Hangover symptoms vary from one person to another and can differ from occasion to occasion. The symptoms depend on the type of drink you have ingested, the amount of alcohol you drank, your weight, size and age. Even genetic factors play a role in all this.
The presence of fusel oils and congeners in the drinks amplify many of the hangover symptoms a person feels after drinking. Generally, women process alcohol at a slower rate compared to men and this is due to their higher percentage of body fat, smaller physical size and lesser enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. Given this, women are more likely to experience hangover symptoms because it takes less alcohol to get intoxicated.
How to Tell if You Are Hungover
Normally, a hangover starts several hours after drinking, when a person’s blood alcohol concentration decreases. The symptoms of hangover lasts up to 24 hours for most people but for some, it could last for several days. The physical symptoms of hangover include headache, fatigue, nausea, thirst, hypersensitivity to light and noise, muscle aches, redness of the eyes, increased systolic blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, tremor, erratic motor functions, sweating, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia, indigestion, elevated body temperature and hypersalivation. The mental symptoms include anxiety, irritability, depression, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
Basically, a hangover is a mild and temporary version of a withdrawal that a drug addict suffers when they are going through such a phase. It is nature’s way of telling us that we are harming our body from the excessive drinking.
Decoding Hangover Symptoms
You might think that vomiting is an awful feeling but it is actually good for you because it allows your body to quickly get rid of some of the alcohol in your system. However, you must remember to drink lots of water to rehydrate your body. Do not fight it if you feel like you are going to vomit because you will thank yourself in the morning after doing so.
To explain why people commonly feel overly tired and drowsy after drinking, when you go to sleep with a high amount of alcohol in your body, your brain is basically not able to enter the REM stage of sleep or the rapid eye movement. Without this stage, your brain is not able to dream and reach the relaxation it needs. So even if you end up sleeping through the night and maybe even halfway through the day, your brain still did not get the rest it needed which is why you still end up waking up feeling tired and not at all rested.
Headaches are also common and this is because alcohol acts as a diuretic. The more you drink the more water your body will need to dilute the toxin. The water then is removed from the body by urinating. Once you stop hydrating your body with water while drinking, your body will begin depriving other organs in your body of water, including your brain and this is why you experience headaches. It comes from dehydration of the brain.