Hangovers and how to Avoid Them

A hangover is a series of physical and mental symptoms which occur after a bout of heavy drinking. A person with a hangover might have a headache, or feel dizzy, sick, tired, or thirsty. A hangover can also make the sufferer feel anxious, angry, embarrassed, or depressed. Hangovers can occur at any time during the night or day, but generally the symptoms occur the day after a night of heavy drinking -- even if the person has slept.

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There are a number of factors which determine how severe the hangover is, including how much alcohol has been consumed, whether or not the person has had anything to eat, and whether the sufferer has had enough sleep. The less sleep, the worse the hangover. Likewise, the more alcohol the worse the hangover.

There is no real cure for hangover, apart from rest, adequate hydration, and maybe some nutritious food. It is impossible to say, as well, how much alcohol a person can safely drink and still avoid a hangover. It depends on how much sleep the person gets, their height, weight, and general health, as well as how tired, hungry, or dehydrated they were before they started drinking.

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There are many mythical "cures" for the hangover. Some people claim that a "hair of the dog" -- a small drink the morning after a drinking session -- can cure hangover symptoms. There is no evidence for this or any other hangover "cure" -- it is is fare more likely to just delay the inevitable.

In most cases, hangovers go away after about twenty-four hours. While it is hard to cure a hangover, some relief can be gained from over the counter painkillers or electrolytes. It is possible to prevent a hangover, or lessen the severity, by drinking responsibly.

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The best way to avoid the negative symptoms of a hangover is to abstain from drinking completely. If a person wants to drink, then responsible drinking practices can reduce the risk of a hangover. To avoid the worst hangover symptoms, drinkers should make sure that they eat regularly while drinking, to slow down the body's absorption of alcohol. If a person feels tipsy before they start drinking, it is probably too late.

Another effective way that people can pace themselves while drinking is to drink water often. This can prevent dehydration and dilute the amount of alcohol in the blood. People who have not slept enough are far more likely to feel tired, irritable, and depressed after drinking, so people who want to avoid the unpleasant psychological effects of a hangover should make sure that they get enough sleep, before and after drinking.

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Many health authorities recommend that healthy adults consume no more than two drinks per day, and no more than four alcoholic drinks in the one drinking session. People who drink more than this amount have a higher rate of injury, and are also more likely to suffer from health complications.

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