Have you ever been hungover but felt anxious? You're not alone. While many people know the common hangovers symptoms, you might not be aware that the anxiety you're feeling is also related to your hangover.
Here's how to cure hangover anxiety and why this reaction happens in the first place.
Why do I get hangover anxiety?
The short answer to why do you get hangover anxiety is that scientists aren't quite sure. Currently, studies have found a few reasons why you might be feeling particularly anxious after drinking alcohol.
We know that drinking alcohol causes you to urinate more than normal. It's also likely that you're not drinking enough water alongside your alcoholic drinks. Both cases can lead to dehydration at some level.
ResearchTrusted Source suggests that dehydration caused by alcohol can contribute to anxiety and other changes in your mood.
Do you ever experience negative symptoms quickly after drinking alcohol? These symptoms may look like a hangover (or even an alcohol allergy). However, this negative reaction to alcohol could be a result of an alcohol intolerance.
Sometimes this condition is confused with an alcohol allergy as many of the symptoms overlap. Common alcohol intolerance symptoms include:
If you've ever dealt with anxiety, you may recognise some of these symptoms, too. Because some of these alcohol intolerance symptoms can overlap with the physical symptoms of anxiety, it may feel like you're anxious, too.
A great way to minimise alcohol intolerance symptoms is by utilising supplements like Sunset Alcohol Flush Support also known as the Asian flush pill. Sunset helps the body metabolise alcohol as quickly as possible so these negative symptoms have less of a chance to surface.
By breaking down alcohol quickly, your hangover the next day will be reduced, too.
Pre-existing social anxiety
Have you ever been nervous at the bar, so you have a few drinks to loosen up? It's a pretty common occurrence, especially if you have some level of social anxiety.
“Many people use alcohol as a social lubricant,” says Cyndi Turner, LSATP, MAC, LCSW.
As you drink alcohol, you may find that your anxiety, shyness or nervousness seems to go away. You may become more loud, confident and outgoing than you normally would be.
However, the effects of alcohol won't last forever. As the alcohol wears away and the hangover begins, you may find that your usual anxiety has returned. And because you're suffering physical hangover symptoms already, the newly returned anxiety seems to be even worse than normal.
Before drinking alcohol, it's important to note whether any of your medications can interact with alcohol. Some anxiety and anti-inflammatory medicines can negative interact with alcohol and may be less effective than usual. This means your anxiety may be shining through, when your medication usually dulls it down.
It's also important to check any of your supplements, vitamins or any other over-the-counter medications and whether they can be safely taken when you drink alcohol. If you're not sure, just make sure to check with your doctor.
Alcohol can greatly impact your sleep. Due to a chemical process in your brain, alcohol causes the individual to have less deep sleep after a night of drinking. Even if you are able to get a few hours sleep after a night of heavy drinking, it won't be high quality sleep.
A poor nights sleep can make people feel more depressed or anxious, especially post drinking. Unfortunately, a bad nights sleep seems to make a lot of things feel worse.
How to stop anxiety after drinking
There are a few ways you can help minimise your anxiety after drinking alcohol. Here's some tips on how to feel better.
Look after your physical symptoms
The physical symptoms of a hangover can often exacerbate the feelings of anxiety. Your first port of call could be to manage your physical symptoms as best you can. After a night of drinking, you can:
- Get hydrated by drinking water.
- Eat well depending on how nauseous you feel. If your stomach is really upset, stick to plain foods like dry toast, soup or crackers. If you're feeling a bit better, try more nutritious food. Contrary to popular belief, it's better if you avoid greasy food during your hangover.
- Have a hot shower. Not only will it make you feel better, but a hot shower can also help wash away remaining alcohol in your skin and pores.
- Use pain relief if needed. If you've woken up to a raging headache, make sure to take the recommended dose of pain relief like Ibuprofen.
- If you suffer from long hangovers, make sure to check out our article: Why Do I Get 2 Day Hangovers? Explained With Solutions
If you're still struggling with hangover anxiety, try some meditation. You can either meditate silently alone, or use a meditation app or Youtube video for guidance. Meditation also helps regulate your breathing, calm your thoughts and can greatly improve feelings of anxiety.
Your favourite hobbies
When feeling anxious, sometimes diving into your favourite hobbies can help minimise your anxiety. Whether it's listening to music, watching a favourite movie, journaling, crafting, cooking and everything else in between - spending time on a favourite pastime can help distract your mind away from your anxious thoughts.