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Your friends say they’re just having a little get together and invite you along. You say you have a lot of work to do and need to stay home. They say,” Too bad”, because they’re all close by and you can just pop by before they leave to hit the bar. You figure, “what the heck” and head over. The next thing you know, it’s 2 a.m. and you have to be up in 5 hours. Do you have any chance of waking up feeling anywhere near normal?
The Rebound Effect
After having a few drinks, you may find yourself bouncing between periods of deep sleep, shallow sleep and full wakefulness, this is called the rebound effect. It causes the body to alternate between deep sleep and lighter sleep that is easier to wake up from. Timothy Roehrs and Thomas Roth explain this as the body’s way of readjusting to a normal state after processing the effects of alcohol. Instead of becoming sleepy, the body suddenly awakens. As a result, the body becomes extremely sensitive to changes in the environment and the smallest sound or temperature change can be jarring.
Prepare Your Bedroom
Forewarned is forearmed. Prepare for a rocky night by filtering out light from your room or using a sleep mask. Set your thermometer to about 60 to 68 degrees F, use some earplugs to filter out extra noise and turn off all phones.
Limit Medication Intake
The best treatment for the eventual alcohol headache is a small dose of Ibupropen. Acetaminophen-based medicines can mix with the alcohol and cause liver damage. Beware of taking sleep medications, as they can also be adversely affected by alcohol, multiplying its effect and causing possibly fatal pauses in oxygen intake during the night.
While your judgement is still clear, It might be a good idea to leave some healthy snacks where they will be easy to grab when you get home. To prevent indigestion and supply your body with the vitamins you need to process alcohol, high fiber foods, like fruits, vegetables and cracker are your best bets. Honey is another good snack to follow up a night of drinking. Dr. Richard Stephens at Keele University warns about the effect of low blood sugar combined with the after -effects of drinking. A spoonful of honey will provide your body with sugars that are easy to breakdown to help the body process the alcohol during the night. These foods are also recommended for the morning after, when your blood sugar is similarly low.
Alcohol depletes the body’s vitamins, especially vitamin B, so popping some supplements before bed might be in order. Thiamine, magnesium sulfate and folic acid are also helpful. Keep hydrated, but don’t drink too much water. It will make you wake up during the night, having to use the bathroom and disturb your much needed sleep. The best idea is to have a small glass before bed and keep a bottle on your night stand in case you wake up thirsty.
Of course, the best remedy is staying home on a school night, but if concerts and parties draw you out, try these recovery methods, Best of luck and, please keep us informed on how you cope after a rough night.