Everybody who drinks too much knows the flip side of a night on the tiles – and the dreaded hangover.

So, what causes a hangover and how can it be treated?

The principal cause is ethanol – the alcohol in your drinks. It is a toxic chemical that works in the body as a diuretic, causing nausea. Your hangover eases as the body turns the ethanol into a less toxic chemical.

The other factor that affects a hangover is the type of drink you have been downing. Dark drinks tend to make hangovers worse. So does mixing drinks.

What can you do to treat the symptoms?

Drinks as much water as you can before you hit the sack and keep more by the bed to drink if you wake up in the night.

In the morning take a painkiller – a soluble one in water is best. Take an antacid to settle your stomach.

Remember alcohol is a depressant. A tea or coffee may give you a slight temporary lift, but they may also dehydrate you further, so keep up with the water to counteract this.

Go for a gentle stroll if you feel able and get some fresh air and light on the face.

Avoid hair of the dog, you might think it helps but all you’re doing is easing the alcohol withdrawal and delaying the problem.

Get plenty of rest and relaxation and stay away from booze for at least 24 hours after a heavy session.

For more information, hints and tip visit www.drinkaware.co.uk