I have heard it said that the best cure for a hangover is to drink in moderation, but there are times when we all go a bit overboard . . . like New Year's Eve. If you had a few drinks too many, let me explain what is going on with your body and offer a few suggestions to help your get over your hangover.
Your throat and mouth are dry due to dehydration, which is caused by the diuretic properties of alcohol. The dehydration also affects your muscles, making them feel weak.
Cure: Drink plenty of water, all day long! I have found Nuun tablets help too.
To see why your stomach feels off and what you can do about it, read more.
Symptom: Sour Stomach
The excessive alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach, causing nausea and sour stomach. The inflammation delays digestion, which in turn contributes to the feelings of nausea.
Cure: Take some Alka Seltzer or eat mild foods like bananas (which also help with dehydration).
Your liver gets backed up trying to metabolize all the alcohol, so you might be experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia (that's a fancy term for low blood sugar), meaning you are highly irritable and moody.
Cure: Eat some food and drink some juice. Foods high in fructose are thought to speed up the body's ability to remove the alcohol from your system.
Symptom: Jangled Nerves
Your central nervous system becomes chemically overexcited, causing sensitivity to light, sound, and touch.
Cure: Rest with an eye pillow and soothing music.
Blood vessels in the brain dilate, and that is what is causing that throbbing headache, which is only exacerbated by your dehydration mentioned above.
Cure: Take some OTC (over the counter) pain medication, but avoid ones containing acetaminophen, like Tylenol, because it may cause liver damage. If you take some form of ibprofen, make sure to not take it on an empty stomach, since it can upset your tummy and harm the lining of your stomach.
Symptom: Sleepiness and Sleeplessness
Your pituitary gland becomes confused and releases the wrong amounts of the hormones that regulate sleep. So while you may want to sleep it off, your sleep pattern is severely disrupted.
Cure: Try some Sleepytime Extra Tea fortified with Valerian root to help you sleep.
The only real cure for a hangover is time. Physical activity can help, too. Take a walk or jog and sweat a bit to help get the alcohol out of your blood. Fear not, the aftereffects of your partying should only linger for about 24 hours. Tomorrow is another day.