With the pubs opening up and long-awaited night outs becoming a possibility again, many of us are dusting off our dancing shoes and getting ready to be social again. And for those of us who like having a drink or two, that means potential hangovers or, even worse, that feeling of anxiety after a night out known as hangxiety. If you are one of the unfortunate few who know all too well what the dreaded hangxiety is, you may not be too keen on partying again or may even want to avoid it, but you don't have to. There are ways to avoid the pesky condition, with a bit of help from CBD. But how does one beat hangxiety with CBD?
What Causes Hangxiety?
You know that feeling you get the day after a bender? You know the one, where you don't just feel hungover, but you also feel anxious and depressed? Yeah, that's hangxiety. And it is not fun!
- Feeling worried about what you did the night before when you were wearing beer goggles
When you drink, you may feel euphoric and that your problems and worries melt away. Many people with anxiety tend to drink exactly for this reason. However, the next day, they come back – with a vengeance.
We're going to get a little technical here. To understand hangxiety, let's look at what alcohol does to the brain.
Your Brain and Alcohol
When you consume alcohol, it alters the neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send signals to regulate functions in the body, such as concentration and mood. There are two neurotransmitters alcohol affects: inhibitory neurotransmitters, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and excitatory neurotransmitters, such as glutamate.
GABA produces a calming effect when it attaches itself to a GABA receptor. Alcohol increases the effects of this, leading to you essentially “slowing down”, causing you to have slurred speech, stumbling, and other lethargic, clumsy behaviour. We've all been there. However, it also makes you feel happier and relaxed.
Glutamate activity, on the other hand, is slowed down when alcohol is consumed. This slows down your thinking and makes you feel tired, as glutamate increases brain activity and energy levels. Glutamate is also believed to be directly linked with anxiety, which is why you feel more confident and at ease after a few drinks.
While all of that sounds great, not long after feeling euphoric, the trouble begins. Your brain tries to balance the chemicals again, after noticing the changes caused by the alcohol. Alcohol reduces serotonin in your brain, leading to you feeling anxious and depressed. Serotonin is called the feel-good chemical, and when this happy-making chemical decreases, you feel down and out – one of the reasons alcohol is known as a depressant.
This is when you go from being the life of the party to the person panicking and crying in a dark corner.
What Do the Experts Say?
Experts caution that if you get intense hangxiety often, you might have a bigger problem. Extremely shy or anxious people tend to suffer from this, as they are more likely to drink alcohol to lower their inhibitions and feel more confident. The next day, these people experience a heightened level of anxiety that is even worse than usual. But they do it again, as their anxiety melts away for a few hours when drinking. All of this makes for a dangerous combination, as people with anxiety have an increased risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD) to feel better.
How to Avoid or Reduce Hangxiety
While the best way to avoid hangxiety is by avoiding drinking altogether, there are still ways to have fun and reduce the effects of hangxiety for those who can't say no to a few drinks.
You can reduce the effects of hangxiety by:
- Drinking in moderation
- Eating before drinking
- Drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic drink you have
- Taking painkillers once hangxiety hits
- Trying to stop worrying about your behaviour the night before
- Relaxing with activities such as meditation or yoga
- Eating something after you start feeling “hangxious”
- Taking CBD
How to Beat Hangxiety With CBD
While CBD can't prevent hangxiety from rearing its ugly head, it can provide some relief. Remember how we mentioned GABA and glutamate and how alcohol causes an imbalance that our brain tries to rectify, causing hangover anxiety? Well, CBD actually regulates these neurotransmitters, easing your mind and body. All you have to do is take a few drops of CBD oil or have it in some other form before you fall into bed. Not only will it make your hangover anxiety feel less intense, but it will also gradually elevate your mood as the hours pass by. It's time to beat hangxiety with CBD.
While CBD won't prevent hangover anxiety or eradicate it, it can make it much more bearable by reducing the alcohol's effects on your body. Hangxiety shouldn't stop you from having fun and living your best life. Get hold of some CBD to keep on your night stand for hectic nights out. You'll never know when you're going to need it.