Hating Hangovers

Hating Hangovers Survey Header Image

If you’ve ever woken up after drinking too much alcohol, you may have experienced symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, headaches, or even dizziness as a result. While most hangovers go away on their own, it’s still an unpleasant feeling for most. If it was possible to allay ever having to experience the discomfort of a hangover again, what would you consider doing to avoid them?

To find out, we surveyed over 1,073 people to see what they’d do or give up to never have a hangover again. Would you break up with your significant other? Lose a finger? Pay more for your drinks? We asked all of these questions and more. Curious how people responded? Read on to find out what they said.

Most-Tried Hangover Cures

Methods people use to cure their hangovers

It seems everyone these days has a “foolproof hangover cure,” from simply hiding beneath the covers until the pain subsides to gorging on a grease-laden breakfast burrito. Whether these “cures” are foolproof or just plain foolish is up for debate, however. But if you’re familiar with hangovers, chances are you’ve tried your fair share of hangover cures.

According to our survey, the most commonly attempted hangover cure was drinking water, with around 95 percent of women and 94 percent of men attempting it. When water failed, sleeping it off became the next cure of choice. Women (81 percent) were slightly more likely to press snooze than men (72 percent), but men and women were nearly equally likely to have tried reviving themselves with sleep’s antithesis: coffee.

Where men and women diverged the most in hangover cures was how they self-medicated: Women were more likely to take pain medication, while men were more likely to use marijuana to cure a hangover. Women were also more likely to try anti-nausea medication, while men tended to prefer hangover pills.

The most rare hangover cures were taking red ginseng and prickly pear. Hangover sufferers were more likely to take vitamins or throw back a bottle of Pedialyte® than venture near these less familiar cures.

How Much Do People Hate Hangovers?

Voluntary sacrifices to never again have a hangover

Oh, to never have a hangover again.

While over a third of respondents said they’d pay more for all future drinks, most wouldn’t give up sex (they’d rather have sex with an unattractive person), the internet (but maybe giving up social media is OK), or their significant other. And people really didn’t want to give up drinking itself. Only 6 percent of respondents said they’d give up their favorite alcoholic drink to prevent hangovers. They’d rather sacrifice sex on weekdays and even a stranger’s life than give up drinking.

Respondents said they’d consider never again watching sports or snacking while drunk, as well. In fact, they’d rather give up watching sports than Netflix or TV entirely. In fact, they’d rather wear the same shirt every day than give up TV. And while respondents were willing to give up drunk snacking, they drew the line at condiments and their favorite foods, both of which were not worth sacrificing for a hangover-free life.

Abandoning Hangovers

Voluntary sacrifices to never again have a hangover, by gender

It turns out the gender divide exists among drinkers, too. Men and women had different preferences in what they’d give up to never get another hangover. Men would sleep with someone they found unattractive, while women would give up watching sports. Men were also more willing to give up caffeine, social media, or their pet. In fact, they’d rather give up their pet than their car.

What men wouldn’t give up is sex altogether. Women were slightly more likely to believe sex wasn’t worth getting a hangover – at least they’d rather give up sex than their pet or cellphone. But given a choice, there were a lot of things women would rather live without than sex, such as one meal per day or sleeping in on weekends. They’d also be willing to do laundry for their entire household forever, something men were far less likely to agree to.

Where men and women agreed was in their willingness to pay more for future drinks or to give up drunk snacking, fast food, or TV.

In the Spirit of Hangovers

Most likely sacrifices to never have a hangover again by drinking preference

Ever wonder what your favorite drink says about you? According to our respondents, it can say a lot about what you’re willing to give up or do to never get another hangover.

Beer drinkers were open to a variety of sacrifices for no more hangovers. Top among them was social media at 28 percent. This was followed by sacrificing Netflix at 16 percent and sleeping in on the weekends at 14 percent – in a world without hangovers, perhaps the ability to sleep in loses some value.

Vodka drinkers were so committed to never getting another hangover – or are so unattached to their fingers – that they’d cut off their own fingertip to prevent hangovers. They’d rather give up a fingertip than their job.

Rum drinkers agreed more than any other cohort: 44 percent were willing to sacrifice watching sports never to get another hangover. They’d also pay more for all future drinks. If those options don’t cut it, they could be talked out of drinking caffeine about a quarter of the time.

Two in 10 wine drinkers would do laundry for their entire household forever in exchange for a hangover-free life. Perhaps this is because wine drinkers are more likely to be women and, if it granted freedom from hangovers, are less averse to doing laundry for others, according to our results. However, they’d rather give up fast food than commit to more household chores. Other drinkers would rather sacrifice their favorite food or alcohol, condiments, caffeine, or drunk snacking.

Whiskey drinkers, on the other hand, were willing to have sex with a person they deemed unattractive, the most popular choice for that drinking cohort. They’d also give up drunk snacking; and while it wasn’t a popular option, whiskey drinkers were willing to give away their pets to eliminate hangovers.

Hangover Subscription Model

Month amount people would pay to never again have a hangover

Since all respondents agreed they’d pay more for alcohol to never get another hangover, we thought we’d see just how much they were willing to pay. If they could pay a monthly subscription to be hangover-free for life, would they do it? And how much would they pay? It turns out men would put their money where their mouth is, offering to pay $23 more than women per month for no hangovers. Overall, respondents would pay $49 per month on average for a hangover-free subscription.

When we broke the responses down by the average number of drinks typically consumed in one sitting, the results were even more revealing. The more drinks respondents consumed in one sitting, the more they were willing to pay monthly to never again have a hangover. People who consumed seven to 10 drinks in one sitting were willing to pay the most to never experience a hangover again: $75 a month. That’s $19 more than those who typically have four to six drinks and $38 more than those who have one to three drinks per sitting.

A respondent’s self-reported favorite beverage also played a role in their decision to fork over a monthly hangover prevention fee. Bourbon lovers were willing to pay the most at $75 a month, followed by whiskey aficionados at $57 and rum fans at $51. Apt findings considering whiskey ranks highest in terms of producing the worst hangover symptoms, as well as bourbon hangovers being 36 percent worse than those caused by vodka, according to researchers from Brown and Boston University.

Reality of Recovery

Hangovers are a pain. And recovering from them is anything but easy. While it’s an intriguing experiment to think about what people would give up to never get another hangover, the only foolproof way to never get another hangover is to stop drinking. But the prospect of giving alcohol up may seem daunting or impossible. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol misuse or addiction, there’s help.

Inpatient treatment centers give people an opportunity to focus on their addiction and recovery with 24-hour care. At Rehabs.com, we specialize in connecting people with the top rehabilitation centers across the country. To find one near you, visit us today.

Methodology

Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, we surveyed 1,073 people who drink alcohol regarding what remedies they’ve employed to cure a hangover and what they would give up to never get a hangover again. Fifty-three percent of respondents were men, and 47 percent of respondents were women. Ages ranged from 18 to 81 with an average age of 38.

Our survey contained an attention check question. If a respondent did not clearly demonstrate they were paying attention to the questions in the survey, their responses were excluded from the analysis. For assets where the number of drinks consumed was analyzed, only respondents who drank one to 10 units in one sitting were represented. Respondents who indicated they did not drink alcohol were also excluded from the survey.

Fair Use Statement

Feel free to share the findings of this study with your audience for noncommercial purposes only, but help us to avoid feeling lousy in the morning. When sharing, please link back to this page to give proper credit to the authors of this post.