The Benefits of Taking a Break From Alcohol

This last year has been a challenging one, to say the least. Many of us have felt stressed and anxious which may have affected our drinking habits.

Dry January is the UK’s one-month alcohol-free challenge brought to you by Alcohol Change UK, a charity who are driven by a vision of a world with no serious alcohol harm. Their goal is to change the way people view drinking, making it a conscious choice rather than a default.

Here are some of the benefits of giving up drinking for a month can have:


Improved sleep

Regular drinking can affect the quality of your sleep, this is because drinking disrupts your sleep-wake cycles by reducing the amount of REM sleep you get. Research by the University of Sussex found 71% of individuals felt Dry January helped them sleep better.



Alcohol robs your body of essential nutrients and derails your metabolism, it is often also filled with lots of sugar and empty calories. Research has found that abstinence from alcohol in moderate-heavy drinkers can lower blood pressure, reduce diabetes risk and lower cholesterol. Overuse of alcohol can also contribute to the worsening symptoms of many mental health problems and can lead to low mood and anxiety.


Glowing skin

Along with improving health, you will be much more hydrated. Alcohol dehydrates your body, including your skin every time you drink, so not only will you be more hydrated your skin will look better too. You may also see a returned brightness to your eyes. This increased hydration may also improve your fitness.


Money saved

According to Alcohol Change UK 86% of people save money during Dry January. If you buy two bottles of wine a week, over the course of the month you’ll save around £60. This means at the end of the month you can treat yourself to a nice reward!


Sense of achievement

Achieving a goal will boost your confidence and give you a feeling of success which can be great for your mental wellbeing. It might also make you reconsider your relationship with drinking and have a different attitude towards alcohol.