Your alarm goes off, and your eyes peel open to reveal the blistering daylight. As soon as you try to lift your head from the pillow, it feels like your brain is being squeezed internally and a combination of dizziness and nausea hits you like a ton of bricks — it's a hangover. So, now that your morning is off to such a stellar start, it's time to try these little things to do when you have a hangover. Only time will get rid of that headache completely, but there are some tricks that will help.
To solve the hangover puzzle, let's look at the reasons why you feel so terrible. Your body is experiencing a mini withdrawal from the alcohol that you consumed last night. Dehydration, as you probably already know, is the culprit behind your splitting headache. Additionally, consuming alcohol disrupts the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, which is why your stomach feels like it's been invaded by a flock of angry pigeons. Your uninhibited, confident drunk personality has vanished in favor of an exhausted and anxious one. And lastly, if you happen to suffer from alcohol intolerance, which manifests itself with flushing of the skin and morning-after sinus congestion, you might also feel like you've caught a cold.
So, how should you combat the hangover monster to ensure that your Sunday isn't entirely unproductive? Here are seven little tricks to help you feel better.
This one is pretty simple — you're very dehydrated, so, let's dump some water on the situation. Gatorade can also be a wonder-beverage as it replaces nutrients like electrolytes and potassium lost to the disruptive nature of last night's booze. But because it's pretty likely that you'll have to go buy some Gatorade, start with a big glass of water first thing in the morning.
2. Eat breakfast
While this one might seem like a terrible idea, you actually need to refuel your body. It's almost like the bartender plundered your stockpile of nutrients. You're running low on vitamin B12, potassium, electrolytes, and your body is responding to the withdrawal of the anti-inflammatory properties of alcohol by becoming inflamed, which causes pain. So, fill up on your favorite nutrient-rich hangover foods. I'm a big fan of Szechuan eggplant, which is rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin B.
3. Go outside
I know, the sun is so bright, and you may have been bitten by a vampire last night, but going for a walk or even just lying in a hammock outdoors can increase the flow of oxygen through your bloodstream, which will increase the rate at which the pesky toxins in your body are broken down.
4. Drink coffee and take Advil
Only after you've eaten and had a bunch of water (since coffee will dehydrate you more), grab a cup of adrenaline-boosting coffee and take some anti-inflammatory pain killers. The combination isn't just a college senior's expert opinion, but a scientifically proven method for combatting the chemical compounds in ethanol.
5. Don't start drinking again
No matter how many times people tell you that the "hair of the dog" will save you from the brutality of your hangover, you're just delaying the inevitable, so skip the mimosas at brunch, if you know what's good for you.
6. Take a nap
Do you ever notice when you wake up with a hangover, your body really jolts you awake? That's because the sedating effects of the alcohol have worn off, and have been replaced with a mess of hormones responsible for sobering you up. If you have the luxury of going back to sleep after you've had some water and maybe some scrambled eggs, do it. Your body will thank you later.
7. Distract Yourself
If you find something to take your mind off of the fact that your body feels like it's been through the dryer a couple of times, you'll trick yourself into feeling better. Do some gentle yoga or cook a huge, beautiful brunch for anyone who's still sleeping in your apartment. Just like with most things, moping will only prolong your misery.