How long does a hangover last?

Most hangover symptoms last from 8 to 24 hours. So time is the most important component of getting over a hangover. More on duration, length, and intensity of hangovers here.

minute read

It’s the morning after. You feel horrible. When will your hangover end?

Hangover causes

Hangovers are simply caused by drinking too much alcohol. It might make you feel better to know that some people report hangovers after drinking one to three drinks. But on the other hand, there are heavy drinkers out there that don’t get hung over at all. Although experts still don’t know officially what causes alcohol hangovers exactly, ten possible explanations for why you feel the hair of the dog include:

  1. acetaldehyde
  2. alcohol withdrawal
  3. dehydration and imbalance of electrolytes
  4. drug use
  5. gastrointestinal problems
  6. genetics
  7. low blood sugar
  8. methanol
  9. psychological traits
  10. sleep disturbance

When will this hangover end?

OK. Now a little wake up call. Hangovers exist for a reason: the hangover experience may deter us from future episodes of heavy drinking or intoxication. They are our body’s way of asking that we avoid binge drinking and a call for homeostasis, or balance. But when will they end?

Typically, a hangover will end within 24 hours.  Hangovers begin within several hours after you stop drinking, when blood alcohol concentration (BAC) falls. Symptoms of a hangover usually peak about the time BAC is zero and may continue for up to 24 hours thereafter. Most cases of hangover end several hours after 0 level BAC, though. This is for somewhat “normal” cases of over drinking, and a typical average. But hangovers can continue for a couple of days in more severe cases or in times when alcohol withdrawal occurs.

More severe cases of hangovers

Generally, the greater the quantity and length of time drinking, the more prevalent is the hangover. Some hangovers go on and on and can last for 72 hours, especially if you are mixing drinks, drinking low quality and less refined alcohol or drinking certain types of alcohol (brandy, red wine or whiskey all contain methanol).

How bad is your hangover?

Hangovers suck. But time will ease the symptoms of illness and discomfort. There are also a few hangover remedies that you might want to try to help reduce the severity of symptoms or shorten its duration. But keep in mind that most folk remedies for hangovers have not undergone clinical tests, and experts believe that conservative management of symptoms combined with time are your best bet for feeling better.

Hangover questions

Please leave your hangover story below, or questions about hangovers. We are happy to answer and respond to all of your comments personally.

Reference source: Mechanisms and Mediators of Alcohol Hangover
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
I am ready to call
i Who Answers?