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Research has proved that ditching booze during January can help people regain control of their drinking, enhance energy levels, improve skin texture and aid weight loss. Moreover, the self-discipline of abstaining helps people drink less months later.

Researchers from the University of Sussex followed 800 people who took part in Dry January 2018. They discovered that participants’ drinking days fell on average from 4.3 to 3.3 per week. In addition, units of alcohol consumed per drinking day dropped on average from 8.6 to 7.1; and the frequency of being drunk dropped from 3.4 times per month to 2.1 times per month on average.

Psychologist Dr Richard de Visser and his team who performed the research said: “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: nine in 10 people save money, seven in 10 sleep better and three in five lose weight.”

Of interest is that these changes in alcohol consumption are 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 underlines the real benefits of even just trying to complete Dry January, says de Visser.

The University of Sussex research involved participants completing three online surveys: 2821 on registering for Dry January; 1715 in the first week of February; and 816 in August. The research showed that:

PercentBenefit
88Saved money
80Feel more in control of their drinking
71Realized they don’t need a drink to enjoy themselves
70Had generally improved health
71Slept better
67Had more energy
58Lost weight
57Had better concentration
54Had better skin

New Year resolve

The charity Alcohol Change UK undertook a YouGov poll, which showed that one in 10 people who drink – an estimated 4.2 million people in the UK – are planning to do Dry January in 2019.

“Put simply, Dry January can change lives. We hear every day from people who took charge of their drinking using Dry January, and who feel healthier and happier as a result”, said Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK.

“The brilliant thing about Dry January is that it’s not really about January. Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, 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.” If you have concerns about alcohol misuse, AlphaBiolabs has a range of alcohol testing solutions including continuous alcohol monitoring, please call 0333 600 1300 or email us at info@alphabiolabs.com

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