Study reveals that having a 'Dry January' is the best way to start 2019
At the beginning of each new year, it is customary for people to set themselves one or more 'resolutions' for things they want to improve about their lives. For some of us, that might mean investing in a gym membership; for others, perhaps spending a little more time with our families.
After a festive season full of drinking, however, a lot of people will be giving up booze for a little while.
'Dry January', as it's come to be known, seems to be getting ever more popular with people who think that having a month off the sauce might do their liver some good. And, unsurprisingly, it does. What a lot of people might not realise, however, is that cutting out booze for just one month of the year can have a whole host of long-term positive effects on the body - and could actually be the one change that many people need in order to help with other health problems they've been dealing with.
In a study titled, "How 'Dry January' is the secret to better sleep, saving money and losing weight," the University of Sussex in the UK followed more than 800 people who gave up drinking during January 2018 as one of their new year's resolutions. Over the course of eight months, researchers tracked the drinking habits and health of participants and found that - astoundingly - just 31 days of abstinence was still having a positive effect on them more than half a year later.
According to the study's findings, "drinking days fell on average from 4.3 to 3.3 per week, units consumed per drinking day dropped on average from 8.6 to 7.1, [and] frequency of being drunk dropped from 3.4 per month to 2.1 per month on average."
More than that, though, 93 per cent of participants reported feeling "a sense of achievement", 88 per cent managed to save money, 70 per cent had generally improved health, and more than half of participants lost weight. A majority of people also reported having better skin, feeling more energetic, and experiencing better sleep.
Dr. Richard de Visser of the University of Sussex explained these results, saying:
"The simple act of taking a month off alcohol helps people drink less in the long term: by August people are reporting one extra dry day per week. There are also considerable immediate benefits: nine in ten people save money, seven in ten sleep better and three in five lose weight.
"Interestingly, these changes in alcohol consumption have also been seen in the participants who didn't manage to stay alcohol-free for the whole month - although they are a bit smaller. This shows that there are real benefits to just trying to complete Dry January."
"The brilliant thing about Dry January is that it's not really about January," saidDr. Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK. "Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don't need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialise. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about our drinking, and to avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to."
So, if you were still looking for something to give up for the New Year, why not give Dry January a try? You've got nothing to lose.