03 Jan Is ‘Dry January’ a Path to Better Sleep, Saving Money and Losing Weight?
New research shows that taking part in “Dry January” (abstaining from booze for a month) sees people regaining control of their drinking, having more energy, better skin, and losing weight. They also report drinking less in the months that follow.
The research, conducted at the University of Sussex, studied over 800 people who took part in Dry January in 2018. The results show that Dry January participants are still drinking less in August.
They reported that:
- 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;
- Frequency of being drunk dropped from 3.4 per month to 2.1 per month on average.
According to scientists at the University of Sussex, 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: 9 in 10 people save money, 7 in 10 sleep better, and 3 in 5 lose weight.
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 University of Sussex research showed that:
- 93% of participants had a sense of achievement;
- 88% saved money;
- 82% think more deeply about their relationship with drink;
- 80% feel more in control of their drinking;
- 76% learned more about when and why they drink;
- 71% realized they don’t need a drink to enjoy themselves;
- 70% had generally improved health;
- 71% slept better;
- 67% had more energy;
- 58% lost weight;
- 57% had better concentration;
- 54% had better skin.
Simply put, Dry January can change lives and it’s not really about the month of January. Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, or to socialize. 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.
Many of us know about the health risks of alcohol–seven forms of cancer, liver disease, and mental health problems–but we are often unaware that drinking less has more immediate benefits too. Sleeping better, feeling more energetic, saving money, better skin, losing weight–the list goes on. Dry January can help to experience those benefits and to make a longer-lasting change to drink more healthily.
Authored by: Kiara Moore
University of Sussex. (2018, December 28). How ‘Dry January’ is the secret to better sleep, saving money and losing weight. Featured in Science Daily. Retrieved December 31, 2018.