking). Another good example is some light exercise, simply because it releases endorphins into your body. Just make sure that drink plenty of water and that you keep yourself well-hydrated. Other examples of improving your appearance:

  • Eye drops can reduce the redness in your eyes.
  • Change into some fresh clothes.
  • Wash your face.
  • Clean your teeth and use a mouthwash.

Coffee

Do NOT overdo it! One cup of coffee is enough. Drinking five or six cups of coffee is not going to sober you up. Too much caffeine can lead to increased anxiety, sweating, restlessness and dizziness. i.e. It will compound the problem, not fix it.

Tip: Drink a bottle of water with your coffee. You will feel much better for it.

Conclusion

You cannot “cure” a hangover. You can only lessen its effects. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the fact that hangovers come about after a person has poisoned their body with excessive amounts of alcohol. Unfortunately, the only real cure to a hangover is time.

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