Sober living Should you take regular breaks from drinking alcohol throughout...

Should you take regular breaks from drinking alcohol throughout the year?


If you’re worried that you may be using alcohol to mask your feelings, it’s important to work through any issues that are troubling you to help you start to feel better. Beyond Blue also offers a range of helpful resources and support if you or someone you love is feeling depressed or anxious. Having a drink at night might make you feel relaxed and sleepy – but once you nod off, alcohol actually interferes with your sleep cycle, resulting in poorer quality of sleep. Research suggests this is because alcohol disrupts REM sleep – the deepest sleep stage – which can result in a restless, wakeful night that leaves you feeling unrefreshed in the morning.

  • Alcohol dehydrates the body – and that includes your body’s largest organ, the skin.
  • We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
  • She says she feels calmer since she became sober, and she has lost 30 pounds.
  • For example, the concept of having a dry month (abstaining from alcohol during Dry January) has become more prevalent.
  • Many of the participants said they had more energy, which fits with the experience of listener Sarah Black Sadler.
  • During a big party like that, Stangland would normally have wine.
  • While that amount is generally thought to be okay for your health, having more than that on a regular basis isn’t.

However, a 2021 study indicated that abstinence from alcohol for a month does not reduce overall alcohol consumption for casual drinkers. Instead, research found that casual drinkers felt that they could drink in excess during other periods of the year because of their participation in Dry January. You may even start to notice some of those health benefits from cutting out alcohol after just a few days, one week or one month, Fiellin says. The fact is that overdoing it, or binge drinking (which the CDC defines as having four or more drinks within a couple of hours) can wreak havoc on your body.

Shots – Health News

You should always consult a trusted health professional before making decisions about your health care. While we have prepared the information carefully, we can’t guarantee that it is accurate, complete or up-to-date. And while we may mention goods or services provided by others, we aren’t specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them.

  • Researchers found that short-term behavior modifications like Dry January, can encourage people to be more conscious about how much alcohol they consume, saying it could be beneficial.
  • For those with alcohol misuse and dependence, the conditions are connected to chronic sleep disturbance, lower slow-wave sleep, and more rapid eye movement.
  • Talk to a doctor about your personal history and what’s right for you.
  • You can blame oversized wine glasses and too-big restaurant serving sizes for that one.
  • When women overdo it on booze, they eat an average of  in the following 24 hours, according to a recent survey.
  • “We’re finding that we can fill our days,” Daniel says, “but sometimes the nights are hard.” Then they discovered Sans Bar.

Not too long ago, a group of women in a bar who were not drinking alcohol would have seemed kind of strange. Still, abstaining from alcohol — on a short-term basis or longer term — is becoming more common. Whenever you decide to take a break from alcohol, whether it be during a designated sober month or any other time of the year, the NIAAA website, Rethinking Drinking, has strategies that can help you stop drinking.

What happens when you stop drinking for 30 days

It slows your body down and changes the chemical makeup in your brain, which can have a major impact on mental health. Consuming on average more than two standard drinks a day can increase your risk of developing mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, and interfere with antidepressant medication. If you drink in excess, cutting out alcohol for a period of time can help your liver, heart, and body composition. While alcohol is high in calories, and wine, beer, and mixed drinks add sugar to one’s diet, Kumar said that simply cutting it out may not always help you lose weight. If you’re not ready to take a break, strive to get within the recommended limits.

If you weren’t drinking much before you cut it out entirely, it’s unlikely that you’ll see a difference, but it’s still worth mentioning here. Drinking heavily could make it tough for your liver and pancreas to work well—both of which are essential for your metabolism, Dr. Galligan says. So if you were drinking enough to mess with these processes, your metabolism could start to work more efficiently within a few weeks of going sober. But alcohol can contain a lot of unexpected calories—some drinks more than others.

Remember you are still fun!

Here are some of the major benefits of cutting out alcohol, according to experts. “The alcohol was certainly a numbing agent,” listener Mark Vowers told us. Vowers says not drinking makes him feel more present — more grounded. There’s been little research into what, exactly, a month off alcohol can do for your health. And the benefits will depend on how much and how frequently you drank before, said Danielle Dick, a professor and director of the Rutgers Addiction Research Center.

benefits of taking a break from alcohol

That’s generally a good thing and a sign your liver is happy and healthy. But if you come back from a booze-free week or month and try to polish off the same number of drinks you did before abstaining, you could find yourself more easily suffering from severe how to take a break from drinking intoxication, he says. On the other hand, binge drinking is generally defined as four drinks for women and five drinks for men within a two-hour period. And even occasional binge drinking episodes can have profound effects on your liver’s health over time.

No Amount Of Alcohol Is Good For Your Health, Global Study Says

Moreover, people who went teetotal for a month also got drunk a lot less frequently later on in the year. Rates of excessive drinking fell from an average of 3.4 times per month at baseline to 2.1 times per month on average. Cutting the amount of alcohol you drink can help your short- and long-term health.

So, now is as good a time as any to try the sober-curious lifestyle. The communal aspect of the Dry January challenge might make it easier, too, particularly if you have friends or family members who want to join you in abstaining from alcohol for 31 days. The dry month is also an opportune time to examine your relationship with alcohol and decide if you might want to change your drinking habits to improve your health. Depending on how much a person drinks, taking a break from alcohol for a month could lead to myriad positive changes.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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