If you’re planning a boozy Bank Holiday, the effects could last longer than you think, a new study has suggested.
According to research by psychologists at the University of Bath, people still suffer cognitive impairments seen when they’re drunk – like poorer attention, memory and co-ordination – even when there’s little to no alcohol left in their bloodstream.
That means when you’re hungover you should probably be careful when performing certain activities like driving.
As part of the study, A Systematic Review Of The Effects Of Alcohol Hangover On Cognitive Performance, published in the journal Addiction, the researchers warn that although many workplaces have clear policies in place regarding being intoxicated at work, few cover the next-day effects of drinking.
They said for certain jobs employees should be aware of the real effects that hangovers can have, and employers could consider revising guidelines on the grounds of safety.
The hangover is estimated to cost the UK economy £1.9 billion a year due to absenteeism.
But despite this, little has been done to examine the effects of being hungover “on the job”, researchers said.
Lead author Craig Gunn said: “In our review of 19 studies we found that hangover impaired psychomotor speed, short and long-term memory and sustained attention. Impaired performance in these abilities reflects poorer concentration and focus, decreased memory and reduced reaction times the day after an evening of heavy drinking.”
He said the review suggested “limited and inconsistent research” on hangovers and the need for future studies in the area.
Dr Sally Adams, senior author, added: “Our findings demonstrate that hangover can have serious consequences for the performance of everyday activities such as driving and workplace skills such as concentration and memory.
“These findings also highlight that there is a need for further research in this field where alcohol hangover has implications at the individual level in terms of health and wellbeing, but also more widely at the national level for safety and the economy.”