Happy New Year! January is back once again, and it’s 2022. Pretty crazy, right?
January means a few things: new years’ resolutions, health kicks, new goals and challenges. What else does it mean? Dry January, for a few of us. If you’re not familiar with the term Dry January, you’re probably a little bit confused. And that’s fine – we’re here to clear up the confusion, show you the dry January benefits, and discuss the all-important question: is Dry January worth it?
What is Dry January?
Dry January is a pretty popular month-long challenge that originated in the United Kingdom, that challenges its users to give up alcohol for one whole month.
First coined in 2013, Dry January was born out of a woman called Emily’s idea to give up alcohol before running her very first half marathon. After seeing the benefits of giving up the booze, people started to get involved. Lots and lots of people. Thousands, in fact. And the benefits seen were fantastic.
Now in it’s 7th year, Dry January is completed by around 130,000 people. And it’s only getting bigger!
Why take part in Dry January?
There are a range of reasons why someone might choose to take part in Dry January, and the Dry January effects are pretty big. In a good way, that is.
Here are some of the main reasons people take part in Dry January every single year:
- Reduce hangovers
- Improve mental health
- Save money
- Minimise risk of heart disease
- Improve your skin
- Maximise your productivity (no more hangovers!)
- Decrease stroke risk
What are the Dry January health benefits?
Aside from the above benefits that we’ve listed, there are a multitude of health benefits that come with taking part in Dry January, and these can lead to healthy lifestyle changes such as the reduction in alcohol consumption in February, March, April, May and beyond! Which can only be a good thing for your health.
Aside from this, here are five fabulous reasons to go ahead and get involved with Dry January. It’s not too late!
- Improve your immune system and overall health
- Save (lots and lots) of money
Depending on where you live, the cost of a pint (or a double spirit) can be astronomical (yes, London… we’re talking about you).
Aside from the expenditure of going out, consider what you spend on alcohol throughout the week for that glass of wine after work, or that pint on the way home. Or even that bottle of red you’ve got in the cupboard for emergencies. It really does add up.
Think of all the money you could spend with a months’ worth of alcohol content! Win-win…
Put what you would spend in a savings pot and see where you end up at the end of the month. You never know, you may be inspired to keep up the money-saving habit.
A reduction in your anxiety levels
It’s 9am. You’ve woken up with your clothes strewn across the room, your phone on 5% and you’re not sure where your keys are. You quickly check to see who you texted or called, and checked your social media to make sure you haven’t posted anything too embarrassing.
Que a nervy wave of anxiousness washing over you.
This is the anxiousness that is often referred to as ‘hangxiety’. Coined to describe this very common experience post-drinking, hangxiety is just another thing that you can rid yourself of through participating in Dry January.
Your sleep quality and schedule will improve
Whilst alcohol is technically a depressant, drinking in excess can have hugely detrimental effects on your sleep quality and schedule, and that’s one of the best Dry January benefits. Who doesn’t love a good night sleep?
The science behind this is pretty simple, and it’s all about our natural sleep cycle. Excess alcohol can mean that we spend more time in deep sleep than we do in the Rapid Eye Movement (or REM) stage, which our body needs to be able to repair and function properly.
What’s more, if you’re consistently drinking in excess (lets say, more than 3 times a week), you may be feeling the effects so much that you feel like you’re not getting any rest at all.
Therefore, a cut back in alcohol consumption (or a partake in Dry January) is a great way to get your sleep schedule back on track and gives us a pretty good answer to the question: ‘is Dry January worth it?’ If you’re a sucker for your sleep, then absolutely yes.
Here at Innermost, whilst we’re definitely always up for a Friday Night G&T (or three) and a red wine with our Sunday roast dinner, we’ve got to say: make sure you’re drinking in moderation. That’s the key.
If alcohol consumption is something that you’re struggling with, and you feel that you would benefit from some assistance in this area, there is plenty of support out there and available for you – so don’t feel like you need to suffer alone.
Here are some really useful links to get you well on your way to a healthy relationship with alcohol: