How to: Hangovers

Headaches, dizziness and regret

Sam Johnson

More stories from Sam Johnson

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You know what? Maybe I’ll have that fourth plate after all.

It’s a Saturday morning — actually, probably more like early afternoon, and maybe a Wednesday if you’re having a week like mine. The sun’s out and you’re angry about that fact. Last night may have been fun, but it came at a cost.

Today I’m going to talk you through the headaches, regret and dizziness that follow a night of drinking.

Step one: Water

The first, and most important, step to curing your hangover is a ridiculous amount of water. If you’re smart, you started hydrating last night, but since drinking impairs judgment, you probably didn’t.

Find a cup, go to the nearest faucet and drink the equivalent of an above-ground pool. You’re still going to feel like a dumpster that got hit by a bus, but at least you’ll be a hydrated dumpster that got hit by a bus.

Step two: Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is the Mike Tyson of fighting off hangovers. It beats that headache into a pulp and practically makes you feel like a human until you have to stand, walk or — god forbid — bend over.

DARE taught us that drugs are bad, but ibuprofen teaches me otherwise every time I’m hungover.

Step three: Brush your teeth and shower

You probably forgot to brush your teeth last night, so it’s time to wash away the taste of tequila and junk food.

Showering doesn’t actually do anything to help your hangover, but it provides a nice placebo effect. If you don’t look hungover, you might feel less hungover.

Step four: Caffeine

Caffeine is next on our journey back to a regular existence. I’ve found that coffee works the best (although Irish style works even better). 

Drink approximately one more cup than you usually do, you need it today.

Step five: Food or sleep

At this point, we’ve reached a crossroads. You have two options: food or sleep.

If you have things to do today, consider making better choices while you find yourself something greasy and unhealthy to eat. Maybe that leftover pizza from last night’s trip to Buzzy’s or whatever’s on sale at Kwik Trip today.

If you don’t have things to do, consider yourself lucky and go back to bed. I know you just drank caffeine per my last piece of advice, but put your head on a pillow and feel your energy vanish.

Step six: Existential crisis

Alright, you’ve done most of the necessary steps to become capable of thought, so now it’s time to regret everything about last night.

Tell yourself you’re never drinking again, fixate on that one slightly stupid thing you said, hold a candlelight vigil for your shrunken bank account and newly stained shirt, then get on with your day. 

Step seven: Detective work

If you had an especially rough night, it might be time to piece together what happened. Call up your hungover friends, look through Snapchat memories and become the Sherlock Holmes of figuring out which bar you left your debit card, sweatshirt or ID at.

By late afternoon you should be feeling relatively close to normal. Eat something healthy, keep drinking water and go to bed early, you’ve gotta rest up for the next time you go out.

Johnson can be reached at [email protected]