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The holidays provide many opportunities to eat, drink and be merry. Indeed, people often are merrier than they expect to be, so the next day they pay for their overindulgence with a hangover.

Why do hangovers happen? Alcohol causes blood vessels to swell, or dilate, which, in turn, triggers headache pain and may cause slight sweating. Alcohol also acts as a diuretic, which leads to dehydration. So on the morning after, the National Headache Foundation recommends these common sense measures:

Drink fluids containing minerals and salts, such as broth or bouillon. They replace fluids without bringing on the nausea.

Eat some honey, drink some tomato juice. Honey and tomato juice supply fructose, a sugar that helps the body metabolize the alcohol ingested. Honey on a cracker or a piece of toast, or a glass of tomato juice -- before or after drinking -- may prevent a hangover.

Drink a cup of coffee. Caffeine may provide some headache relief -- it acts to ease the dilated blood vessels.

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