Drinking

Millions Participating in ‘Dry January’ Challenge

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After a long month of probably indulging a tad bit too hard on the holiday drinking, millions are participating in ‘Dry January’, a New Year’s resolution where no alcohol is consumed for the entire month. For some, it may be just a much-needed detox from the excess of the holidays, but ‘Dry January’ can actually have some fantastic health benefits if done in the right way.

While drinking in moderation can be fine, especially if its a glass of red wine here and there, excessive drinking can lead to a variety of health issues, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even cancer. Alcohol consumption can also be pretty tough on your liver, so taking a month off can generally be a good decision.


Photo by Michael Mroczek on Unsplash

Sleep can also be improved by cutting out alcohol. Alcohol can inhibit your ability to fall into deep sleep, the most restorative stage of sleep that allows your body to recover and feel alert and energized in the morning. Not going out drinking can also have secondary benefits in that you will be able to focus more on your other New Years goals like sticking to a workout routine or eating healthier meals, not to mention keeping more of your hard earned money in your wallet.

One aspect to consider if you want ‘Dry January’ to have a profound impact is to remember to not let a sober first month of the year justify drinking in excess for the rest of it. Practicing mindfulness during ‘Dry January’ on how abstaining from alcohol affects your body can be key in propelling your progress in the coming months, although according to some research, this may not be too difficult.

Studies conducted at universities in the UK show that people who participate in ‘Dry January’ are more often to drink less eight months later. Researchers from the University of Sussex and Alcohol Change UK conducted a series of surveys of over 2,000 people participating in ‘Dry January’. The participants were asked about their drinking and lifestyle habits. Before ‘Dry January’, participants reported to have drank an average of 4.3 nights a week. This figure dropped to 3.3 days by August, with participants also reporting they became drunk less, from 3.4 times in a month to 2.1 times on average.

Not only did participants of ‘Dry January’ report to have consumed less alcohol throughout the year, the study also showed that many saw a noticeable increase in productivity while at work. 82% of participants felt a sense of achievement, while 62% had more energy. New Year’s resolutions often come and go, as do crash diets that promise wild changes, but it seems like ‘Dry January’ can have a highly beneficial and valid benefit in your life, especially after a long holiday month.

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Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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