Author: James Anderson

Hangover Anxiety: How to Deal with Hangxiety

what is hangxiety

In addition, some specific changes in the body may increase the risk. Plenty of people reach for a coffee the morning after drinking to try and shake the feeling of grogginess. If the factors involved in a classic hangover can also contribute to anxiety, treating your physical hangover may help you mentally.

what is hangxiety

Even if you’ve gotten plenty of sleep, it probably wasn’t of the best quality, which can leave you feeling a bit off. So at first, drinking alcohol may seem to help numb any physical or emotional pain you’re feeling. “About two drinks, or a blood alcohol concentration of 0.055, tends to increase feelings of relaxation and reduce shyness,” Cyndi goes on to say. Especially if your hangover anxiety turns into a panic attack, focusing on your breath is hugely helpful. “I recommend sitting quietly, upright and focusing on your breath to feel present in the moment,” says Irina Firstein, LCSW, a licensed individual and couple’s therapist. “As soon as thoughts come in, focus on the breath again,” she says.

Staying hydrated is also key, so throwing a few glasses of water into the rotation is never a bad idea, nor is making sure you’ve eaten a full meal before you start drinking. Age, alcohol tolerance, hydration, body weight and medications can all contribute to how long a person’s symptoms persists, Kubala says. At the time, I wrote it off, unfamiliar with the phenomenon she was referring to. Like many others, I have become all too acquainted with the rapid heartbeat and untraceable melancholy that sometimes follows a night of drinking. Yes, a hot cup of coffee might sound delicious when you wake up hungover, but when feeling anxious, trying to avoid stimulants is essential. Chances are, coffee will make you feel even more on edge or exacerbate other anxiety symptoms.

What is ‘hangxiety’ and why do some people experience it?

If moderation doesn’t work for you, consider reaching out for additional help. Moderation allows people to enjoy the pleasurable effects of alcohol before physical impairment occurs, Turner explains. If you were with a close friend, you might feel reassured by talking to them.

  1. “If you are drinking to “feel better” or you already are feeling down when you start drinking, it is most likely that these feelings will get worse after you drink.”
  2. A 2011 study on adults with depression or anxiety suggests a link between low levels of folic acid and these conditions.
  3. However, there is a yo-yo effect once those endorphin levels come back down, sometimes causing a more severe “crash” in mood, Kubala warns.
  4. In addition, some specific changes in the body may increase the risk.
  5. As for lessening the pain once the hangxiety has already arrived, Adnand recommends creating a day that revolves around self-care.

“There is almost no research on individual differences to the negative effects of alcohol,” Nutt said. According to a 2021 review published in the journal Nutrients, excessive alcohol use leads to changes in the composition of the gut microbiome. However, Gunn said that hangxiety is estimated to only affect around 12% of individuals who drink alcohol, and why some people have different symptoms to others is not well understood. However, chronic or severe anxiety during hangovers may be an important clue that a person’s body is not tolerating alcohol well or that they should speak to a doctor about anxiety. In cases where anxiety lingers much longer, it may be a sign of a different issue, such as alcohol withdrawal or an anxiety disorder. In a study in mice, researchers identified signs of anxiety for up to 14 hours after the rodents’ blood alcohol levels returned to normal.

Some medications also carry a risk of other side effects, including memory impairment or serious physical health concerns like ulcers or organ damage. Certain medications, including some anxiety and anti-inflammatory medications, may interact with alcohol. Your medications may be less effective, and you may feel anxious, restless, or agitated. People are also more likely to indulge in foods that might also trigger anxious feelings.

Unlike regular anxiety, hangover anxiety, or hangxiety, isn’t found in the DSM-5, meaning it’s not an actual medical condition. But if you’ve ever experienced it, you know it’s absolutely a real thing—more so for some people than others. While anyone can feel anxious after a night of overindulging, folks who deal with anxiety on a day-to-day basis are at an even higher risk.

How to Manage the Dreaded “Hangxiety” After a Night Out

Anxiety can happen for a lot of reasons, but one possible cause could relate to alcohol use itself. To put it another way, you might have some awareness, whether it’s conscious or not, of alcohol’s less-than-positive effects on your mental health. If this isn’t your first time at the anxiety rodeo, you probably already have a toolbox of coping methods. But you probably don’t feel up to taking a walk, doing yoga, or journaling about your feelings if you’ve got a pounding headache or the room spins when you move. A 2019 study looked at 97 people with varying levels of shyness who drank socially.

what is hangxiety

It’s also possible to experience mood-related symptoms, including feelings of anxiety. Have you ever woken up after a night of drinking feeling hungover – with symptoms like nausea, headaches and sensitivity to light or sound? Additionally, your hangover and accompanying anxiety may be more intense if you weren’t well hydrated and fed prior to drinking. While it is possible to get a hangover even after minimal consumption, the risk of hangover-related anxiety may increase with the amount of alcohol that a person drinks.

This detoxification period, which can be considered a mild form of withdrawal, can take several hours. You’re probably familiar with the usual physical symptoms of a hangover — the pounding headache, the nausea, the need to wear sunglasses at the first hint of daylight. By Ariane Resnick, CNCAriane Resnick, CNC is a mental health writer, certified nutritionist, and wellness author who advocates for accessibility and inclusivity. Therapists have been writing about hangxiety since 2021, and those in the world of recovery have been using it since then as well. Hangxiety is now a common word that is used both in therapy circles and as a descriptor by people suffering from anxiety along with hangovers. A hangover is what occurs after you ingest more alcohol than your body can easily metabolize.

Get curious about your drinking habits

If you aren’t sure where to start, you can speak with your primary care doctor about your symptoms. They can rule out other medical conditions, write you a prescription if needed, and can recommend a mental health professional to address anxiety symptoms. Maybe you realize you’ve started drinking a bit more to feel the same buzz.

There are many different forms of anxiety, but in general the word is used to describe when you feel afraid or worried without a specific reason to. While not everyone experiences hangxiety when they have a hangover, it’s believed that about 12% of people do. Those who are the most likely to deal with an anxiety-ridden hangover are shy people, according to a British study on the subject. First, let’s make sure we understand the words that combine to create this term. Anna Gora is a health writer at Live Science, having previously worked across Coach, Fit&Well, T3, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. She is a certified personal trainer, nutritionist and health coach with nearly 10 years of professional experience.

Read more about alcohol, sobriety and your life here

For example, maybe wine makes you sleepy while vodka makes you want to cry about your relationship with your mom. If you’re prone to hangxiety (or bad hangovers in general) be cognizant of what types of drinks your body responds best to and try to stick to those. That might mean giving up your beloved cosmo, but we’re willing to bet your anxiety-free self (or at least less anxious self) will thank you for the sacrifice. As Cyndi Turner, LSATP, MAC, LCSW, explains to Healthline that drinking alcohol triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good hormones.

That means exercise, healthy food, lots of hydration, and setting yourself up for better sleep hygiene the following night. Consuming alcohol can cause the body to release endorphins, resulting in a feeling of happiness and a positive mood. However, there is a yo-yo effect once those endorphin levels come back down, sometimes causing a more severe “crash” in mood, Kubala warns.

This is a form of mindfulness meditation, and Firstein recommends doing it for at least ten minutes to truly feel the benefits. Science also supports this approach; researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that mindful meditation can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. You can also use a guided meditation app like Headspace or search YouTube for guided meditation tracks to get started.