How to Deal With Hangover Anxiety

How to Deal With Hangover Anxiety- Its Symptoms and Cure

Control yourself before you have a few too many for the night. Otherwise, the next day you may find yourself with hangover anxiety.

You are out with your friends enjoying a few drinks at a party or during a night out. At the moment, without even realizing it, you tend to lean on the bottle a little too much. That’s when the vicious cycle of hangover anxiety begins. 

Besides, the after-effects of your hangover leading to anxiety come into effect the next day. The morning after your night of heavy drinking, you tend to get physical, mental as well as emotional side effects. Those side effects are not at all pleasant, and you need some cure to relieve you from these unwanted symptoms of a hangover. 

People enjoy in the weekend end up with hangover anxiety.
People enjoy in the weekend and end up with hangover anxiety.

What is Hangxiety?

In simple terms, Hangxiety is a mix of two words: hangover and anxiety. It is a type of anxiety that occurs due to excessive drinking of alcohol. After you consume a lot of alcohol, your body and brain need to rebalance. In the meantime, you may experience a mini withdrawal from alcohol. To add to that, it affects your nervous system and also disturbs your mood leading to hangover anxiety. 

Can Hangovers Cause Anxiety?

Yes, a hangover can be a cause of your anxiety. As we discussed earlier, when you consume a lot of alcohol, the body’s response is to rebalance it to its neutral state. The brain helps to release certain chemicals, which becomes the main factor leading to hangover anxiety.

A man struggling from hangover anxiety.
A man struggling from hangover anxiety.

Alcohol is addictive which affects our body in various ways. To add to that, it affects our neurotransmitters such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Initially, the chemical change in the brain can bring about a rush of bliss and ecstasy. After a while, when the pleasurable chemicals start to fade away, then you start to recollect your problems and worries. Thus, leading to hangover anxiety in the body.

What Causes Hangover Anxiety?

Alcohol stimulates the production of an inhibitory neurotransmitter known as GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). It slows down the functions of the brain and also calms you down. That’s why you tend to feel a bit relaxed after a few drinks. The real issue starts when you drink a little more after that, that’s when your brain blocks a neurotransmitter called Glutamate. To add to that, Glutamate has a link to anxiety, as shown in many studies. When Glutamate is blocked, you feel relaxed, and all your stress and anxiety fade away.

Chemical rebalance causing hangover anxiety in the girl.
Chemical rebalance causing hangover anxiety in the girl.

The brain, after a while, rebalances the chemicals by producing higher levels of Glutamate and blocking GABA. Thus, when you regain control of yourself, you are more anxious than ever. The anxiety levels in an individual shoot up as soon as the feelings start to resurface. You start to recall embarrassing moments from the night before, and it makes the matter worse. On top of that, one can feel overwhelming levels of depressive and negative thoughts adding to the hangover anxiety levels in the body.

Why Do I Get Panic Attacks After Drinking?

Alcohol disturbs and alters serotonin levels and neurotransmitters like GABA in the brain. As a result, you can get panic attacks and higher levels of anxiety. To add to that, a panic attack due to alcohol results from excessive anxiety where you feel an upsurge of emotion and amplified stress. On top of that, when stress is mixed with a host of negative thoughts, you can get panic attacks after drinking and hangover anxiety.

What Are Hangover Anxiety Symptoms?

After a night of heavy drinking, you must have observed some usual physical symptoms of a hangover. Some are throbbing headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, aversion to bright lights. The bright lights compel you to wear shades at home too. Add to that the usual remark after a hangover, “ I am never drinking again.”

A man struggling with hangover anxiety in the morning.
A man struggling with hangover anxiety in the morning.

Here Are Some Symptoms

Apart from the physical symptoms of hangovers, there are psychological symptoms too. These add to the feeling of anxiety and make a case for hangover anxiety in your body. To sum up, there is a compiled list of related symptoms leading to anxiety after a hangover.

  • Mood Swings: Serotonin level in the body is usually higher when you are drunk. Besides, it is a vital molecule that makes you feel amazing when in higher quantity in the body. However, you start to feel nervous and anxious when it reduces with time.
  • Loss of Focus: The brain becomes foggy due to excessive drinking. And due to anxiety, you are not able to focus on any task. So, next time you can’t focus after a night of drinking, it might be due to hangover anxiety.
  • Racing Heart: Your heartbeat becomes faster after consuming excess alcohol. Hangxiety adds to this and can give you false alarm of a mini heart attack. Thus, adding to the further depression and making you nervous.
  • Feeling Tired And Fatigued: Hangover anxiety can make you feel tired from any work. That’s why the term “Monday Blues” has been even more popular because you don’t feel like working after having a hangover. Besides, the anxiety compels you to stay in bed.
  • Feeling On Edge: Have you felt unknown stress and worry troubling you for the entire day after a weekend. The reason could be hangover anxiety. Because the more you are anxious, the more stress you carry with you.

How To Cure Hangover Anxiety?

The first step is to address the physical symptoms of a hangover. By doing that, it can make you feel better and reduce a bit of anxiety. The standard hangover protocol, such as drinking lots of water, taking a good nap, eating light meals, and taking care of your medication, can bring a lot of relief. Besides, there are some methods you can follow to reduce hangover anxiety further.

A girl staying hydrated to reduce hangover anxiety.
A girl staying hydrated to reduce hangover anxiety.

Here Are Some Ways To Manage Hangover Anxiety

  • Relax with meditation, yoga, and practicing deep breathing techniques. It will surely calm you down.
  • You can plug in some calm and relaxing music giving you space to relax. Also, add in some activity that you like, maybe some painting, writing, or going for a walk if you feel like it.
  • Do not indulge in the memory of last night. If some strange thoughts cut across, then just let it go. The more you can stay away from negative thoughts, the better it is for you.
  • Monitor your sleeping time. You need at least six to eight hours of sleep to alleviate your anxiety.
  • Eat smart and light. To add to that, try to have a balanced diet that is nutritious for your body.
  • Apart from restricting alcohol, it is important to limit or stop caffeine intake after a hangover. Caffeine can further dehydrate the body, adding to anxiety levels.
  • Last but not least, the proven way to reduce anxiety is to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Drink lots of water. You can add some electrolytes in your fluids to further help in your hangover anxiety.

How Long Does Hangover Anxiety Last?

How long does post alcohol anxiety last? The answer to this question is that it varies from person to person. Also, how severe the hangover is and the length play a big factor in deciding how long the anxiety will last. But, usually, the hangover anxiety doesn’t last too long. 

A girl staying in her bed because of hangover anxiety.
A girl staying in her bed because of hangover anxiety.

According to some studies, your anxiety signs due to a hangover can last up to 14 hours. The time is until your body’s chemical returns to normal. However, the ability to manage the symptoms of a hangover can determine the length of your anxiety. Mental strength can also play a role in determining how long your anxiety persists.


Hangover anxiety can surely ruin your day and keep you from being your best for the day. If it happens occasionally, then it is not a matter of huge concern. But, if you find yourself struggling every weekday, then it is time to evaluate your drinking levels.

A girl coping with hangover anxiety.
A girl coping with hangover anxiety.

Besides, if you can exercise self-control over your drinking pattern, well and good. Otherwise, you may seek some help from professionals. You may work on managing anxiety by following simple tips.

Eating before you drink alcohol to drinking water following every drink can help you to escape hangovers. So, there are ways to manage it, but if you can drink within the limit and keep a check on it, you can prevent hangover anxiety from happening in the first place.