The Reason Drinking Alcohol Can Give You The Spins

If you enjoy an adult beverage now and again, it's likely you've experienced "the spins." You've maybe had a few too many drinks and, once you try to lie down for a bit, the room begins spinning all around you (which may or may not send you lunging for the trash bin). So what gives? According to Mental Floss, alcohol impacts the fluid within your inner ears that helps you maintain your balance under sober circumstances. Normally, as you move around and turn your head from side to side or up and down, this inner ear fluid interacts with tiny, hair-like cell coverings that tell your brain to chill out. You're just moving around, nothing is wrong, and you should definitely stay upright.

But when you drink, alcohol thins your blood. When the thinned blood travels to your inner ear, things are "off" and there's suddenly a density difference between the blood and the inner ear fluid, causing those hair-like cell coverings to essentially freak out and tell your brain that you're spinning around the room — even though you're lying still. Your brain responds appropriately by trying to help you out and altering your vision and balance. If you get the spins, then, it's because your body is doing its job — the alcohol is just crossing all the lines of communication.

Can you stop the spins?

But even though the alcohol spins are a sign your body is working appropriately, they're still not pleasant. So how can you stop them? There's not really one specific way to stop the spins, though some Reddit users report a few "life hacks" that have helped them combat the spins in the past, including hanging one's head over the side of the bed, planting one foot on the floor, or vomiting up any extra alcohol in your system and then re-hydrating with something non-alcoholic, like water

Sunset, a brand that sells a supplement to reduce alcohol flushing, recommends additionally placing one hand on a hard, flat surface, while doing the same with your foot, while focusing on your deep breathing and other senses. Of course, the best way to stop the spins is to be proactive and monitor your alcohol intake appropriately. Drinking on a full stomach, hydrating, and sticking to your personal limit can all help to reduce unpleasant side effects of excessive drinking.