The Superbowl is just days away and for many revelers that means enjoying some cocktails while rooting for their favorite team. Too much imbibing also means a Monday morning hangover. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about how to avoid and cure hangovers—like eating a late night snack to absorb the alcohol in your stomach or drinking coffee to cure a hangover. Here are a few mythbusters:
Myth: Alcohol helps you sleep well
Fact: Many people have a glass of wine to help them sleep, but actually alcohol disrupts sleep. While a nightcap may help you fall asleep more quickly it interferes with the quality of your sleep. You don’t spend enough time in the deepest cycle of sleep called the REM cycle and since you sleep more lightly you wake up earlier.
It feels like a jungle out there, and not the concrete kind. The weather is sweltering this week and that means we have to protect ourselves from the heat. Heat exhaustion doesn’t just occur when someone has been out in the hot wilderness without water. It can occur right in our homes, on a job site or any place where you are exerting yourself outside for long periods of time. The people most at risk for developing heat exhaustion are those who exercise outdoors and the elderly.
Be on the alert for avoiding dehydration. Sweating is our main cooling mechanism and can cause the body to lose significant amounts of water. If you don’t replenish these losses you can become dehydrated. The first sign of dehydration is not the sensation of thirst surprisingly, but is actually fatigue and irritability. Thirst lags behind dehydration, so up to a point, we tend to forgo drinking when we need it most. Dehydration is a preventable condition- activities should be avoided during peak sunlight hours, consume plenty of fluids (at least 8 glasses a day!) and eat foods high in water like watermelon or cucumbers.
Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to dehydration- the body becomes overwhelmed by heat.
The death of Amy Winehouse is a powerful example of how drug and alcohol addiction can take hold of and destroy people’s lives. Every year abuse of alcohol and illegal substances contributes to the death of more than 100,000 Americans.
So how do drugs work in the brain to produce pleasure? Most drugs cause the brain to release excessive amounts of dopamine. Flooding the brain with dopamine causes an intense state of euphoria and this response strongly motivates people to take drugs again and again.