THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HANGOVERS AND ANXIETY
Hangovers are no fun no matter what, but recently some have wondered about their connection to anxiety. Many symptoms come with hangovers, like horrible headaches, dry mouth, and nausea, but many also experience anxiety when they’re hungover as well.
*As the Huffington Post tells us, one study on hangovers revealed that 7.4% of people get anxiety as a morning after symptom. Often times hangovers can cause poor sleep, which can lead to being anxious and hangovers can come with a wide variety of difficult and complex emotions. As an executive at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains, “You’d think we would totally understand the hangover at this point, but we don’t.”
*Hangovers can play havoc with your circadian rhythms, which affect your REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Another reason why hangovers can lead to anxiety is your brain is trying to maintain stability, which can be akin to trying to maintain balance on a stormy sea.
*Alcohol is a depressant, and it can make you feel better when you’re intoxicated because it affects the amygdala, the emotional part of your brain. Once it wears off, your brain tries to get back to your pre-drinking state. As one source puts it, “The alcohol pulls the amygdala in one direction. But then it wears off, and your brain starts to pull back to establish its normal, and sometimes it overshoots in the opposite direction.”
*As a psychiatrist explains, “Because alcohol has sedative properties, it leaves you feeling the opposite the next day.” Excessive drinking can also reduce the brain’s serotonin levels, and “those with anxiety are very sensitive to physiological changes. When the heart rate is elevated, when the body feels weird, it can set off a panic attack.”
*Anxiety is just one of many symptoms that comes with hangovers that can be unpleasant, and often times people will finally decide to get sober after one hangover too many. While drinking can certainly be fun at first, the headaches, nausea, fatigue, and anxiousness that comes with it the next day can often be a heavy price to pay.