Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Dr. Alberto Solà

The term “hangxiety” may be new to you, but it’s a very real thing and you may have suffered from it in the past – or on the regular – without even knowing that there was a word for how you’re feeling. As you might guess, hangxiety is a relatively new word for something that many people have struggled with all their lives. This feeling is the combination of a hangover and anxiety, and if it’s something you experience frequently or occasionally, it may be negatively affecting your overall health. Read on to learn more about it, and to also learn how to manage it.

Understanding Hangxiety

If you drink alcohol to the point where you get buzzed or drunk and feel anxious afterward, then you definitely know hangxiety well. This problem may arise for people who struggle with anxiety in general, or it may arise in people who do not normally experience anxiety otherwise.

It’s easy to spot. If you feel overwhelmed or anxious when recovering from excessive drinking, then you are experiencing hangover anxiety – or hangxiety.

On a minor scale, hangxiety symptoms can present as difficulty sleeping or relaxing after coming off a day or night of drinking. You may find that you feel on-edge or irritable. Of course, these are common symptoms of a hangover in general, but now that you have a name for these feelings, you may be able to understand them better.

Some people, however, experience hanxiety on a much higher level. People who suffer from anxiety even when sober are likely to also feel higher levels of hangxiety. The above symptoms will be magnified, and in severe cases, hangxiety can even lead to panic attacks or worse.

What causes hangxiety? Clearly, no individual will experience hangxiety without also drinking alcohol to excess. But, the reason these feelings arise after drinking are, in many ways, chemical. Stress hormones can spike as alcohol leaves one’s system, and dehydration and low sugar levels can increase the affects of hangxiety even further.

Hangxiety vs. Traditional Anxiety

The main difference between hangxiety and traditional anxiety is the fact that alcohol is involved in hangxiety, whereas anxiety can arise in anyone at various levels and intensities without drinking at all.

Many people struggle with anxiety on a regular or occasional basis. We all know how feeling anxious feels. When we’re anxious we feel worried and uneasy, and may even be fearful. Sometimes, the causes of anxiety are clear and obvious; at other times, they seem unknown to us. Either way, it’s a painful and uncomfortable feeling. Some people work through feelings of anxiety on their own, but others need to be medicated to manage these feelings. Some of us only experience anxiety from time to time – like before an important event. Sadly, other people feel these feelings almost all of the time.

On the other hand, hangxiety is directly related to alcohol consumption. Although it may seem unclear to us why we feel anxious while in the throes of an intense hangover from drinking, these feelings can be directly tied to the alcohol leaving our bodies as we recover.

When we drink alcohol, the alcohol itself works on the brain’s GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor; the alcohol turns off the flow of glutamate, which makes you feel anxious. This is why many people turn to alcohol to help them feel more comfortable in social situations. Once the alcohol begins to wear off, the brain tries to restore a natural chemical balance. As glutamate starts to flow again, anxiety increases, and it remains elevated until everything balances back out.

How long does hangxiety last? This re-balance can take as long as twenty-four hours after drinking ceases, and so it should be no surprise to anyone when they feel anxious the day after drinking.

Hangxiety can happen to anyone, but it’s even more common for people who struggle with anxiety to begin with. People diagnosed with anxiety may want to avoid drinking alcohol altogether for this reason.

How to Stop and Manage Hangxiety

Fortunately for people who enjoy drinking alcohol, hangxiety can be managed and there are ways to overcome its most intense effects. Of course, the best way to avoid hangxiety is avoid drinking alcohol altogeher – this very well may be the best solution for some.

However, if you still want to drink alcohol but wish to mitigate the effects of hangxiety, there are things that you can do to make things easier on you. Tips on how to help hangxiety are numerous, and if you use several of them together in concert, you will likely see a big difference next time you drink to excess.

First and foremost – make sure you are hydrated before you start drinking alcohol. While you are drinking, you also might alternate alcoholic drinks with glasses of water. Eating a meal before you start drinking can help too. While drinking, drink slowly, set limits and stick to them, and avoid alcoholic beverages with high alcohol content. Remember, it’s always ok to say no to another drink when one is offered to you, too – tomorrow, you’ll be glad that you did.

If you wake up with hangxiety the day after drinking, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking lots of water. You also should eat some food (the best food for hangxiety is something with sugar) and then spend some time relaxing. Mindfulnes practices like meditation or deep breathing can help take your mind off your anxious feelings. Distract yourself with a movie or a good book, or reach out to a friend for a chat. Most importantly, don’t drink more alcohol! It will only make things worse.

Hangxiety is uncomfortable, but it is manageable. Again though – the best way to avoid it completely is to not drink alcohol at all. If you find that you experience hangxiety on a regular basis, quitting drinking altogether may be the best choice for you.

Clear Sky Recovery

Do you want to stop drinking alcohol but don’t know how? Have you tried before and failed? At Clear Sky Recovery, we can help. Our innovative ibogaine treatment can help you get to the root of why you drink and can help you to break free from alcohol once and for all. Our experienced staff is waiting for you at our facility in beautiful Cancun, Mexico. Give us a call today!


How long does hangxiety last?

The duration of hangxiety can vary widely among individuals, typically lasting from a few hours to 24 hours after drinking.

How to recover from hangxiety?

To recover from “hangxiety,” it’s important to hydrate, rest, practice relaxation techniques, and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Seeking support from friends or loved ones can also be beneficial.