If you’re not sure if your drinking crosses a certain line or not, try measuring your alcohol intake. “Someone who averages one boozy drink per day could definitely see weight loss within a week if they’re not making up those calories with other caloric beverages,” New York–based registered dietitian Jessica Cording tells SELF. “Furthermore, consistent use of alcohol to induce sleep only increases the need to use alcohol in the future to get to sleep,” he explains.
Long-term, excessive drinking also raises the odds of developing dementia. When you block REM sleep, stage 4 sleep, your emotions can be disrupted. It might come as a shock to those who look forward to a nightcap as a way to drift to sleep, but alcohol acts more like a tranquilizer, knocking you out but not giving you true sleep. Sugar boosts levels of the “reward” how to take a break from drinking chemical dopamine, which fuels feelings of pleasure, Dr. Raskin says. Giving up alcohol can be tough—but the benefits make it worth the effort, says Damon Raskin, M.D., a Los Angeles-based physician who is board-certified in addiction medicine. As you no doubt know—and maybe your liquor cabinet even bears this out—there has been no drinking like pandemic drinking.
You’ll sleep better and feel more energized throughout the day.
Millions of people get started during the Dry January challenge each year. People give up alcohol use for the month to welcome the new year with a focus on improving their health and life. Stangland had also started to notice just how ubiquitous alcohol was in her social life, and that drinking was starting to feel like an automatic part of any event. So, when she was trying to find a sustainable way to mindfully cut back on drinking, she started small. Think about why you are making changes to your drinking—to lose weight, feel healthier, save money, sleep better, or prevent that Sunday morning hangover.
The constant insult to the liver and digestive track can lead to ulcers, pancreatitis, and cirrhosis.” Yikes. Research conducted by the University of Sussex indicates that people who have a dry month report better sleep, higher energy levels, and better concentration. They also feel more able to control their alcohol intake later on and to manage pressure, expectations, or temptations to drink.
“I have found kombucha to be an effective tool in transitioning off nightly nightcaps,” says Koskinen. While not technically related to health, saving on money usually spent on drinks can greatly improve your finances, leading to a more positive outlook on your life and well-being. One study from Binghamton University showed female undergraduate heavy drinkers were significantly more depressed than their fellow light-drinking classmates. Money can become an issue with the need to support drinking or other use.
- The mental health changes you experience when you stop drinking can include symptoms of withdrawal, difficulty sleeping, irritability, mood swings, and clearer thinking.
- If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, keeping that goal in mind can be great a list-topper for why you’re quitting booze.
- Dependent drinkers may experience withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop drinking, which can be dangerous if not monitored.
- Alcohol misuse can lead to serious health problems like liver disease and cancer.
- From the very first sip, alcohol enters your bloodstream and quickly impacts your body.
- Champagne, eggnog, mulled wine — for many, the holiday season is a time for celebration, which typically involves copious amounts of alcohol.
These things release the same feel-good chemicals in your brain as alcohol. They won’t make you feel intoxicated like alcohol but they may make you feel happier and more relaxed. If you’re taking part in an event like FebFast, encourage your friends and family to sponsor you. It can also help you plan for situations where you’d usually be drinking. Dr De Visser says research shows that people who register with the campaign and make more use of its resources are twice as likely to stay dry as people who try to go it alone. You might not think consuming alcohol has an impact on your personal relationships or daily life until you take a harder look, Thiry says.
When to get help for alcohol use
It would explain why waking up after drinking makes us feel so defeated and often leads to an unproductive day. Though it may seem tough, passing up on the routine happy hour and ditching the sauce for up to two weeks can have significant positive effects on your health and overall happiness. Though you may not have experienced any legal problems resulting from your drinking, you may have had some close calls.
So it’s never too late to see health improvements from cutting back or abstaining from alcohol. People also forget that alcohol is a carcinogen, “There’s an increased risk for esophageal cancers, stomach cancer and breast cancer,” he says, so reducing your alcohol intake can have long-term impacts on your health. Stangland shared the now-viral video on TikTok explaining the method. And today, she’s built a community on social media around the One Week No Booze Method, including people who have ultimately decided to cut alcohol out of their lives entirely. Bridget Stangland, the creator of the One Week No Booze Method, knew she didn’t love the way alcohol made her feel.