We all know that guy in the office who loves to tell us all about how tired he is, how hard he went on the beers the night before, how many minutes of sleep he got before trudging in to work, how utterly painful his hangover is. It’s tiresome conversation. If you’re going to do the deed, live with the consequences quietly we say. But as a new study suggests, perhaps it’s all a bit put on. As it turns out, our hangovers actually get less severe the older we get, meaning all this talk of being unable to drink and function properly the next day is a load of B.S. We should be getting better at it, not worse.
Published in the journal of Alcohol and Alcoholism, the study sought to gain further insight into the mythical aura that surrounds hangovers, and it found that ill effects from overdoing it actually tend to decline in frequency with age, as your work and family responsibilities increase. It makes sense. When you have an important meeting and have to drop your kids off at school the next morning, we’d like to think you’d take things a bit slower down at your local pub.
The study revealed that hangovers actually get easier with age, even despite the fact that older people tend to drink less frequently than those who are younger. Reduced pain sensitivity as you get older could simply mean that those who have received quite the ribbing from time just perceive their morning after illness to not be so debilitating as they once did when they were younger.
An interesting takeaway though, was that how a drunk person feels is key in determining just how they will feel the next day. So, if you’re feeling really drunk, you’d likely struggle the following morning du to something they termed ‘subjective intoxication’.
According to researchers, “Hangover severity declines with age, even after controlling the amount of alcohol consumed. Sex differences were greatest in the younger age groups but became significantly smaller or absent in the older age groups.”
They concluded: “The relationship between age and hangover severity is strongly mediated by subjective intoxication. Pain sensitivity, lower with ageing, might be a meditator.”