It’s no secret that drinking alcohol affects your body and your mind. In fact, you may be even to argue that the effect is a positive one while you are drinking it. This is actually the reason that those who do suffer from anxiety often times turn to alcohol to help them mask how they feel. The only downside with this is the next day when you have a hangover and the alcohol anxiety that comes along with it.
When you drink alcohol, you are affecting the chemistry of your brain. With that alcohol also comes a lowered level of the neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for your sleep, memory, and mood. So, when you have lowered levels of serotonin, you are also going to have a lower quality of sleep, terrible mood swings and even trouble trying to remember things. Now partner this with the anxiety that you are already suffering from and you have the perfect recipe for alcohol anxiety.
With alcohol anxiety, there are several different symptoms that you can potentially experience the next day. All of these symptoms are signs of alcohol anxiety and can be expected the night after heavy drinking.
When you have lowered serotonin levels in your brain, you won’t feel as good and are more prevalent to feelings of both depression and anxiety.
Lowered Blood Sugar Levels
When your blood sugar levels drop, they can cause you to feel dizzy, confused, weak, nervous, shaky and even numb. When these feelings do come about, they can easily trigger your anxiety.
When you become dehydrated, you are putting yourself at risk to become fatigued, nauseous, weak and even light-headed. While any of these symptoms alone is able to cause anxiety, they also add to a sense of being ill, which can also lead to anxiety.
When you drink alcohol, it affects your nervous system by putting it into a hyperactive state. This happens so your body can fight off all of the sedative effects that alcohol puts onto your body. It is this hyperactivity that can cause you to be light or sound sensitive, sleep deprived and even lead to shaking.
Increased Heart Rate
Along with alcohol consumption comes the potential for your heart to become elevated. This elevation in heart rate can lead to a heart palpitation false alarm. If this does happen, it will put your body into an anxious anticipation state. Your body will then ask itself if you are having a heart attack or if it’s just a false alarm. This questioning of ‘what if’ will generally increase the state of anxiety that you are feeling.
Lack of Focus
Depending on how much you drank the night before, you can also feel hazy, have a serious headache and even have a sense of disorientation. All of these can easily increase the amount of anxiety you are feeling.
How to Avoid Alcohol Anxiety
The easiest and fastest way to get rid of alcohol anxiety is to simply avoid drinking any type of alcohol whenever possible. This way you will be better suited to cope with any type of anxiety that you are feeling.
Not sure if avoiding drinking alcohol will really help how you feel and how you handle your anxiety? A study in London watched 102 women and men who would drink regularly and had the not drink for one month.
The results showed that there were not only substantial improvements in the function of the liver, but they also noticed a higher quality of sleep. This higher quality of sleep is due in part to the glutamine that is held back when alcohol is consumed. Glutamine helps to keep you awake. After you have stopped drinking alcohol and have gone off to bed, your body is flooded with glutamine which tries to wake your body up. This makes it much more difficult for your body to get a good night’s sleep.
You have decided that you don’t necessarily want to give up drinking alcohol altogether. That is not a problem at all as there are some tips that you can practice to help you prevent having alcohol anxiety the next day.
- Only drink until you feel buzzed, then stop – Have a few drinks but try to avoid being drunk. Try to learn your limits and know when you should stop.
- Choose your poison wisely – When you feel the need to drink hard liquor, try to stick the ‘lighter’ drinks such as vodka or gin. The darker drinks like whiskey and wine usually contain higher levels of toxins.
- Drink water too – Every time you have another drink, be sure to have a glass of water right before. This will help to keep you hydrated. If you really want to set yourself up for success, try adding some sea salt in your water to give yourself some extra electrolytes as well.
- Eat food before drinking – When you drink with an empty stomach you will get a lot drunker much faster. This means an even worse morning. Before you start drinking, be sure that have put some food in your belly to help prevent this from happening.
- Drink water immediately before going to bed – Before you call it a night and go to bed, be sure to drink two large sized glasses of water. If at all possible, you may want to try drinking something packed with electrolytes such as coconut water or even Gatorade.
The Cure for Your Hangover
If you do wake up with a hangover the next morning and are feeling anxious, the best thing you can do is try to make your hangover go away as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to drink a lot of water throughout the day.
Other than drinking water, taking a Milk Thistle supplement will be able to help the liver detoxify your body more quickly. Green tea is also helpful as it contains L-theanine, which has anti-anxiety properties as well.
While alcohol anxiety is something that can be avoided, if you do decide to drink, by taking certain precautions you are able to lessen and even avoid any alcohol anxiety the next morning. Just remember to keep safe and drink responsibly.