One of the least amusing and most dangerous results of a night out.

So you've had your beer, your spirits and maybe a glass or two of wine. The journey home is a bit of a blur, but a taxi seems to have somehow been involved. It's time to collapse in bed and, hopefully wake up with full motor control and without an unwanted guest lying beside you.

Unfortunately, being drunk plays havoc with your body's natural impulses. Normally, a need to vomit would cause you to awaken and make a bee-line for the toilet or the nearest plastic bucket. Under the influence of excessive alchohol, however, this is not always the case. Many have noted that drunk sleeping is easier and deeper than normal sleeping, but the full extent is not revealed until you can't manage anything beyond a semi-conscious state whilst your stomach empties itself onto your bedclothes. This would all be quite amusing and a little embarassing story for your flatmates to trot out were it not for the very real possibility that you won't wake up after this sort of incident. If you don't have your wits about you, you'll just go back to sleep in a pool of your own vomit, justifying this in a way typical of drunken logic. As anybody who's ever fallen asleep in a bowl of soup -- and there aren't very many of these people -- will tell you, this can result in suffocation, and all of that bile isn't exactly doing wonders for your skin. It's like having a cat fall asleep on your face, except that you don't have the capacity to properly remove it, and so your breathing grows shallower and shallower until you pass out. With oxygen still not making its way to your brain, you'll die. And nobody wants that to happen.

Fortunately, the quick burst of adrenaline that impacts your body upon sudden cessation of breathing will clear your head enough that you can roll onto the floor and sleep there. At the very least, you'll have some very dirty sheets, and not as a result of the more pleasurable ways of causing this.

Most drunks will have a few shuddery memories about these sorts of nights: waking up incapable of breathing and uncertain as to the root of this problem, fighting desperately against the pull of drunken sleep.

Not many die from this, but it's a mildly terrifying experience. The best remedy is a few pints of water before bed. Of course, if you're feeling nauseated and drunk, you should make yourself puke before you go to bed. It may not be fun, but you'll have a better sleep and you'll be alive in the morning and comforted by the presence of clean(er) sheets beneath your dehydrated body.

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