Morning-after Department

Despite all their resolutions, a lot of people will greet next Ne'w Year's Day - or next Sunday morning - with a king-sized hangover. The vital questions are:

How can you prepare for the night out to cut the risk of a hangover?

What can you do the next day if your precautions have failed?

There are some scientific (and some not-so-scientific) answers: The obvious thing, of course, is simply not to drink. But if this has no appeal, try to approach the evening in a relaxed mood. Emotional stress intensifies the risk of a hangover. Says Harvard specialist Dr. Morris Chafetz: "Drinking under very tense conditions adds double force to a hangover." But assume that you're relaxed, serene, and in the holiday spirit. There are some anti-hangover tips worth trying.

First, the experts suggest that you eat an hour or so before the party. Milk, cheese, lean meats - and if you can stand it, some swallows of olive oil - are recommended. The food will coat the stomach and slow the rate of alcohol absorption into the bloodstream. It can work wonders, the experts say. Avoid carbonated drinks before an evening out - they speed the rate of absorption considerably, and the first drinks may sneak up on you.

Try taking a one hour nap, then a hot and cold shower, and while you're putting in the shirt studs drink 12 oz. of milk and chew a few antacid tablets, advises a Manhattan physician who specializes in treating executives over 40. The milk lines the stomach and the tablets buffer what's to come. Caution: Above all, avoid alcohol if you're under medication such as tranquilizers or antihistamines. The mix can hit hard.

Once at the party, you might try the obvious: Limit consumption. Apart from this advice, here are a few ideas for the evening: Take a good half hour to consume your first drink. This gears your system for what's to come. Also, try to spread your drinks fairly evenly throughout the evening instead of bunching them fast and then "coasting," a popular habit at country club dances. Two or three tall glasses of ice water during the evening help to keep up the body's "water balance" and thus lessen the possible hangover. Obviously, highballs (best with plain water) serve the same purpose.

There's no proof that mixing drinks will compound a hangover. "But," says one old pro, "sweet cocktails, then a shift to plain whisky, followed by a champagne breakfast will murder some of my patients next New Year's."

Note: Smoking all evening will likely sharpen a hangover. Cures for the morning after could fill a website. Here are a few recommended ones:

Aspirin (two every four hours) is particularly good if taken with a bit of bicarb to cut the acid effect. Antacid tablets at this stage are optional. It may be too late for them to do much good, according to the experts.

Beef bouillon restores lost potassium and helps overcome fatigue.

Sucrose taken in the form of orange or cranberry juice replaces lost glycogen, relieves sweating and dizziness.

Vitamin B (a hefty dose taken orally) helps ease jangled nerves; some specialists suggest a mild tranquilizer.

A morning-after remedy containing alcohol may work wonders - though it only postpones the hour of judgment. "But it's a sure-fire method if you're committed to another party the next day," says Cornell specialist Dr. Frank Seixas. The best eye-opener drink is milk punch. Use 11/2 oz. bourbon, 1 tsp. fine granulated sugar, and 6 oz. milk; shake with ice and strain.


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Sunglasses Galore

What's new in sunglasses? - just about every shape, size, colour, and quality imaginable. Here's a quick buying guide for the family:

Shapes go from huge 22-in. circles to tiny triangles. Odd shape alone won't hurt your eyes, say the specialists. But too small a lens means side-glare, little comfort. Also, corrective lenses often won't give the needed result if they've been fitted into oddly shaped frames. Tip: Too wide temple bars (a fad) cut side vision; they can be especially dangerous when you're driving.

Vivid offbeat colours (blue, pink, orange) are bad for the eyes. They fail to filter out ultraviolet or infrared rays, and give an uneven screening to the visible spectrum.... see: Sunglasses Galore