no alcohol

Dry January: 5 Things That Happen When You Stop Drinking

Are you giving Dry January a try this year? Good for you! Even if you are a light or moderate drinker, alcohol can still have an effect on your mental and physical health. Dry January challenges people to abstain from drinking alcohol for all 31 days – and people agree that they see noticeable differences! No wonder why in 2022, 35 percent of adult drinkers said they decided to become abstinent at the start of the New Year. 

Let’s explore some of the things that will happen to you when you stop drinking. Making this change can have long-lasting effects on your health – something you will come to appreciate one day! 

1. You’ll Sleep Better

You may feel sleepy after a glass of wine and assume you sleep better, but this isn’t the case. Alcohol actually impairs your sleep by disrupting natural sleep cycles, killing REM sleep and triggering sleep talking and sleepwalking. If you’re used to drinking before bed, it can be difficult to adjust at first. However, keep in mind that the quality of your sleep will improve quickly, even if it seems like you’re getting less. 

2. Your Immunity Will Improve

If you’re someone who is frequently battling a cold or infection, alcohol won’t do you any favors. That’s because alcohol can weaken your ability to fight off infection. And if you drink regularly, alcohol can prevent nutrients from nourishing your immune system and increase your white blood cell count. Both make it harder to fight off the flu, pneumonia and other viruses and infections. 

3. Your Skin Will Look Brighter

Another thing that will happen when you abstain from alcohol during Dry January is that your skin will look brighter. The more you drink, the more dehydrated your skin gets. This is what causes the skin to look dry and porous. Not only that, but alcohol deprives your skin of essential nutrients that can make you more susceptible to skin damage and wrinkles. Fortunately, your skin can bounce back when you stop drinking. 

4. You Can Lose Weight 

Alcohol has a lot of empty calories and sugar, which can cause weight gain. By cutting out alcohol and maintaining a healthy diet, you can actually lose weight! Plus, drinking alcohol slows down your metabolism, contributing to weight gain, and makes it easier to overeat. Science has proven that alcohol improves the taste and smell of food, which is why people tend to crave high-fat foods and sweets when they drink. 

5. Your Mood Will Improve 

Some people drink because they feel it boosts their confidence and helps them overcome negative emotions. But really, alcohol acts as a bandaid in this case, giving you temporary relief from your real problems. Over time, drinking leads to headaches, hangovers, mood swings, exhaustion and depression. Giving up alcohol will balance your moods and help you deal with problems in a healthier way. 

Get Help for an Alcohol Use Disorder 

Here at Awakenings Treatment Center, we are committed to helping individuals heal from substance use and mental health disorders. Even though alcohol is legal and accepted in our society, it does more harm than good. If you are unable to cut back or stop your drinking, it’s likely that you can benefit from an outpatient treatment program. To learn more about our alcohol rehab in Agoura Hills, contact our admissions team today.