Sometimes the price we pay for a great night of fun and celebration is a hangover that can hit you like a ton of bricks! Dealing with the physical symptoms of a hangover, like fatigue, weakness, body aches, stomach pain, and sensitivity to light and sound, can be bad enough, but the anxiety that accompanies a hangover can be worse than the physical pains.
That feeling of regret and dread that sinks in as you start to think about the night before can weigh heavily on you and ruin your day. Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate that hangxiety, or hangover anxiety, that is looming over your head. Let’s talk about hangover anxiety and the best way to cure it!
What is Hangover Anxiety?
Hangover anxiety is the feeling of unease and anxiety that some people feel after a night of heavy or excessive drinking. This can cause a festive partygoer to feel anxious, uneasy, and restless due to feelings that are often described as guilt, regret, or shame.
These negative feelings, combined with the common physical symptoms of a hangover, such as increased heart rate and headache, can be extremely distressing and interfere with a person’s ability to perform their daily activities. This can not only ruin your day, but it can make you feel like nothing is going right.
What Causes Hangover Anxiety?
While researchers do not yet know what the exact cause of hangover anxiety is, there are a few factors that can increase the risk of getting it. The most common reasons are the ways that alcohol affects the brain, dehydration, and the way alcohol affects your sleep.
Although many people around the world drink alcohol as a social lubricant and an ability to stimulate conversation, alcohol is actually a depressant. Since it is a depressant, alcohol can affect the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which are the neurotransmitters that are responsible for regulating emotion and stabilizing mood.
A night of heavy drinking can initially boost the amount of dopamine and serotonin, which can make you feel happier at first, but the day after will leave you with reduced levels of these feel-good neurotransmitters, which can leave you feeling a bit empty and maybe even a bit depressed. These effects can be especially difficult for those that already have pre-existing anxiety disorders since it can lead to a dangerous cycle of drinking more to self-medicate and dealing with even more severe hangovers and anxiety issues.
Dehydration can also be a big reason for your hangover anxiety. Dehydration is an electrolyte imbalance which occurs during drinking. Alcohol depletes the body of vital minerals.
When you are dehydrated, your body starts to produce the stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol causes the body to go into survival mode, where it starts to focus its energy on getting away from the danger at hand. While this is important for survival, this takes energy away from other important functions of the body, such as digestion or maintaining the immune system, which adds stress to the body, increasing the risk of mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.
The impact that alcohol has on sleep is another reason why you may have hangover anxiety. Drinking alcohol may make you sleepy at first, but it gets metabolized by your body while you sleep, causing your cortisol and adrenaline to spike, which can disrupt your sleep and cause feelings of anxiety and stress.
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Drinking alcohol also affects your REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep, which plays a significant role in emotional processing and healthy brain development. This, combined with a lack of quality sleep, can amplify feelings of anxiety and depression, which can make the post-party hangover very uncomfortable the next day.
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How Do I Get Rid of Hangover Anxiety?
Having hangover anxiety can feel awful physically, emotionally, and mentally. But you do not have to suffer in silence. Here is what you can do to beat your hangover anxiety.
Replenish Your Body
If you happen to overindulge the night before, make sure you take the time to rehydrate and replenish your body with healthy and nutritious foods. Although you may have heard that a greasy meal is the best cure for a hangover and its symptoms, this can make your stomach upset and can end up making you feel worse, so skip the greasy, fatty food and opt for foods that are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Drink plenty of water or an electrolyte drink, such as a sports drink, to rehydrate.
Exercise is another great way to get over hangover anxiety. You can either get your blood pumping with some cardiovascular or strength training exercises or relax with some yoga or mindfulness meditation. Exercise also helps combat hangover anxiety since it triggers the production and release of dopamine and serotonin, which are the body’s feel-good hormones.
Are you searching for a way to relieve those hangover symptoms? At Prime IV, we offer a wide range of treatment options, including one specially designed to cure a hangover.
The next time you start feeling the weight of hangover anxiety looming over your shoulder after a long night of drinking and celebrating, try one of these cures to get yourself back on your feet. Make sure you celebrate and drink responsibly, but most importantly, make sure to enjoy yourself.