About Last Night: Facts about Hangovers

Ever wondered why the morning-after effects following a night of revelry really take the life out of you? The science behind why hangovers occur is still young, but here are a few facts you may not have known. 

Symptoms & Signs

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Muscle aches
  • Thirst
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  • Mood disturbances including depression, anxiety, and irritability

Poorer Performance with a Hangover

  • Reduced focus
  • Decreased mental endurance
  • Decreased mechanical accuracy
  • Impaired abilities while operating machinery, high-pressure decision-making, and with mental math

Dehydration 

  • Decreased ADH-Hormonal Secretion
  • 1L of fluid loss per 4 drinks
  • Excessive sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Liver & Stomach Effects 

  • Toxic to the lining of the stomach
  • Increases pancreatic and intestinal acid secretion
  • Can cause gastroenteritis
  • Can Causes build up of fat compounds in liver cells, aka "fatty liver"


Low Blood Sugar 

  • Lactic acid build-up from alcohol breakdown causes low blood sugar
  • The brain is very sensitive to low sugar states this results in feelings of fatigue, weakness, and mood disturbances

Headache 

  • Vasodilation of blood vessels in the brain
  • Changes levels of hormones such as histamines, serotonin, and prostaglandins
  • This results in throbbing headache

Interference with Sleep 

  • Decreases the cycles of high quality, dream-state sleep, the kind that provides rest
  • Increases slow-wave, deep sleep
  • Causes snoring and sleep apnea, prolonged states of no breathing during sleep