The benefits of dry January.

Dry January is a yearly challenge where people taking part say goodbye to alcohol for the first month of the new year. For some it’s a time to reset after a boozy festive season, but for others it may be the first part of a resolution to start drinking less alcohol. With practically two years in and out of lockdown this has had a major impact on the amount of alcohol we have consumed as a nation. So Dry January is a great opportunity to start the new year with a clear head and develop a healthier relationship with alcohol.

So what are the benefits of doing dry January?

You'll get a mood boost.

Having that alcoholic drink after a tough day might seem to perk you up and blur the day’s worries away. Over time though, if consuming alcohol becomes a main coping strategy, it may hide underlying depression or anxiety. By stepping back from your nightly drink could help you assess your motivation for drinking. When not self-medicating, you’ll be in a better position to recognise if you could benefit from a talk with your doctor, therapy or other natural mood lifters like exercise or spending time in nature.

You'll sleep more soundly.

We've all been there after a night of drinking, as soon as we get into bed we seem to fall asleep quickly — only to reawaken a few hours later. Research states that may happen because alcohol interferes with our body's handling of the chemical adenosine. That’s because drinking moderate or high amounts of alcohol decreases “restorative” REM sleep. The sleep we get when we are drinking is distributed and often leads to a groggy head in the morning.

You'll save money

If you’ve been regularly shelling out money for fancy cocktails or bottles of wine it soon adds up fast. You can take this time to set aside the money you would spend on alcohol within the month and you might surprise yourself in how much you saved.

You might notice less bloating or weight loss.

Depending on how much you were drinking before  it’s possible you could lose a couple of pounds per week. Not only do boozy beverages add calories, those calories are liquid calories, which don’t fill you up the way food calories do. Thats why many who have a binge now and again notice their stomachs bloating. 

Lastly you will develop a better relationship with alcohol. Having that pause on alcohol may help you realise that you don’t have to drink every day or even drink at all. If you do choose to drink again come February, the month off will also lower your tolerance, so do be careful.