If the holidays are redundant, then the new year is usually the time to re-prepare. For some of us, that includes a commitment to a healthier lifestyle, including drinking less alcohol. It’s just a change, but even if you stick with it only for a month, the benefits can follow you through the end of the year.
New research by the University of Sussex followed more than 800 participants in the Dry January Alcohol challenge in England in 2018. Those who committed to abstaining from alcoholic beverages for 31 days saw some pretty incredible results: Nearly 9/10 saved money, 71% said they slept better, two-thirds said they had more energy and 80% said they felt more in control of their drinking.
Participants not only noticed physical and mental health benefits, such as clear improvements to their skin and feelings of achievement, but those effects and habits tended to last after February. Participants in dry January generally drank less in August. “If you’re worried about sticking with such a change, lead author Richard de Visser found some encouraging results: “Interestingly, these changes in alcohol consumption have also been seen in participants who don’t manage to drink alcohol for a whole month, even though they are slightly smaller,” he said in a press release. This suggests that there are real benefits if only to try to complete Dry January.”
You can download a free app to track your Dry January if you decide to try.