A hangover is the experience of various unpleasant physiological and psychological effects following the consumption of alcohol, such as wine, beer and distilled spirits. Hangovers can last for several hours or for more than 24 hours. Typical symptoms of a hangover may include headache, drowsiness, concentration problems, dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, gastrointestinal distress. absence of hunger, light sensitivity, depression, sweating, nausea, hyper-excitability, irritability and anxiety.
While the causes of a hangover are still poorly understood, several factors are known to be involved including changes in the immune system and glucose metabolism, dehydration, metabolic acidosis, disturbed prostaglandin synthesis, increased cardiac output, vasodilation, sleep deprivation and malnutrition. The symptoms occur typically after the intoxicating effect of the alcohol begins to wear off, generally the morning after a night of heavy drinking.
Though many possible remedies and folk cures have been suggested, there is no compelling evidence to suggest that any are effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover. Avoiding alcohol or drinking in moderation are the most effective ways to avoid a hangover. The socioeconomic consequences and health risks of alcohol hangover include workplace absenteeism, impaired job performance, reduced productivity and poor academic achievement. A hangover may also impair performance during potentially dangerous daily activities such as driving a car or operating heavy machinery.