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What do comedowns from alcohol feel like, and how can you feel better?

When the effects of alcohol are wearing off or you are waking up after a night of drinking, you may find yourself experiencing the symptoms of a hangover. How bad the hangover from alcohol is and how quickly it comes on can depend on your individual body, how much you drank, how long you drank for, what you ate before drinking and whether you had alcohol with other drugs or medicines (prescription or over the counter).

If you …

Then …

Feel very tired

Are sensitive to light or sound

Have headaches

Feel nauseous

Feel dizzy

Feel mildly dehydrated

Have achy muscles

Have weakness in your body

Have a stomachache

Have difficulty concentrating or focusing on new information

Have difficulty sleeping

Experience low mood

Feel anxious

Feel irritable

Feel jittery


Try these things at home:

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep.
  • Remember to eat and drink plenty of water.
  • Get moving to release feel-good brain chemicals.
  • Reach out and talk with friends and whānau for support.
  • Relax and do things that you enjoy to take your mind off not feeling well.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other drugs.
  • Practise mindfulness and deep breathing, and try writing down your thoughts and feelings.

Experience increased vomiting

Experience increased anxiety

Experience increased confusion

Feel very dehydrated

Have a migraine

Have ongoing insomnia

Have tremors

Feel increased or ongoing low mood

Feel severely agitated or aggressive

Call a doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116)

They can talk you through the next steps.


Have breathing problems

Have chest pain

Experience hypothermia

Have pale or blue skin and lips

Experience severe vomiting

Have a seizure

Lose consciousness

Are unresponsive

Call 111

These are signs that something more serious is going on or that you have developed alcohol poisoning. You or the people around you should act quickly.


An Erowid user reflects on the effects of drinking too much alcohol: 

"I woke up in the morning lying on my mate’s hard floor without a top on, lying in my own sick. The window was open and I was shivering like f*ck. I had the worst hangover I think anyone has ever experienced, I was not sure whether I was awake or not!”

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