‘Hangxiety’ Is a Thing, Expert Says Partially Responsible For the Bedridden Netflix Binge After a Night of Drinking

Photo: Betsie Van der Meer (Getty Images)

We’ve all been there. You know, that terrible feeling after a night of heavy drinking. The pounding headache and nausea. The overall terrible feeling like at some point the night before you were bitten by a vampire and you’re finally transforming into a soulless creature of the night. Sunlight is your worst enemy and bright red-colored Gatorade and Netflix are your only respite from this horrific, terrible cranial pressure and pain. We call this a hangover and we understand that if you want to play the boozy game, this is the aftereffect. But did you know that on top of dehydration and stomach pain, a hangover can also cause something called “hangxiety”?

This is the aptly named malady from TikTok user Sophie Ward (who goes by @soph.notes on the app). While she’s not technically an expert certified in the field of anything related to the effects of alcohol on your brain, she considers herself to be a “science nerd.” After years of feeling the harmful effects of hangovers, she has come to the conclusion that there is more to that awful day after than physical pain.

Her video is titled “Hangxiety is a real thing” and it explains the other, internal problems caused by heavy drinking.

@sophs.notesHangxiety is a real thing. #hangxiety #learnontiktok #sciencefacts #learnwithme♬ original sound – Soph’s Notes

She begins, “If you’ve ever felt super anxious when you’re hungover, then don’t worry a lot of people do.” She adds, “Hangxiety is a real thing caused by real chemical changes in your brain. When you drink chemicals in your brain are affected, namely glutamate and GABA.”

She goes on to explain (using a lot of scientific terms that we’ve never heard of) that after a night of boozing, your brain is attempting to get back into the swing of things, but it can’t just start back up at its normal pace. That’s because, while you’re drinking, your brain is working very slowly. Hence your lowered reaction time and inhibitions.

The next day, your brain is attempting to rebalance itself. “It becomes super sensitive to glutamate, which makes it hyperactive and you anxious, whilst becoming less sensitive to GABA which would normally step in and chill you out,” she says.

So, this is (according to someone on TikTok) the reason why you just can’t manage to meet your friends for brunch after you stayed up singing karaoke until 4 a.m. while mixing hard seltzer and Fireball. At least you have an excuse now.

Below you’ll find 10 gifs that accurately portray exactly what hangxiety looks like.

Meanwhile on TikTok: Woman Goes From Drinking Bottomless to Being Toothless, Brunch Will Never Feel the Same Again

10 Insanely Inventive Ways to Crack Open a Beer Bottle: That Don’t End With Janky Teeth

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