The New Rules for Curing and Preventing Hangovers



4. You took the red-eye—and stayed up enjoying the movie
Today: Resist the urge to take a nap before work (or keep it to 30 minutes or less), says Daniel McNally, MD, medical director of the University of Connecticut Sleep Disorders Center, because itll only throw off your sleep clock even more and make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. Instead, get some sun right away; that will help you return to a regular sleep schedule at night, Dr. McNally says.

Take a brisk morning walk or jog around the block, too, and be sure to sit outdoors during your lunch hour. If you love coffee, dont suck down a whole pot at once: sipping small amounts—about a quarter-cup every hour—will actually keep you more alert than that grande latte without ruining your sleep, according to a study from Harvard Medical School.

5. You crashed in your contacts
It's OK to accidentally sleep in your contacts once in a while as long as you baby your eyes the next morning. While the box warns that sleeping in your lenses increases the risk of microbial keratitis, a painful and potentially sight-threatening infection, studies suggest that the chances of developing keratitis from wearing contacts are as low as 1 in 10,000. Usually, overnight wear just leads to some irritation and inflammation.

Before you attempt to remove those contacts, add a few drops of eye lubricant. “The lens may adhere to the cornea while sleeping, so without lubrication, you risk pulling off some of the outermost layer of the eye,” says Christine Sindt, OD, associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Then, immediately disinfect your lenses in their case for 4 to 6 hours. (If you have disposable lenses, throw them out). If your eye feels good, you can put the lenses back in or wear a fresh pair. (Avoid using redness-relieving drops—they can mask signs of serious problems.) Better yet, you may want to give your eyes a break for a day and wear eyeglasses instead.

6. You forgot the condoms
If pregnancy is your concern, emergency contraception is readily available without a prescription. Women with regular cycles usually know when theyre most fertile, but that doesnt mean you should forgo emergency contraception outside of that window. Experts say that things like stress, illness, changes in your workouts, and travel could upset your usual pattern. So as soon as you have unprotected intercourse that isnt planned, hit the drugstore and ask the pharmacist for Plan B (its behind the counter), says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine.

Experts arent sure exactly how the pill—which contains the hormone progestin—prevents pregnancy, but they know it works best when used promptly. Its about 90% effective if taken within the first 24 hours after intercourse. The effectiveness decreases the longer you wait, but studies suggest the pill may work for up to five days after sex.
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