Most people get a hangover the morning after drinking alcohol. A hangover pertains to the unpleasant symptoms that develop when you consume large quantities of alcohol. A hangover is never fun, but it can seem even worse when you are not sure how long the effects will last.
So how long does a hangover last? It's a question that everyone has at some point asked themselves. There are many factors that can influence the answer to this question. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the length of time a hangover could last as well as some advice on remedies to help alleviate hangover symptoms.
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How Long Does a Hangover Last?
A hangover typically lasts anywhere from 12 to 36 hours, although it could last in some cases for up to 72 hours. The exact time a hangover will last will depend on several factors such as the person’s tolerance of alcohol, how much they drank, when they stopped drinking, and what kind of alcohol was consumed.
Generally, the length of hangover symptoms is largely based on how much you drink and what you drink. For example, someone who participated in a binge drinking session will have a longer duration of hangover compared to a person who had a few drinks over a number of hours. If you mixed the type of alcohol you consumed, this will also typically result in a longer duration of hangover symptoms.
What Causes a Hangover?
Drinking too much alcohol can cause a hangover. Excessive drinking causes a person to lose bodily fluids, which is why someone might wake up feeling sick. This is because alcohol hinders the antidiuretic hormone. When this happens, it can lead to frequent urination and dehydration. When you are dehydrated, you can start feeling symptoms like headache, fatigue, and dizziness.
Aside from dehydration, alcohol also has toxic effects on the body that can worsen hangover symptoms. It is also believed that drinking darker colored alcohol like bourbon, brandy, and wine will more likely lead to a hangover compared to clear alcohol like gin or vodka. Additionally, mixing types of alcoholic drinks and drinking on an empty stomach also heighten the likelihood of a hangover.
What Are the Signs of a Hangover?
Maybe you thought that you were able to control your drinking the night before so you’re not sure why you have developed unbearable symptoms. Is it just a simple headache or are you actually experiencing a hangover? Some of the common signs of a hangover include severe headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, muscle pain, soreness, sensitivity to light and sound, queasy stomach, and thirst. Having a hangover can make you feel utterly miserable and can even cause mood swings.
Tips for Recovering From a Hangover
Hangovers can be absolutely bothersome but just know that there are ways to make them much more manageable and bearable. Here are some of the things that you can do to cure hangover symptoms.
1. Drink Lots of Water
With dehydration being a primary cause of a hangover, it is important to drink a lot of water. Drinking water will rehydrate your body and replace the water you’ve lost from drinking too much alcohol. Rehydrating will also help wash away the toxins from your body. Make sure to stick to plain water. Avoid drinks with caffeine and sugar as this could only worsen your dehydration.
If possible, rest as much as you can. Sleeping can give your body time to recover so you can get rid of symptoms like fatigue and muscle weakness. If you don’t have a choice but to get up and get to work, find some pockets in the day where you can have power naps to restore your energy.
3. Nourish Your Body with the Right Food
When experiencing a hangover, you should focus on eating food that can help you get re-energized. Foods that are healthy and easy-to-digest should be your priority. Focus on simple foods like bananas and avocados that are rich in potassium, watermelons with high water content, and broth to restore your sodium levels. Try to avoid greasy, fatty foods that can only make you feel worse.
How to Avoid a Hangover When Drinking?
After a monster of a hangover, you might be swearing not to drink again. Afterall, not drinking alcohol is the best way to avoid having a hangover. But we all know that avoiding alcohol altogether does not always happen. So what can you do to minimize the likelihood of having a severe hangover the morning after? Here are some recommendations.
- Drink water to hydrate before, during, and after drinking alcohol.
- Pace yourself. Avoid binge drinking. One drink per hour is a good measure to pace yourself.
- Avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Have a meal before drinking.
- Stick to one type of alcohol when drinking. Mixing different types of alcohol can lead to a more severe hangover.
Get Help If You’re Struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder
Experiencing a hangover once in a while is normal for most adults. Many Americans usually experience a hangover after a major event, party, family gathering, or holidays. However, if you find yourself having regular hangovers (almost every day), then this could be a sign that you are struggling with alcohol use disorder.
If you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol abuse, help is available.
Contact Anaheim Lighthouse today.