You may have heard of “Dry January” or “Sober September”, where participants pledge to take a month off from drinking alcohol. The idea may sound crazy to you, or it may intrigue you. Are there real benefits from taking a break from booze? Will skipping happy hour make you happier? Read on to learn how giving up alcohol, whether it be for a day, a month, or even longer, can make you healthier. In addition, you may feel stronger, look better, and maybe even live longer.
12. Weight Loss
We all know that alcohol contains calories. Ditch the booze and you won’t just give up the calories from those drinks; you will also give up their secondary effects on your weight. Your body burns the ethanol from alcohol as fuel before it will turn to metabolizing the energy from carbohydrates or fat. Give up alcohol and your body will be able to burn off those other stores of calories. Additionally, a study in Health Psychology suggested that people tend to eat more while drinking due to alcohol’s effects on impulse control. Less inhibition means less self-control. Furthermore, drinking booze can trigger cravings that cause you to make unhealthy food choices.
11. Better Sleep
While alcohol is a depressant, it does not lead to the deep, restorative sleep your body needs. Many people turn to a glass of wine to fall asleep, not realizing the negative effects alcohol has on a good night’s rest. Psychology Today reports that even modest amounts of alcohol suppress the body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your body’s sleep cycle. Additionally, the effects of alcohol on adenosine also interfere with your circadian rhythm. Give up alcohol and you will allow your body to return to its natural biological rhythms and enjoy deeper, more therapeutic sleep.