Its effects may still be lurking even after the headache stops.
The relief you feel the moment you notice your pig of a hangover beginning to fade is pretty much indescribable. It’s such a burden lifted. But while you think you’re all better the moment your head stops pounding and you no longer feel like you’re going to puke, it seems there may actually still be a lot going on inside.
According to a research project carried out by experts at the University of Bath, brain impairment can continue in a person even when the alcohol in their system has metabolised.
By the time last night’s alcohol has left your body (booze metabolises at a rate of approximately one unit per hour, don’t forget), you usually feel like you’re good to go again – and probably even assume you’re safe to drive. However, this new research suggests that your “performance of everyday activities such as driving, and workplace skills such as concentration and memory” are still be impaired even after your alcohol levels return back to normal.
The lead author of the meta-analysis, Craig Gunn, explained how the researchers reviewed 19 existing studies to conclude this information. “We found that hangover impaired psychomotor speed, short and long term memory and sustained attention,” he said.
“Impaired performance in these abilities reflects poorer concentration and focus, decreased memory and reduced reaction times the day after an evening of heavy drinking,” his explanation continued.
Gunn pointed out that further research on alcohol hangovers needs to be carried out, but from what they can gather so far, don’t expect to be sharp as nails the day after a boozy one (or to remember much).