Have one too many last night? Yep, we’ve all been there.
The night feels young, the drinks are flowing and you’re having the time of your life – then before you know it, it’s three in the morning and you’re perched in the local takeaway knee-deep in kebab meat. But it’s all about to get a lot worse, my friend.
Fast-forward a few hours and you wake up; head pounding, eyes burning, desert-dry mouth and your stomach turning like a washing machine. You’ve got a hangover that could well slay a woolly mammoth.
But is sleep the key to a hangover-free day after? As a specialist in all-things sleep, we’ve delved into the world of hangovers to see if getting well over your 40 winks will get rid of your roughness.
Does sleep cure a hangover?
“Sleep it off” is an exceedingly common phrase when it comes to feeling rough, but can a bit of kip really sort your hangover out?
Well, it depends how heavy you hit the sauce the night before.
We don’t condone going on an alcohol bender and drinking alcohol should be done sensibly and responsibly, but if you find yourself knowing you’re going to be on the receiving end of an almighty sesh-related hangover, it’s best to sleep off your inebriation. According to Raj Dasgupta, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California, having a big post-bender sleep will allow your liver time to breakdown the alcohol in your system and leave you feeling sober. However, you may not end up feeling fantastic after your drunken hibernation.
Okay, so what about the next day? Should you nap when you’re hungover?
This leads onto the hangover itself. Due to booze making you need to use the loo, you’re likely to have a restless sleep as you’ll need to both relieve and hydrate yourself – an oxymoron if we’ve ever heard one! So, although your mind may be craving naps throughout the day, it might not be the best approach to take in your battle against the hangover.
What can you do to get a better night’s sleep when you’ve been drinking?
There are actions you can take the night of your drinking session BEFORE you go to bed that will help you sleep better, which will make you feel a bit rosier come the morning:
- Drink a few glasses of water. Your bladder might not think so, but your body is certainly dehydrated when you’ve been boozing. Get some alcohol-free liquid down you before bed and you’ll have a more restful sleep.
- Get some citrus down you. No, a vodka-orange juice or a lemon alcopop doesn’t count. You lose a lot of vitamins and nutrients through constant urination, so having a glass of OJ or throwing down a satsuma is a quick win.
- A sophisticated takeaway. Step aside kebab meat, you aren’t needed. A true hangover-busting meal to have at the end of your night is, wait for it, steak and eggs. Both of these contain thiamine, an enzyme crucial to breaking down the booze.
What are the best hangover cures?
Tried the above sleep-related remedies and still feeling a fragile? Here are three top tricks to try and budge that horrendous hangover:
- Bananas and leafy greens– your potassium level is often left depleted after a night on the sauce, due to booze’s diuretic effect. Get some greens and a banana into a smoothie and you’ll be tackling the beast face on.
- Chicken noodle soup – a classic when you’re feeling under the weather, but it can help you refill your sodium and water levels the morning after the night before.
- Coconut water – with five key electrolytes(compared to a sports drink’s two), cracking open a box of coconut water can get you hydrated and feeling a little more human.
But the best piece of advice? Don’t get so sozzled! Think about the hungover time before you do the drinking crime, so skip that last pint or gin and tonic and get yourself home for a peaceful night’s sleep before it all begins to get out of hand!
We pride ourselves as experts of sleep, so visit our blog for more tips, help and advice.