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How to avoid a hangover

The hangover: an unavoidable part of the festivities. Or is it? Cue intrigue.

The crushing headache, the familiar vomit, the irrational self-pity; we've all been there too many times. But this season, we're hoping to say goodbye to the hangover.

We've been speaking to Jonathan Chick, Consultant Psychiatrist and Drinkaware Medical Advisory Panel member, who has been letting us in on some tips to prevent the pain.

“Obviously the best cure for a hangover is to avoid drinking too much in the first place! But if you do decide to drink more than the daily unit guidelines there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of getting too drunk on the night and therefore keep that hangover away.

“It’s a good idea to avoid darker alcoholic drinks as they contain ‘congeners’ – a chemical which can bring on a worse hangover. Ensuring you eat before you have any alcohol and alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water can also mean avoiding getting too drunk, too quickly.

“If you do wake up with the hangover from hell, try to get some more sleep. Alcohol effects the quality of sleep we get and hangovers often feel worse because we’re tired. Rehydrate by drinking plenty of water and try to stave off caffeine as this will only dehydrate you further.

“We often hear about ‘hair of the dog’ but having a drink the morning after will only ease the alcohol withdrawal and could delay the hangover, plus it has the effect of 'training' your body into expecting alcohol to make you feel better - a slippery slope to addiction."

For more info check out www.drinkaware.co.uk.

(Image: Rex Features)