Dry January: a cocktail for disaster or success?

Sophie Wilson persuades you to give Dry January a go next year

Sophie Wilson
26th February 2020
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Dry January-the new hip thing to do for when you’re needing a ‘new year, new you’ kind of vibe. But are the benefits worth the full month of self-restraint? After failing to give it a go this year, my research has told me that it is definitely on my to-do list for next January. Here are the top three reasons to try it out yourself.

Firstly, the process of not drinking from 1stJanuary (that IS right, you will have to stop drinking whilst on your new year’s night out), to the 1stFebruary will improve your health. ‘BMI Healthcare’ states that dry January gives you an increased amount of sleep, more energy and weight loss. We have all had those nights where we have had a few too many drinks, and we lie awake in bed staring at the ceiling, frustrated at our inability to sleep. With alcohol damaging your quality of sleep, stripping out alcohol from your diet can help you get those well needed hours of sleep. More rest inevitably brings more energy, and that is why Alcohol Concern have said that 71% of people who undertook it had better sleep and 67%  had more energy.

Considering weight loss, the reduction of liquid calories is going to make you shed a few pounds. A bottle of wine, a few pints, mixers, they are all high calorie drinks. If losing weight after Christmas is something that you want to embark upon (not that you should necessarily do this because you all look perfect as you are), then dry January can help you after Christmas. 

With alcohol being a depressant, when those January blues hit it can be easy to reach for a beverage to lift our mood

Secondly, there may be a change in attitude without alcohol. With alcohol being a depressant, when those January blues hit it can be easy to reach for a beverage to lift our mood. But if alcohol gives you a high and then leaves you feeling worse off, surely cutting out that depressant in a month where many feel at a low-point anyway can only be a good move? Restraining from alcohol is not just about physical health, but your emotional and mental health (which is always of the upmost importance).

Finally, the long-lasting effect of it may be that you realise alcohol is not a secret potion to enjoying social occasions. When going out with friends and not drinking is proven to be just as good as getting really drunk and spending time with them, your perspective might just shift regarding your dependence upon it. Even if the effect is a few less drinks at pres, or a few less drinks at a bar each night you go out, then your body will be thankful.

So all in all, dry January is such an appealing concept, and I definitely need it to help me in my January slump next year. Why don’t you join me for next January?

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