(BPT) - Party a little too hearty last night? Chances are, you may have woken up with some of the classic symptoms of a hangover: headache, sensitivity to light and noise, fatigue, thirst, irritability and worst of all — nausea.
Hangovers can make it pretty difficult to function the next day. According to the National Institutes of Health, how you feel after over-imbibing in alcohol can vary a great deal from person to person, and depends on how much you drank the night before. But face it, a hangover can make you feel miserable — and eager to find relief, fast.
Unfortunately, there are also a lot of myths out there about what helps you feel better when you’ve got a hangover, and especially how to relieve that most unpleasant symptom of nausea.
Here are some tried and true tips for preventing and coping with hangover nausea.
1. Know your limits
If you’ve had a hangover before, you may have an idea how much you can drink without making yourself sick the next day. However, over-imbibing can impair your judgment — and memory — when it comes to drinking. The National Institutes of Health website warns that any time you drink to the point of intoxication, you risk developing a hangover.
The UK’s National Health Service recommends eating foods containing carbohydrates (pasta or rice) and fats (oils, butter) before drinking, as they can help slow your body’s absorption of alcohol. And the Mayo Clinic reports that lighter-colored alcoholic beverages are somewhat less likely to produce hangover symptoms — though the amount consumed is the most important factor.
2. Stay hydrated
One tactic recommended by WebMD for avoiding over-drinking is to alternate alcoholic drinks with glasses of water. Not only does that slow down your alcohol consumption, it also helps prevent the dehydrating effects of drinking too much — which can also contribute to feeling nauseated the next day.
If you wake up with nausea after a night of drinking, sipping slowly on cold water or fizzy drinks like clear soda or ginger ale can help you rehydrate and settle your stomach a little.
3. Use acupressure wrist bands
Specially designed wrist bands from Sea-Band Nausea Relief stimulate an exact acupressure point by a plastic stud attached to the inside of the band. This specific acupressure point in the wrist is called the P6 (or Nei Guan in Chinese medicine), which can help relieve nausea and upset stomach when pressure is applied. Just adjust the soft and comfortable wrist band to fit snugly on your wrist to help relieve nausea within minutes.
“Acupressure helps to relieve nausea and upset stomach with no need for medications, which can sometimes make you feel worse or harm your liver,” said family practitioner Dr. Ian Cracknell. “Sea-Bands are an effective, low-cost and drug-free alternative that I often recommend to my patients. They are clinically proven to reduce nausea in patients caused by things like motion sickness, migraines, morning sickness and hangovers.”
Approaching the holidays, it's a great idea to stock up on re-usable Sea-Bands for yourself, and as great stocking stuffers! Sea-Band wrist bands are available in pharmacies everywhere. To learn more about Sea-Bands and how they work, visit Sea-Band.com/FAQs.
4. Don’t try the “hair of the dog”
The old expression “hair of the dog that bit you” refers to the idea that having more alcohol the morning after can make you feel better. In fact, drinking more the next day is not likely to help.
Because alcohol irritates the stomach lining and increases the release of acid, the National Institutes of Health warns that drinking more the next morning is only likely to increase your stomach irritation and feelings of nausea.
5. Eat lightly
To further aid your stomach in its hangover recovery, eating lightly can help you feel better. Sipping on soup or broth, or nibbling on crackers, can help reduce those unpleasant feelings of nausea.
The upshot is, to completely avoid the risk of developing a hangover, you would need to avoid alcohol altogether. But if you do drink, limiting your alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks (depending on the amount of alcohol in each drink) and not drinking on an empty stomach can help to some degree. Ultimately, the best cure for hangover nausea (and other unpleasant symptoms) is time.