Try Dry January
Dry January is an initiative that encourages people to abstain from drinking for 30 consecutive days; last year more than 2 million people signed up to take part and help kick start a healthier lifestyle.
A relatively small sacrifice can bring a big return – participants noticed weight loss, better sleep and money saved when they ditched booze for just a month.
Why try Dry January
In a society that uses alcohol to relax, celebrate and enjoy life, we often don’t stop and think about how much we’re drinking or what the side effects of living in a drinking culture can be.
Giving it up for 30 days helps rebalance the scales; we have the chance to give our body a break and take notice of the moments we reach for our favourite alcoholic beverage and examine whether it’s always necessary to have a drink.
Gram for gram, alcohol has as many calories as pure fat; a diet that includes alcohol regularly can lead to weight gain over time. As a result of drinking, fat also accumulates in the liver – as little as two weeks of abstinence from alcohol can help return your liver to good health.
Give up alcohol for a month and you might also notice an improvement in your sleep. Though we sometimes associate alcohol with making it easier to nod off, in reality even a couple of drinks can interfere with your normal sleep patterns. When we drink, we often fall immediately into a deep sleep, skipping the first stage of REM sleep. As the alcohol wears off, we slip back into a lighter REM sleep that is more easily disrupted, causing us to wake. This is why many people find after a night of heavy drinking they wake after just a few hours of sleep and still feel exhausted.
How to do it
Participating in Dry January is as simple as committing to 30 days without drink, and it’s not too late to get started now.
You can sign up to participate formally on the Dry January website, run by charity Alcohol Concern. Cancer Research UK also runs its own programme to raise money for cancer, called the Dryathalon. Here you can sign up solo or as part of a team to quit alcohol for a month and raise money for a good cause in the process.
Have you ever tried Dry January?
Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA Health to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a question of your own, their, "Ask the Expert" service allows you to ask the team of friendly, experienced nurses, pharmacists and midwives about any health topic and they'll get back to you with an answer as soon as they’re able.* So if you have something that’s been bothering you, whether it concerns you or someone close to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Click below to submit your query online.
* Nurses are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Midwives and pharmacists are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 8am to 4pm; and Sunday, 8am to 12pm.
Actual response time will depend on the nature of your enquiry and availability of appropriately qualified experts but the team will always aim to get back to you within 24 hours.
Please note that our Expert Help services are there to offer health information and support. They do not diagnose or prescribe, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice given in the context of an individual consultation.
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!