The New Year Hangover

Eno Sarris, January 05, 2015

We got all excited about a five-day weekend and then we drank so much on New Year's Eve that we had to take a few days off. This is the editorial we, maybe we can't speak for you. But we can look into the numbers to see how many of you had to take a day off after New Year's Eve. 

We've got two years of data now. All we have to do is compare the few days before and the few days after New Year's Eve to see if there's a pattern. 

Let's convert the New Year's Eve checkin count to the baseline, so it's 100. Then the three days before and after, let's compare those to New Year's Eve. 

  29th 30th 31st 1st 2nd 3rd
2014 95.4 88.6 100.0 89.2 83.6 86.5
2015 97.0 96.1 100.0 100.2 96.7 100.0

Last year, there was a more pronounced effect. Collectively, we saved up on the 30th, drank our water, and ate our broccoli. Then we went nuts on NYE. Then we took a few days off. 

This year, the party lasted into the New Year. It's actually not surprising: how many post-midnight checkins does it take to make a more sober day look like a regular day? In other words, the night of the first may be a sober night compartively, but the early morning of the first is much crazier than most early mornings on Untappd. 

The actual date of New Year's Eve may make a difference here. Between 2013 and 2014, it was a Tuesday night. This year, we partied on Thursday night. It may not be surprising that 2014's revelers took the night off January 2nd, 2014 -- it was a Thursday, probably a regular work day night for most people. Hard to stretch it all into a six day weekend.

So maybe the most impressive result here is that this year's drinkers also took the 2nd off, like they did last year. That's what the numbers say so far. And that was a Friday night.

If there is a general roadmap it is this. Take the 30th off and drink less than you would normally. Party hard into the New Year, perhaps even enjoying a breakfast beer with your hangover.

Then take the second of January off. It's the soberest time of the year. So far.