I'm a scientist – here’s how your personality affects how bad your hangovers are | The Sun

HANGOVERS can be painful.

A pounding head, nausea and worry about what we may or may not have said the night before.

While your need to be close to the toilet all day is likely down to one too many glasses of wine, one expert has revealed that your personality type might also play a role.

Lecturer in psychological science at the University of Bristol, Prof Craig Dunn said certain psychological traits may be linked to how a hangover is experienced.

The scientist highlighted previous research which found that neuroticism, a broad personality trait which tends to cause people to see the world in a negative way, can predict the severity of a hangover. 

Prof Dunn said that extroversion (a personality trait usually characterised by being sociable and outgoing) is associated with binge drinking behaviours in college students – though it doesn’t appear to be linked to worse hangovers. 

Anxiety, depression and stress are also linked to worse hangovers, he said, writing in The Conversation.

Each of these moods are associated with a “negative bias” – a tendency to interpret the world more negatively, he said.

"Our findings show hangovers also tend to make people interpret the world more negatively. As a result, hangovers may exacerbate this negative bias, leading some people to feel worse than others," he added.

Severe hangovers, he added may also be caused by how we cope with certain situations.

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Pain catastrophising is a term used to refer to those who emphasise the negative experience of pain.

He added that research has also revealed that people with high scores of pain catastrophising also report suffering with more severe hangovers.

This, he said, suggests that they are focussing on their negative symptoms – which could make their hangover seem worse than it actually is.

Where to get help if you have a problem with alcohol

If you think you might have a problem with booze then you may need to seek help.

This might be the case if you often feel the need to have a drink or if you get into trouble because of your drinking.

If other people have warned you about your drink and it's causing you problems then a good place to start is your GP.

There are other places you can go to get help:

  • Drinkline: Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).
  • AA – a free self help group that follows the 12 step programme
  • Al-Anon Family Groups – a group for friends and family members impacted by drinking
  • We Are With You – for individuals, families and communities struggling – call  0808 8010 750 – if you're over 50 and worried about booze
  • Adfam – local support groups and message boards
  • National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa) – call 0800 358 3456 
  • SMART Recovery – to help people discover if they have a problem

"Other studies have also shown that people who tend to cope with their problems by ignoring or denying them tend to experience worse hangovers," he said.

Emotional regulation is another key psychological mechanism that helps us to deal with difficult situations, Prof Gunn explained.

He said that this works by effectively managing and responding to emotional experiences.

"Although people who are hungover report feeling it’s more difficult to regulate their emotions, this may not actually be the case – with research showing participants are just as able to control their emotional response compared to those who weren’t hungover.

"This could mean that people choose easier (but less effective) regulatory strategies during a hangover – such as avoiding feelings of guilt or shame. But this is yet to be determined," he added.

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He added that one way you can cope with a hangover is through 'suffering together'.

He said that studies have shown that bonding over your shared experience may be helpful in relieving some of the negative emotional effects of a hangover.

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