When we have hangovers, we think they’ll last forever. Luckily, they don’t — but how long do they last?
The Science Behind Hangovers
When you drink excessively, a lot of things enter the body — acids & chemicals that the body doesn’t necessarily always know how to process or break down. If these acids aren’t broken down by the day after drinking, you’ll most likely have a hangover.
The main cause of hangovers is dehydration. This is why people always recommend drinking a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks. Keeping your body balanced with water is key. Other contributors can include your sleep cycle, blood chemistry, hormones, & more.
Most people know that hangovers aren’t very fun. They can cause a variety of symptoms that disturb the body, mind, & emotions:
- Lethargy & tiredness
- Nausea & vomiting
- Sensitivity to light, sound, & motion
- Severe headache
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
These effects won’t occur after every time you drink, of course. Whether you’ll feel hungover the morning after drinking depends on a variety of biological and behavioral factors.
How Much You Need to Drink to Feel Hungover the Next Day
Of course, this varies for everyone. If you’re wondering whether or not you’ll get a hangover after a certain amount of drinks, consider these factors along with several others:
- Body weight – lighter people tend to feel effects of alcohol more heavily
- How often you drink – the more often you drink, the less like you are to be hungover
- What you drink – some drinks have more alcohol content or hangover-inducing ingredients than others
- How quickly you drink – this one’s pretty clear — if you chug your drinks, you’ll probably be hungover tomorrow.
- Your gender – it still varies per person, but women usually need about 3-5 drinks & men usually need about 5-8 drinks to feel hangover symptoms.
Once you figure out you’ll be hungover the next day, it might be too late. And the next morning you may wake up groggy, with a headache, finding yourself asking “will this ever end?”
Don’t Worry, It Won’t Last Forever
Fortunately, it will end. Hangovers can last up to 72 hours after your last drink, but most end sooner. How longer your hangover will last also depends on a variety of factors. The more severe the symptoms are, the longer it will likely last. Here’s how the following behaviors or traits may impact how long you’ll feel hungover:
How much you drank
How much you drink doesn’t have a direct impact on the length of your hangover, but can increase the severity (which in turn might make it last longer).
How much sleep you got
The less sleep you get the night after drinking the more hungover you’ll feel the next day.
How dehydrated you are
The less water in your body, the more hungover you’ll be for longer.
How much you ate
If you drink on an empty stomach, your hangover will be worse.
If you took medications
Mixing certain medications with alcohol can cause hangover effects to last longer.
Have you ever used the phrase, “I can’t drink like I used to.” If so, it’s probably because hangovers are caused more easily and can get more severe with age.
Treating & Preventing Hangovers
Obviously we would all like to prevent getting a hangover after every night out, but that’s not always the case. To treat an already-existing hangovers, try relieving it with:
- Vitamins B & C
- Sleeping it off
- Drinking lots of water
- Eating a hearty meal
The same strategies can be used to prevent future hangovers. If you’re planning to drink alcohol, the most important step is consuming in moderation to prevent symptoms. Besides that, drinking water and eating the day of will likely reduce the effects.
To learn more about hangovers and alcohol consumptions, give us a call at 844-237-5762.