Hangovers are the absolute worst. Now, imagine being hungover for two days. Two full days! It sounds like a curse thought up by the worst demons of hell, and unfortunately, it's a phenomenon that genuinely seems to exist. You may be groaning and asking yourself, "Why am I so hungover?" for more than one day, but the fact is, there's some pretty solid science to back up the pain you're in. There are also some suggested cures, but spoiler alert, the outlook isn't pretty.
When looking at two-day hangovers, it's important to note that the best prevention is not over-drinking in the first place. The other thing to note is that these are very rare, and being hungover for more than 24 hours isn't really normal. If a two-day hangover keeps happening to you, it could be that your body is trying to tell you something. Well, besides "please cut back a little."
So, if you're asking yourself, "Why am I still hungover?" and you're able to focus on this article through your headache, we wish you luck and we'll be happy to explain what exactly is happening to you. We can't promise it'll make you feel any better, but we can try.
Hangovers Are Literally Toxic
Have you ever wondered why it is that hangovers happen in the first place? Well, to be blunt, one main reason is because alcohol is toxic. No, seriously, when someone says "pick your poison," they are genuinely asking what poison you want to drink.
One thing that's even more toxic than alcohol itself? The substance our bodies create to process it. It's called acetaldehyde and studies have shown it to be between 10 and 30 times as toxic as alcohol. Talk about a double-edged sword! Acetaldehyde also produces sweating, flushed skin, nausea, and even vomiting. Sound like any symptoms you're familiar with?
If you're hungover for a long time after a night of drinking, it may not be the alcohol that's killing you but your body's response to it.
Your Actions on Hangover Day #1 Affect Hangover Day #2
Waking up with a hangover makes you feel like you'd rather not be alive. Doing that two days in a row is so much worse. If you don't hydrate, eat enough, and get enough rest, your body may not be able to recover in just one day.
Too hungover to eat anything? Try harder or you may feel it the next day too.
Your Sh*tty Night of Sleep Is Prolonging Your Hangover
A common reason for a dreaded two day hangover is that you're not sleeping well. Sleeping while drunk is pretty common, but the quality of sleep tends to be low. If your hangover is keeping you awake or preventing you from getting a good sleep for a second night in a row, then your body isn't going to function right. You're basically going for two mostly sleepless nights!
To combat these issues, there's one obvious recommended medicine: sleep. Yes, when you have joint pain and the spins, it might be hard to sleep, but doctors agree on this one. Medical professionals, such as Dr. Michael Fingerhood, have said that because drunk sleep is less restful and has worse REM cycles, it takes more sleep to get any sort of rest. So, even if you're sleeping a lot, you might still feel super tired. Taking the second day of your hangover to sleep might not be such a bad idea, and you've got science on your side with that one.
They Really Do Get Worse as You Get Older
It may seem that the longer you're out of college, the harder it is to deal with hangovers. This is partially because you're maturing and making better decisions (good for you!) so you aren't used to them. But also it's because hangovers genuinely get worse with age.
Remember how hangovers are caused by toxic substances in our bodies? Well, in order to get rid of that toxin, our bodies produce something called glutathione. Scientist Young Chul Kim did studies that found that as we grow older, our bodies aren't able to produce as much glutathione, which means our cells don't heal as fast as they used to. Toxins stay in our bodies a little longer, which can lead to, you guessed it, two day hangovers.