When did your hangovers start getting worse? Around the age of 30 or 35? That’s definitely when it happened for me like a prank gift at my 30th birthday party. In your 20s, you probably didn’t have to think about managing hangovers, or how to sleep better after drinking alcohol. You just bounced out of bed and headed off to work. (Or if you’re a true maniac, to the gym.)
Ah, the joys of youth.
Isn’t it curious that this “hangover age” is about the same time most people start seeing a decline in their sleep quality? Something seems to happen in our 30s, doesn’t it? Some cascade of hormonal fluctuations starts impeding our ability to sleep well at night, and to heal and repair.
But hey, who says aging is bad? Not us! With time and experience comes wisdom. And now it also comes with a bag of tricks to make sure that you’re sleeping beautifully every night, even if you had a few glasses of bourbon.
Below, you’ll find proven methods of ensuring you get a great snooze after a night of celebration. But don’t worry - this isn’t clickbait-y advice that you already know, like “drink plenty of water” and “eat balanced foods.”
You’re an adult. You already know this.
Instead, these are novel techniques to make you feel (almost) as great after drinking as you already do everyday.
Take 1-2 strong multivitamins
For many folks, this is a game-changer. And it’s our absolute top recommendation.
A night of drinking, and its concurrent dehydration, leaves your body deficient in all kinds of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. We already know that vitamin deficiencies can wreck your sleep on normal days. After boozing the situation is far bleaker.
What’s worse, researchers have found that alcohol reduces concentration of B vitamins specifically. Since your body uses these to break down alcohol, it creates a diabolical feedback loop.
Any normal, strong multivitamin. We recommend NOW Adam for men and NOW Eve for women. In fact, many folks who have certain deficiencies find that a strong multivitamin will practically knock them out on normal days.
Fair warning: it may turn your pee a funny color in the morning. That’s just your body shedding excess vitamins. But to help you snooze better after a night of drinking, we consider it a small price to pay.
At the very least, take one dose before you go to bed. If you really want to up your game, take another before you start drinking. Is this considered healthy? Perhaps not if you do it every day. But as a last resort after drinking, it does a good job of insuring that your body has everything it needs to engineer a good snooze.
Consider Astaxanthin or Glutathione
Many of our high-performing customers recommend veggie greens or antioxidant boosters like chlorella tablets after a night of drinking.
Honestly, we’re a little skeptical, because these supplements often require you to drink copious amounts of water. YES, you should consume lots of water WHILE drinking. But we also know that filling your bladder with Pedialyte before bed can lead to a night full of bathroom trips.
Yet, the science looks promising. Multiple studies have found evidence that a relationship exists between oxidative stress and sleep disruptions.
So, what’s the solution?
Take your antioxidants in capsule form. A high-quality Astaxanthin or Glutathione supplement might be just the ticket you need to limit alcohol-induced inflammation. Both have shown positive effects on sleep quality. That way, you can rest up and sleep off the effects of that last vodka soda you probably shouldn’t have had.
We’ve had great results with Sports Research Astaxanthin and Thorne Research Glutathione. As always, your mileage may vary. But we get nothing from recommending them, so I hope you’ll consider our “thumbs up” valid.
White noise and black out curtains
Hibernate customers know the importance of sleeping in a bedroom that’s completely pitch black and silent. But this even more important after a night of drinking.
Of course, this won’t matter in those first few hours when you’re dead to the world. But after 3-4 hours, when your liver finishes processing the alcohol, your depressed nervous system suddenly sparks to life. That makes you hyper-sensitive to random lights and sounds.
So, if your spouse tends to snore after drinking a few beers, you can bet the house that you’ll be awake as soon as you hear that first nasally growl from the grizzly in your bed.
Well, you should already be employing black-out curtains. And you should already know to keep your phone in another room at night. But on nights when it’s especially important to avoid external sounds, a simple white-noise machine can be a great solution.
Consider an easy-to-use white-noise machine from Yogasleep. Or, in a pinch, an old electric fan can do a fantastic job of drowning out your husband’s snores, cars zooming by on the road, or the pesky squirrels rooting around in the attic.
Take a small dose of ibuprofen before sleep
In addition to fighting off the inevitable alcohol-related headache, a small dose of ibuprofen just before bed can save you a lot of early morning trouble. At the very least, if you wake up at 5AM, you won’t have to tromp off to the bathroom to rattle through the medicine cabinet. By preventing your headache early, you can roll over and go back to sleep.
Make sure it’s ibuprofen, however! Acetaminophen-based medicines like Tylenol, Goody’s powder, or Excedrin can damage your liver when mixed with alcohol.
Keep the dose around 400mg. While some (mostly poorly designed) studies have shown that higher doses can inhibit deep sleep, a small-ish 400mg dose doesn’t seem to cause abnormal sleep function. If it saves you a morning headache, we consider it a win.
Listen, we understand that alcohol isn’t compatible with good, healthy sleep. But who are we to turn down a glass of wine when celebrating life with friends and family? A solid sleep routine can do a great job of diminishing the inflammatory effects of a few drinks and make sure you wake up smiling the next day.
- Take a multivitamin
- Load up on antioxidants
- Turn on a white-noise machine
- Take a small dose of ibuprofen
- Sleep easy
Then, tomorrow, get back to taking Hibernate so you feel amazing the other six days of the week.