Holiday overindulgence often leads many people to want to start the new year on a healthy note, and that sometimes involves giving up alcohol for January. And while most health experts would recommend always practicing moderation, giving up booze for the first 30 days of 2018—yes, it has a name and it’s called Dry January—certainly has its benefits:
Because alcohol interferes with REM sleep, giving it up can help you sleep more soundly, which leads to secondary benefits such as being more focused, having more energy and being in a better mood. Getting more sleep could even lead you to be able to get up a little earlier and get some exercise in before work. Hey, it’s worth a shot!
It’s eye-opening to think about how many calories each of those beers or glasses of wine contains—and how many calories you’ll save by abstaining. And because alcohol often weakens our defenses against making poor food choices, staying sober will help you order a salad instead of those temping chicken wings.
Stronger immune system
Since drinking weakens your immune system, you’ll be better able to fight off germs and viruses that can make you sick, which is a good thing because being cooped up inside this time of year exposes you to more of what’s lurking in friends, family members and coworkers.
Drinking alcohol leads to dehydration, so giving it up during this dry, cold month can result in better-looking skin.
Lowered risk of major disease
Sure, losing a few pounds and having glowing skin would be nice, but how about a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, liver disease and several types of cancer? When you think about the serious health consequences that are associated with drinking alcohol, abstaining starts to look like a great idea.