Did you find yourself sleeping in your cat’s litter box this morning? Are you using an old toothbrush to scour particles of regurgitated White Castle sliders that are seemingly permanently stuck to your bathroom grout and the back of the toilet? If you are a victim of overindulging on alcohol or even if you drank responsibly, now is the perfect time to give up alcohol for a month.
There are many different New Year’s resolutions that people will promise to undertake and then never finish. Giving up drinking for one month is not only a beneficial commitment, but it’s also very doable. You’ve binged on enough beer, whiskey, hard cider, hard root beer, vodka, tequila and rum during holiday parties, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. So now is a perfect time for a dry January.
A new study in the journal Health Psychology, asked 857 British men and women to stay sober for 31 days. The researchers discovered numerous benefits from just taking one month off the booze.
The researchers wanted to better understand what makes a person successful at staying sober and the effects of not drinking over a month. The feat seemed like a difficult proposition for many of the guinea pigs, as only 64 percent successfully made it the entire month without sneaking some hooch. You would think that those who skipped a month of drinking would drink like a fish once the sober month was completed, but it was actually quite the opposite. The brave and disciplined souls who were able to complete a dry January actually tended to drink less often, get drunk less often and have fewer drinks in one sitting six months later.
Past studies have shown that taking just one measly month off of alcohol provides better liver function, lower blood pressure and even a reduced risk of liver disease and diabetes. In December of 2013, 14 members of the New Scientist staff decided to see if not drinking for five weeks would have a difference on their health. They answered a questionnaire as well as gave blood samples and were examined at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Then 10 of participants stopped drinking for five weeks and four continued their normal drinking habits.
Tests revealed that there had been no significant changes in any of the parameters measured for the four people who continued to get shitfaced.
The 10 people who stopped drinking saw their liver fat fell on average by 15 percent, and nearly 20 percent in some individuals. Fat accumulation on the liver is a prelude to liver damage and this scarring is known as cirrhosis. Their blood glucose levels dropped by an average of 16 percent, which made them less likely to get diabetes. Total blood cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, dropped by almost 5 percent for those who abstained from alcohol.
And the benefits of just five weeks without alcohol weren’t just physical. Sleep quality rose over 10 percent.
The only drawback was that people reported less social contact, but those people who are drinking are going to drop dead before you so no big whoop.
Alcoholism can be a dangerous habit, and it is killing Americans at a rate not seen in at least 35 years. Last year, more than 30,700 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes, including alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis, which is primarily caused by alcohol use.
If you’re looking for some help in quitting alcohol for a month or longer the U.K. charity Alcohol Concern gives you tips on how to stay sober. If you need more inspiration, check out this dude who had remarkable improvements in his life by giving up sugar and alcohol for a month.
It’s only one month bros, come February 1st you can drink your face off or keep the streak going.