Hangover Headache

Hangovers don’t last as long as alcohol withdrawal, and they don’t include the most severe and dangerous symptoms of withdrawal — hallucinations and seizures. If you find that you are unable to control your drinking, it is essential to seek help. Light-colored alcohols, such as vodka or white wine, have fewer congeners (hangover-causing toxins). Alcohol is absorbed more slowly when food is in the stomach before you start drinking. Without food in your stomach, most of the alcohol finds its way into your blood quickly.

  • The headaches often occur along with other symptoms related to drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • “In addition, many people drink less, and less regularly, as they get older, and so when they do have a big night on the booze, they tolerate it much less well.”
  • Effects on hormones, blood chemistry, the sleep-wake cycle and inflammatory chemicals are also important in the thoroughly lousy feeling we have come to know as a hangover.
  • Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.
  • The type of drinks you consume can also increase the severity of a hangover.

A 2008 study in the journal Current Drug Abuse Reviews found that nearly a quarter of people may be resistant to hangovers. Dehydration also appears to play a significant role in hangovers. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing people to urinate much more than usual. As a result, people who’ve drunk too much frequently wake up the next day with a dry mouth, terrible thirst, lightheadedness and a wicked headache.


The duration of hangover symptoms, such as the shakes, depends on how much alcohol a person has consumed. Temporary changes to neurotransmitter activity are part of the reason some people experience hangover shakes. Stop drinking completely when you’ve reached your limit (or before then). Keep in mind that it is important to minimize the use of Tylenol (acetaminophen) when drinking alcohol (or recovering from a hangover), as the combination can harm the liver. Hangover headaches are common enough, but they can have an impact on daily life. Dr. Shafer says if you know you’re going to consume alcohol, make sure you adequately hydrate the day before, with at least 64 ounces of water.

How Long Does a Hangover Last

Consider your goals, why do you want to stop drinking alcohol? Identify situations where you feel tempted to drink and avoid them. Quitting drinking not only bolsters your immune system but also becomes a crucial defense against diseases like cancer. Alcohol consumption, even no more than one drink per day, is linked to various types of cancer, including head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer. For the first three days since your last drink, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. For most people, the withdrawal symptoms will lessen or stop by the end of the first week but can continue for people who used to drink heavily.

Is Mixing Different Types of Alcohol Bad?

Dehydration plays a significant role, as does acetaldehyde. Effects on hormones, blood chemistry, the sleep-wake cycle and inflammatory chemicals are also important in the thoroughly lousy feeling we have come to know as a hangover. However, when frequent, severe hangovers become part of your everyday life, you could be headed down a path toward alcohol use disorder. It’s not impossible to turn it around on your own, but it’s more likely to get worse without intervention. Booze can also affect your blood sugar, says Chaun Cox, MD, family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health Systems. So if you want to try and avoid a hangover in the future, opt for lighter spirits like gin or vodka over whisky or rum, white wine over red.

How Long Does a Hangover Last

A person might speak with a shaky voice or have trouble holding items like utensils. A national survey found that more than 9 percent of U.S. workers went into work with a hangover at some point in the previous year. And a Dutch study found that university students in the Netherlands tend to suffer from a hangover nearly three days out of every month — which amounts to about one “lost” month every year.

Tips for next time

Plus, they can link you to support services and track your progress through follow-up visits. After two weeks into quitting alcohol, you may start to lose weight, due to the removal of calories from alcoholic drinks. The How Long Does a Hangover Last liver metabolizes alcohol at a rate of approximately one drink per hour, and any remaining alcohol continues to circulate in the bloodstream. There is no way to speed up metabolism or shorten hangover recovery time.

How Long Does a Hangover Last

Nearly anyone who’s ever had a night of moderate to heavy drinking knows firsthand the misery of a hangover. In fact, hangovers are so common that 35 to 50 percent of adults who drink alcohol experience one at least once a year. If you take any medications, always check with your healthcare provider before drinking alcohol to avoid negative interactions that may prolong your hangover.