Another year over . . . and a hangover just begun

What causes the unpleasant after-effects of too much alcohol – and what really helps?

The movie The Hangover: Having one hits work and academic performance.

The movie The Hangover: Having one hits work and academic performance.

Thirst, headache, faintness, dizziness, nausea and feelings of general lousiness: the clinical symptoms of a hangover. Other than fling yourself in front of marauding elephants, there aren’t many better ways to gift yourself the most miserable start to a day or a new year.

But don’t write it off as merely just deserts. A hangover knocks your ability to drive to a degree similar if not worse than driving at the legal alcohol limit, says Dr Adele McKinney, a psychologist at Queen’s University Belfast who has studied alcohol hangovers. Hangover hits work and academic performance harder than many common medical complaints. It leaves you less able to multi-task and store memories, it disrupts sleep and it lowers mood.

The Irish Times
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