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How Can I Deal with a Long Hangover?

Most experts agree that two of the most effective ways for curing a long hangover are getting plenty of rest and putting the proper nutrition and liquids back in your body. Since the remaining alcohol in your system heightens some pain medications, opinions vary on whether taking over-the-counter medicine is a good idea. Showers and exercise can help you restore your body’s circulation. If you’re experiencing what seems like a very long hangover, especially if it’s going on much longer than you’ve experienced before, you might need to seek medical attention.

Getting plenty of rest might be a problem, unless you drank on a Friday night. Even then, if you have a family or you work on Saturdays, you might need to recruit help. Sleep is crucial for both the mind and body to heal themselves, and this includes from the effects of a long hangover. If you need to call a day off work, hire a babysitter, or ask your spouse to take the kids to the park for the day, do it. A well-rested body is much better able to restore itself after consuming enough alcohol to cause a hangover.

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If you’ve ever heard the saying “the hair of the dog that bit you,” you probably know that some people believe drinking a small amount of alcohol in the morning will help with curing a hangover, or in preventing a long hangover. Others don’t believe this. Opinions also are split over drinks such as sports drinks and coffee. It’s best if you drink what works for you. If you aren’t sure, understand that drinking plenty of certain other liquids, such as water and orange juice, will replenish your body with essential fluids and nutrients.

Food might be the last thing on your mind when you’re suffering with a hangover, but if it’s a particularly long hangover, your body will need food at some point. Try mineral-rich foods like fish and pickles. Acetaldehyde, which is often thought to be the cause of a long hangover, is produced by the oxidation of ethanol, and eggs containing cysteine can help break down the acetaldehyde. Bananas will help you replenish the potassium your body lost while you were drinking alcohol. If you’re not ready for solid foods, settle for a nutritious soup.

Some sources believe taking pain medicine containing aspirin or ibuprofen can help cure the pain associated with hangovers. Others believe the alcohol still in the body can intensify the medicine, which isn’t ideal given that aspirin is a blood thinner. Ultimately, this decision is left to the person experiencing the hangover. If the headache or body aches are more than you can handle, over-the-counter pain medicine might be necessary. Be sure to seek medical attention if you notice any serious adverse side effects.

Taking a shower might not be effective at curing a hangover all by itself, but there’s no denying the mind and body tend to feel better after a shower. Also, some people believe alternating the water temperature between hot and cold can help get your blood flowing more normally and helps you “wake up.” If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to deal with alternating temperatures, and you feel too ill to stand under hot water, try a shower with lukewarm water.

This might be surprising, but some people claim exercise is an effective way to treat a long hangover. If jogging around the block isn’t for you, try a few jumping jacks or get on the treadmill. Any kind of exercise that increases your heart rate and keeps you sweating is thought to be beneficial.

If the long hangover you’re experiencing is actually longer than usual, consider seeing a doctor. An underlying health problem might be causing your body to react differently to alcohol. Too, someone could have added a drug to your drink when you weren’t looking.

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