A Hangover article from a Health Nut??
Get the picket signs ready, she’s bringing back the Prohibition, I just know it…
I could tell you that alcohol [ETOH] is a no-no and the Prohibition should have stuck around a few more decades. But I’m not going to give the satisfaction of being predictable….
Like the fair Zach G says in the above trailer: “We’ve been on a lot of [drunken] adventures together, but it seems like you haven’t learned anything”
So I’m gonna learn ‘ya somthin’.
Ok, so you know how during a really fun night of boozin’ it up:
- You loosen up
- You have a ton of laughs
- Maybe you rough and tumble a little bit
- You’re feeling on top of the world
- The bartender belts out “last call”
- The lights come on [“oh jeez I was dancing with THAT?? Everyone really does look better in dim lighting]
- You call a taxi and get safely home [you didn’t think I was gonna go totally rogue and recommend drinking and driving did you?]
- As soon as your feet hit the floor in your house, away from all the Dub Step house music and twerking, you realize JUST HOW TIRED YOU ARE
- You think: “man alive am I going to sleep like a baby or WHAT”
- You lay down to a spinning room, consider getting up to drink some water, maybe pop an aspirin, and by the time you have role-played the out-of-body experience where you follow such a notion, you are asleep
- Only to wake up on Saturday morning like it’s Monday at the exact time your alarm for work would go off, possible earlier… WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?? “I thought for SURE I would sleep until 10 am today…”
- You realize going back to sleep is not happening, and you know what, you don’t feel so bad, almost perky even…
- Until about an hour of upright walking around and then you [a] feel the headache, [b] long for that water and aspirin you swore you crawled out of bed for…and [c] deeply desire to crawl back into bed for a mid -morning nap…
First things first, there is a reason your body responded this way – and it’s not just because the Universe hates you and Karma is telling you to use the extra awake hours to do laundry and call your mom like good boys and girls.
Allow me to explain:
The actual metabilization process of drinking alcohol [ethanol; ETOH] is quite intricate and complex and so I’m going to make this as Reader-friendly as possible.
In the world of Drugs, ETOH is a in the category of Depressants. More info on those Here
Essentially a Depressant drug does exactly as it says – it depresses: It makes one feel sluggish, foggy, and often sedated to the point of falling asleep.
Re-read #1-4 up top. Does that sound like I am characterizing a Depressant drug?
NO, it does not; in fact it sounds like I am describing someone who just popped “an Upper” and is waiting for the good times to start rolling… so what gives?
The fact of the matter is that ETOH, in small doses [“small” being of course dependent on age, gender, and body weight] has some stimulating properties to it as it increases heart rate and floods body with oxygenated blood before it begins its relaxation effects. Keep in mind too, THE ENVIRONMENT – – your body is constantly taking clues from it and being around a bunch of bodies jumping and thrashing full throttle with hyper-decibel music pounding is not exactly signaling the body to go night-night.
However, as you ingest more ETOH and it settles in to your blood stream [can take up to 40 mins] its true nature begins to surface. When you are in a Club scene this is hardly noticed as you are in the graces of Mind over Matter at that stage.
Again, depending on your age, gender, body weight, type of ETOH consumed, and presences of caffeine [i.e. Vodka with Red Bull will metabolize different than straight Vodka] or food [will slow down absorption], the sedative effect can last anywhere from 1 to about 6hrs after you consume the first beverage.
As the body starts processing the ETOH, your blood ETOH content is getting reduced [this is a good thing, it means your body is working properly] your levels will at some drop back down to the “Stimulating properties” level mentioned above. This is when you wake up and now feel like you can’t go back to sleep.
Once the ETOH is more fully processed and excreted, you likely become dehydrated [since ETOH is sugar and needs water to metabolize it – see Hydration Houdini for more info on that] and now feel fatigued again.
For my visual learners, I present you a very generalized, but informative graph.
Now that you know WHY you may have trouble sleeping, allow me to offer a few naturalistic remedies to prevent you from feeling terrible once you wake up. Please note, these are Preventative Measures and should be taken before going to bed for best results.
Homeopathic Hangover Prevention
- Bifidus Powder – 1 tsp in a glass of water, let dissolve, drink before bed; available in health food stores
- B Vitamins – Take  capsule of B complex vitamin before bed, making sure it includes at least Thiamine and B6 as these help clear the liver of acetaldehyde which is the by-product of ETOH thought to cause most of the symptoms we associate with a hangover
- Milk Thistle – Take[ 2] 70 mg capsules before bed, checking to make sure there is at least 75% silymarin, the therapeutic factor in this herb; available in health food stores