It goes without saying that Christmas is a time of indulgence when many of us increase our alcohol intake considerably.
Yes the party was fun, but the resulting hangover will far less enjoyable; particularly if yours is accompanied by nausea, headache and fatigue.
While the symptoms of hangovers are all too well known, the causes aren't.
Dehydration is thought to be the main cause of but alcohol withdrawal and chemicals formed in the body when our livers break down alcohol also contribute to those dreaded symptoms.
As well as making us feel rotten and grouchy, hangovers can also inhibit our mental and physical performance, causing our productivity and efficiency at work to take a dive the morning after the night before.
And obviously there can also be longer term health implications.
So how can we enjoy the Christmas season without facing consequences at home or at work? A few simple changes in beverage habits can make imbibing a bit of Christmas spirit less of a risky business!
1. Stay well hydrated during the day to prepare for your night out. Having a bottle of water at hand is a great way to rehydrate on the move.
2. Don’t drink alcohol because you feel thirsty. Quench your thirst with a refreshing glass of water or a fruit juice before you have an alcoholic drink.
3. Calories in alcoholic drinks and mixers soon add up, so alternate between a glass of water and an alcoholic drink to help limit calories and dodge a hangover.
4. At the end of the evening keep a bottle of water by your bed to drink whenever you feel thirsty.
5. Never drink on an empty stomach. Eat a meal before you go out and snack later in the evening between drinks.
6. Avoid drinking from large wine glasses, as these can mislead you about how much alcohol you have consumed.
7. Women generally tolerate alcohol less well than men, so the safe alcohol limit is lower for women (2-3 units/day) than for men (3-4 units/day).
This NHS alcohol unit calculator lets you see how many units you've drunk. You might be in for a shock!
8. Clear alcoholic drinks produce fewer hangover-inducing chemicals in your body when broken down than darker coloured drinks.
9. Designate a non-drinking driver for the evening.
Have a very merry Christmas!