Whatever your reason for cutting down your alcohol intake may be – whether it’s to improve your sleeping pattern, help heal your mental wellbeing or boost your bank balance – Sober October is a great initiative to get involved in.
While taking a ‘dry month’ like Sober October may seem daunting for some, it can give your mind and body a much-needed rest after a summer of over-socialising.
Still, debating whether or not to take part? Martin Preston, Addiction Specialist at Private Rehab Clinic Delamere has revealed the benefits of taking part in Sober October and how regularly taking breaks from booze, can help you reassess your reasons for drinking.
- Sleep patterns improve
Alcohol is often used as a sleeping aid to help you drift off, but despite helping to relax you, drinking in excess can affect the quality and pattern of your sleep due to headaches, dehydration and the increased need to urinate.
When you give up alcohol during Sober October, you will often find that your quality of sleep will be better, without frequent interruptions. This in turn will mean you have more energy to spend on other activities instead of waking up feeling groggy after heavy drinking the night before.
- Blood Pressure reduces to healthier levels
Drinking in excess for a prolonged period of time, whether that’s been over the summer period or you drink heavily regularly, can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels that could lead to more complicated health problems down the line.
Giving up the booze even just for a month will help lower those blood pressure levels to a much healthier level and could even help reduce the risk of other health issues that are associated with high blood pressure and alcohol consumption.
- Skin starts to look better
A minor benefit to cutting your alcohol intake is the look of your skin. Alcohol causes your body to become dehydrated more quickly which can lead to dry and scaly skin when drunk in excess. Not only that but consumption of sugary drinks like cocktails can also lead to outbreaks due to increased hormone levels.
By taking a break from alcohol during October, you might notice spots or dry skin patches that you have been struggling to keep under control over the past few months start to clear up while you reduce the amount you drink.
- You may lose weight
One major issue that comes with drinking alcohol, is the number of calories it contains. Drinks such as beer and wine are particularly calorific, meaning that you are likely to gain weight by drinking them too regularly.
If you decide to take part in Sober October this year, in just four weeks you might find that you begin to shed the pounds you put on over the summer or when you consumed too much alcohol. Losing weight by cutting the calories from drinks may also lead to other health benefits including the reduction of high blood pressure.
- You’ll feel generally better
Drinking in excess can often lead to feeling groggy, lethargic and generally unwell the next day because it interferes with the day-to-day functioning of the body.
When taking a break this month, you may find that you have more energy to do things that you normally wouldn’t like being more active or spending more time out of the house with friends. So if you find yourself craving an alcoholic beverage sometime this month, think about how much better it might feel to wake up having slept well and no hangover.
Martin Preston Founder and CEO at Delamere says: “While Sober October only lasts a month, breaking the cycle of drinking on a regular basis can be a great way to reset your body and mind, away from alcohol as well as lowering the tolerance that you have become accustomed to.
“Those who have a drink regularly might also find that during those breaks, they are in a better mood than they were previously. This is because alcohol is a known depressant that can leave you feeling deflated when consumed regularly.
“Breaks throughout the year from drinking are therefore a great way to establish new habits and really assess the reasons we drink and whether we actually need to. Most people will find that the more they do it, the less time they think about or slip into drinking a little bit more than they should.”