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Does a night of drinking lead to a morning of anxiety? Then you could have hangxiety

Updated on:1 April 2021, 19:10pm IST
We all know how a hangover feels like, but did you know it could also trigger anxiety? It’s called hangxiety, and we’re here to tell you all about it!
Geetika Sachdev
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There are several reasons why a hangover could give you anxiety. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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It’s Friday night, and you decide to step out for a drink with your friends. One drink turns to two, and in a few hours, you’ve lost count of the number of cocktails you’ve had! YOLO, we say! But what if you end up with a horrible hangover the next day? That’s not fun at all! 

If you’ve had hangovers in the past, you must know how they feel. Pounding headaches, nausea and fatigue are common physical symptoms, but did you know a hangover can also trigger anxiety? Yes, this phenomenon is pretty common, and is also known as ‘hangxiety’.

But why does it happen?

hangxiety
Vegans, be careful! Over-indulging in alcohol might lead to severe hangover symptoms. Image courtesy: shutterstock
Here are some common reasons for hangxiety:

 

  • Social anxiety: A lot of people consume alcohol to loosen up and get over social anxiety. In fact, research says a drink or two can help such people to increase feelings of relaxation and reduce shyness. But the effect of alcohol is only temporary, right? So, when it begins to wear off, they start to become anxious again. Physical symptoms of a hangover make it even worse!
  • Alcohol detox: When you have alcohol, your body takes some time to kick it out of the system. The detoxification period can last for up to eight hours, according to research. During this time, you could experience feelings of restlessness, anxiety or even jitters.

 

  • Emotional withdrawal: When you drink alcohol, your body releases endorphins, but when the effect wears off, it could make you feel miserable.
  • Dehydration: We all know alcohol causes dehydration, and that’s exactly why you urinate more than usual! Plus, even when you know this is an issue, you don’t drink as much water as you should! This can trigger anxiety in many ways.
  • Folic acid deficiency: If you are deficient in folic acid, you are more likely to suffer from mood disorders or depression. Moreover, alcohol can cause low levels of folic acid, which explain why you do not feel great the next morning after partying!

    hangxiety
    A nasty hangover can make your world seem upside down.
    Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  • Medication: They say never mix medication and alcohol! That’s because certain drugs can react with alcohol, and make you feel low.
  • Alcohol intolerance: Just like lactose intolerance, there’s also something, which is known as alcohol intolerance. And if you continue to fight your body, then you are likely to end up with physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a rapid heartbeat, headache, fatigue and much more. 
Here’s how you can deal with it

We all know your mind and body are connected, so both need to be tackled in order to reduce hangxiety

  • First of all, take a deep breath. Research says that slow breathing can help you relax. Try out the 4-7-8 breathing technique, in which you breathe in while counting to four, breathe out while counting to four again. Do this until your heartbeat slows down.
  • You could also try mindfulness meditation. Start with deep breathing, close your eyes and focus on your thoughts. Try to assess how you feel physically and emotionally. Do not try to judge yourself in any way.
  • As far as physical symptoms go, try to drink plenty of water. When it comes to food, have light meals. You could go for broth, bananas or crackers.
  • Try to get enough sleep. If you find it hard, try meditating or taking a warm shower to relax your muscles.

    hangxiety
    Adequate time to snooze can actually make you lose! Arey lose that excess weight Ladies. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
  • You could also go for over-the-counter pain relief to tackle muscle aches and headaches.
  • Also remember, when you go out drinking the next time, do not drink on an empty stomach. Have a light snack or meal before you step out.
  • Drink enough water, so that you do not get dehydrated, even when you’re downing a few cocktails. Stick to one alcoholic beverage per hour.
  • Last but not the least, set a limit. We know it is sometimes amazing to lose yourself, but you don’t want to end up feeling sick the next day!

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.