What is a Phantom Hangover?

Run Forest, Run!

Exercise is a 4 letter word for a lot of people. I know from experience. It was the hardest part of my recovery program. But now that I am in it, I exercise every day and could not see my life without it. And doing some basic exercises may just help to prevent or get rid of a phantom hangover.

This is one of those things we should all be doing anyways. Exercise boosts your mood, strengthens the heart, and clears toxins from the body, among many other things; so it is safe to say we could all use a few extra laps around the block.

A 20 minute jog or ride on a bicycle helps to move blood through the body; bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients everywhere they are needed. And when this happens, guess what clear up? Those pesky phantom hangover symptoms. I have found the symptoms go away quickest if you do light exercise right after getting up in the morning.  It is also a very energizing way to start the day, and helps to build up an appetite after recovering from nausea.


Water, Water Everywhere

It is such a cliché statement at this point. Drink more water. We all know we slip up and forget to drink enough water from time to time. Maybe you had too many salty snacks or sodas yesterday and now you are dried out. This can easily trigger headaches, migraines, and aching muscles.

The simple solution is to drink 8oz of water right before bed, and to drink at least 1-2 liters of water a day. It may also help to replace those stimulating drinks like coffee, tea, and soda with herbal tea or green tea, especially at night.  

Mealtime Matters

In some cases, poor digestion may be to blame for phantom hangover symptoms. When your muscles are aching, you sit down. When your brain is tired, you zone out or sleep. The digestive system needs a break, just like every other part of the body.

Here’s the thing. The digestive system needs to shut down when you sleep to put you in that REM sleep state you need to wake up feeling refreshed. But if you eat a big meal at midnight right before falling asleep, it cannot take the break it needs. Instead, you will spend the first 3-4 hours digesting AND THEN you will actually properly start your sleep cycle. So while you think you got 7-8 hours of sleep, you are actually running on 3-4 hours. And what are the symptoms of too little sleep? Aching muscles, headache, fatigue, brain fog…very similar to a hangover.

This is why it is crucial to stop eating three hours before you sleep. That is enough time for your body to pass the food to the “autopilot” stage of the intestines, so it can focus on sleep. Drink tea, drink water before bed, sure, but don’t take a single bite! You will thank yourself in the morning, trust me.

Stay Strong

Phantom hangovers can be a drag. If you didn’t do the crime, why should you do the time? Instead of dwelling on why you feel like this, focus on what you can do to make it better.

Empowering yourself is always a better option than throwing your hands up in defeat. That’s what we at StopDrinkingAlcohol believe.  Our site was designed around helping you take every day steps towards improving your life without alcohol. Check out our Secrets of Sobriety page for tips to keep you embracing every day of sober living.