Most everyone knows the pain of waking up with a terrible hangover. But what are the other symptoms, both good and bad, that come along with a few rounds of drinks? These are five ways that drinking can significantly alter your mental, physical, and emotional state, both acutely and over time.

It Affects Your Behavior

In the short term, alcohol quickly impairs your coordination and ability to speak clearly. You may struggle to stay balanced, stumble into things, and have issues expressing cohesive statements. Your vision is also impaired by alcohol, making these sensations even more intense. And with stunted senses and lowered inhibitions, a little too much alcohol can make your night of drinking into a dizzy nightmare.

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You’ll Struggle To Sleep

Why does a heavy, restful night of sleep after drinking not equate to a good night’s sleep? Because this kind of sleep isn’t restful at all. Rather, it disturbs your REM cycle, preventing you from reaching a state of deep sleep that allows your body and brain to recharge. There’s a reason that hangovers come with such exhaustion!

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It Keeps The Weight Packed On

The phrase “beer gut” didn’t come from nowhere. If you drink frequently, you’ll likely notice the impact it has on your tummy. This is due to the high-sugar and high-calorie content of many alcoholic drinks. Since alcohol is technically toxic in the body, your system will burn off those calories before it ever touches the fat on your stomach. You might notice your diet is compromised by the amount of alcohol you consume.

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Your Body Will Dehydrate

While you may feel like you’re filling up on plenty of fluids, alcohol does not hydrate the body. In fact, it dehydrates the body at a rapid pace. You’ll also find you have to pee more often, making your lack of fluidsand the headaches and dizziness that accompany iteven worse. If you want to fend off this symptom, try incorporating a few glasses of water into your drinking schedule.

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Your Emotions Will Shift

Most people don’t just drink for the sake of drinking. For many, a bit of alcohol can take the edge off of a difficult day by putting them in a happier, more relaxed state of mind. However, for some, alcohol can alter mood on the opposite end of the spectrum. Since it is by nature a depressant, it can cause your mood to drop into a depressed, anti-social place.

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