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Sleep Expert Shares Their Top Tips for Waking Up Hangover-Free Over the 4-Day Weekend

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Do you have a night out planned this Easter holiday weekend? Did you know that special occasions, such as bank holidays, add more than 120 million UK units of alcohol to the population’s alcohol consumption in England, which equates to 12 million bottles of wine?

So, to help those who are planning to let loose, the experts at MattressNextDay, have shared their top tips for preventing waking up with a hangover this bank holiday weekend.

Unfortunately, the only surefire way to avoid a hangover is to not drink any alcohol. However, Martin Seeley, the CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay has shared eight ways to make your hangover more manageable.

1. Stop drinking at least three hours before you go to bed

Although alcohol acts as a depressant on the nervous system, promoting relaxation, it can negatively interfere with the sleep cycle and diminish the quality of sleep. The body generally processes approximately one standard drink per hour, so if you have consumed a large amount of alcohol, we recommend you stop drinking a minimum of three hours before you head to bed.

Not only will this reduce any likelihood of acid reflux, but also helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle (your circadian rhythm) to allow your body time to process what you’ve already consumed. While you are waiting to go to bed and you’ve stopped drinking alcohol, it’s always a good idea to drink water to help hydrate your body!

2. Say yes to that pre-nightout meal

Eating after drinking can help to stabilise your glucose levels. Fatty foods can actually stop your body from absorbing too much alcohol, so eating a big meal with red meat (like a burger) before going out drinking is ideal. However, you should try to avoid having a big meal at least three hours before you go to bed.

3. Eat pomegranate seeds before you head out drinking

Pomegranate juice is high in antioxidants and protein, which helps restore muscles and reduces inflammation, preparing you for a night of heavy drinking. With three times more antioxidants than green tea, it’s certainly worth a try.

Or alternatively, if you’re particularly well-prepared, drink a smoothie made of leafy greens and pomegranate seeds before you head out. Packed with nutrients and vitamins, this will prepare your body for having to restore its levels of nutrients later.

4. When you’re out, mix your vodka with orange juice

Did you know that orange juice can neutralise congeners in vodka, which contributes to your hangover? Vodka itself has low levels of congeners compared to brandy or rum, so I’d recommend a classic vodka orange (or as it’s sometimes known, a “screwdriver”).

5. Steer clear of fizzy mixers

Research has shown that carbonated mixers like lemonade and coke can get you drunk much more quickly. This is because mixing your alcohol with carbonated drinks increases the rate of alcohol absorption in the blood, thanks to the gas in the bubbles. If you want to avoid a hangover in the morning, try mixing your alcohol with fruit juice, or water and a flavoured cordial.

6. Order your drinks with ice so you go to the toilet less

Staying hydrated is absolutely essential for preventing a hangover. It might not be news to you that one of the main symptoms of a hangover is thirst, so make sure you’re staying topped up with water as you’re drinking.

Alcohol causes you to urinate more and generally dehydrates you by causing your body to produce a hormone called Vasopressin. If you don’t think you’ll remember to drink a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks, order your drinks with ice.

Sip your drink slowly, and as the ice melts, your drink will be diluted. This will increase the time between refills, as well as give you a little extra hydration.

7. Pace yourself when drinking

The severity of your hangover will be directly related to how much you’ve had to drink. There’s no shame in pacing yourself, especially if you want to avoid feeling awful in the morning. Only 20–25% of people who drink are hangover resistant, so if you’re not one of them, you should slow down your alcohol intake.

Also, try to drink water in between alcoholic beverages. Don’t chug loads of water when you get home though, as this will cause stress to your body, and cause more damage than good. One or two glasses of water when you get home is ideal, and keep a glass near your bed for when you wake up thirsty.

8. Skip the ibuprofen

While you might be tempted to reach for some ibuprofen to prepare yourself for the inevitable headache that comes with a hangover, taking medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin can irritate your stomach.

Vitamins B and zinc, however, have been found to help alleviate the symptoms of hangovers. Red meat is full of zinc.

Research suggests that red Ginseng can prevent a hangover, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. A Korean herbal remedy, red Ginseng also boosts your immune system. You can find it in capsule form in many health food shops.

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