Have you ever thought about giving up alcohol for a month? You may even be nearing the end of Dry January after some heavy drinking over Christmas and New Year, and need a bit of motivation to see you to the finish line.
For those who are thinking about quitting alcohol for a while, or are on course for a booze-free January, Priory has outlined the benefits that giving up alcohol can have on your health and wellbeing.
Better night’s sleep
One of the first things you’ll notice is that your sleep quality will improve. With an extra six and seven more REM sleep cycles a night than if you drank, you will be more productive in the day, better at problem solving and more in control of your emotions and behaviour.
Better management of your diet
Getting better sleep can also help you manage your food and drink intake better. After drinking, ghrelin levels (the hormone that makes you feel hungry) go up and leptin (the hormones that make you feel full) goes down. Not drinking – and getting better sleep – can help balance these hormones.
Alcohol can seriously dehydrate your skin. When you drink it, you lose four times as much liquid as you would otherwise. Ditching the alcohol will help you keep your skin looking healthy as opposed to dull and dry.
You may notice that you get a headache the day after drinking. This is partly due to water loss, as organs take water away from your brain so they can function. Giving up alcohol can help you to stay properly hydrated, allowing your organs to function properly, so you can avoid headaches caused from poor hydration.
Without alcohol sapping your hydration, you are likely to find that your motivation and energy levels last for longer throughout the day.
If you were to give up drinking six 175ml glasses of wine a week, you would cut your calories by around 3840 a month. These ‘empty’ calories are equivalent to around 18 and a half chocolate bars.
Acid reflux is not pleasant. Giving up alcohol can help to stabilise your stomach lining and acid levels so you are relieved from the symptoms of heartburn.
Improvements to your long term health
Quitting alcohol can reduce your blood pressure and improve your liver function. Keeping both at healthy levels can improve your long term health, and prevent serious conditions in the future.
Extra money in your purse
The benefits of not drinking alcohol aren’t all body-related. Your bank account will also reap the rewards, with 24 glasses of wine each month averaging a saving of £90. This could pay your Netflix subscription for the year.
More mindful over your future drinking
People who give up alcohol for a month are 72% more likely to be mindful about harmful drinking for six months. By remaining aware of how much you drink and taking steps to keep this to a healthy level, you can enjoy the health benefits that come from cutting down.
If you want to find out the full extent of the benefits, Priory has charted the effects of giving up alcohol for a month, outlining the positive changes your body undergoes each week of a month without the bottle.