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If you’ve ever found yourself waking up feeling on-edge, super anxious, worrying about something you might have said or done after a night out of fun and drinking, rest assured - you're not alone.
'Hangxiety' is a common experience shared by many women, so I want to help you understand the cause better to so you can manage through it and breathe easier this holiday season!
Our Body + Alcohol
The science behind 'hangxiety' is rooted in the intricate workings of our brains when alcohol is consumed:
If you’re interested in learning about how alcohol + sleep affect anxiety I cover this topic in detail in my new book “Becoming Fearless” – The Complete Guide to Anxiety Relief along with 12+ anxiety relief tools!
Women vs Men’s 'Hangxiety'
Women tend to metabolise alcohol differently to men due to differences in body composition and our enzyme levels. This can result in a quicker rise in blood alcohol concentration while drinking and intensify both the initial “calming effects” and subsequent “glutamine rebound” = anxiety.
Women who are already prone to anxiety are more susceptible to experiencing intensified 'hangxiety' after drinking. Reason being - our body’s anxiety alarm system is super in tune with hormone fluctuations and likely in a pattern of triggering to negative or worried thoughts!
How to Cope with Post-Drinking Anxiety
The duration of the ‘hangxiety’ feeling will vary person to person, typically peaking the day after and lasting up to 24 hours or longer, depending on factors like how much alcohol you drank and physical/emotional/mental conditions (aka if you’re in a high stress period/already anxious mindset then look out - symptoms will be intensified!).
Waking up with fragmented memories from the previous night can also contribute to post-drinking stress of course.
Dealing with 'hangxiety' requires a high level of self-compassion. This is where you need to remind yourself -
Do something to distract and relax your mind, such as watching a favourite show or practicing mindfulness through meditation, aids in easing 'hangxiety.' And avoid consuming more alcohol or stimulant’s like coffee, which can just exacerbate anxiety.
If you want to prevent 'hangxiety' it will involvessome moderation and mindful drinking and I also believe assessing where you’re at emotionally and mentally before you drink is key.
By understanding how the body works and the triggers, and implementing a few preventive measures and coping strategies, I hope 'hangxiety' won’t overshadow this year’s festive cheer for you!