Discover 24 days of festive content – What lies behind door number 15?
Monday night was an odd choice for our Christmas night out, personally, I would usually opt for a Friday, but because of the way our college timetable works, me and my comrades were prepped and ready come 7pm. The problem with having our night on Monday – and this would have been the problem regardless – Is that I woke up today(Tuesday) with the mother of all hangovers. So to kick off day 15 of our advent calendar and to possibly help anyone else around this season, here are 15 hangover remedies.
Number 15: Sleep it off
One of the side effects of drinking is that it disrupts your sleep cycle, this is one of the reasons you don’t feel right even if you did get a decent amount of sleep.
The best way to combat this – just sleep some more. Let’s face it you’re probably not going to be productive anyway, so you might as well use the catch-up time to get yourself back up to 100%.
Number 14: Hair of the dog?
Forget it! Drinking a little more in the morning after your big night might ease your symptoms for a few hours, but it just makes the crash even worse when it hits.
However, GP Dr. Dawn Harper, of Channel 4’s Embarrassing Illnesses, warns against this particular method. “Not only will the relief be temporary but drinking more will make you vulnerable to health problems such as liver damage.”
This method gives temporary relief because the alcohol blocks the liver from breaking down methanol – the element in alcohol that causes hangovers.
Number 13: Have a long shower or Bath
Freshening up can do wonders for your mind – However make sure you’ve sobered up if you opt for the bath. Speaking from experience it’s best to wait until you’re completely compos mentis because a bath nap might sound fun, but sleeping with the fishes is less so.
Number 12: Distract yourself
When you’re in the midst of a killer hangover it’s all too easy to end up wallowing in a self-inflicted pit of loathing and despair. Unsurprisingly, all that negativity doesn’t help.
Distract yourself with something fun, watch youtube videos, read a book or have REAL Netflix and chill session with yourself! Hangover, who?
Number 11: HAVE A SPORTS DRINK
Isotonic sports drinks are one of my favourite ways to speed up the recovery process.
Some will have small amounts of salts that aid in fluid absorption, and so help with dehydration.
Number 10: COLD COMPRESS
Alcohol increases blood flow to the brain, so by applying a cold compress, you can reduce this flow and help ease some of your symptoms.
Number 09: Don’t drink coffee
Coffee is the drink of choice for many a hangover sufferer, however, it’s actually a diuretic which causes your body to lose water quickly.
Opt for some water, fruit juice, or a (flat)sports drink instead.
Number 08: LIE ON YOUR RIGHT SIDE
I’m not sure if this is an old folk’s tale, but it always works for me. Lying on your right side helps rid your stomach of gastric acids, which eases nausea.
Number 07: Pain pills (Never mix alcohol and medication)
If you are unlucky enough to wake with a headache your first reaction might, understandably, be to reach for some painkillers. This isn’t strictly a bad idea, as they will ease the ache – just make sure to pick the right ones.
Aspirin might cure your head but it can wreak havoc with your stomach, leaving you feeling sicker and worse off than before.
As a general rule you’re much safer with ibuprofen, but only the recommended dose. (Always read the instructions/information on the packet)
Number 06: Exercise(Yuck)
Dragging yourself out of bed for a run is probably one of the last things you’re going to want to do, but sweating off some of those nasty toxins will boost your mood.
Number 05: Greasy breakfast food
Tried and tested. There’s a reason your body craves a big breakfast full of fatty foods. Fat contains more calories than protein or carbs, so it’s the fastest way to help your body process out the breakdown products of alcohol.
Number 04: SNACK ON A BANANA
Bananas contain potassium*insert Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves reference*, a mineral lost when we drink alcohol.
A lack of potassium contributes to the dehydration symptoms traditionally associated with a hangover. Also, a source of carbohydrates, eating one will raise blood sugar levels and so stave off nausea.
Number 03: RUB YOUR ARMPITS WITH LEMON
An idea new and untested to me, Puerto Ricans apparently swear by this holistic cure.
The juice supposedly stops you from sweating and so helps you retain that much-needed fluid, preventing the dehydration that contributes to hangover headaches. Like most home remedies there is zero science behind this theory.
Number 02: Drink water
You may have notice that many of these cures are to stave off dehydration, there’s a reason for that. As I mentioned earlier alcohol is a diuretic, and it blocks the creation of the chemical vasopressin.
The chemical stimulates the kidneys making it produce more urine, meaning your kidneys will send water straight to the bladder instead of absorbing into the body and is the reason you need so many toilet trips. – ‘Don’t break the seal!’
This makes you dehydrated, causing your brain to shrink and leads to that telltale throbbing in your temples. Tried and tested by me and many of my comrades, drink a glass of water both before you go to sleep and after you wake up.
Number 01: Nothing
Sorry guys, but sometimes there’s simply no remedy that will completely cure you of your hangover. You just have to struggle, though, but if you’ve got the luxury of a day off, just take it easy. Wallow in your self-pity, greasy food and fire up a Netflix marathon.
Of course, make sure you remember to make the traditional ‘ I’m never drinking again’ vow, it’s the little lies we tell ourselves that make all the difference.