What Are the Benefits of Giving Up Alcohol for a Month?
The majority of people are aware of the addictive nature of alcohol and understand that drinking excessively can lead to a host of physical and mental health problems. However what is less talked about is the fact that almost everyone could benefit immensely from giving up alcohol for a month, even the most casual of drinkers.
Can giving up alcohol for a month really make a difference to my physical and mental health?
As consuming alcohol is such a normal and acceptable activity in our society, it can be easy to overlook or dismiss many of the effects that this substance can have on our mental and physical health. After all, it can’t be that bad if everyone else drinks it too – right?
However, there are a number of immediate and noticeable benefits that can be gained through giving up alcohol for a month including improved mental health, healthy weight loss and an increase in energy as well as allowing your body and brain to repair and rejuvenate.
Below are some of the most common benefits of giving up alcohol for a month for anyone who is ready to take on the challenge and experience the full range of positive physical and mental effects.
1. Your sleep will improve
You may have noticed that you struggle to stay asleep after a heavy evening of drinking, often waking up multiple times throughout the night.
Alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep for long periods of time.
It’s important to experience multiple cycles of REM sleep during the night in order for your body and mind to recuperate and rest. However, alcohol can cause you to skip the REM cycle and instead fall into a deep, dreamless sleep.
This can result in feelings of exhaustion the next day as well as difficulty concentrating on tasks.
If you give up alcohol for a month, you’ll likely notice that you dream more and wake up feeling well-rested.
You’ll also be able to regulate your appetite and make healthier food choices due to a rebalance in the hormone levels that control feelings of hunger.
2. You’ll save money
With the average person spending around £1000 on alcohol every year, even cutting out this substance for a mere month can save you tens or even hundreds of pounds.
There are many hidden costs that go into consuming alcohol on a regular basis, even for casual drinkers. These include taxi fares, admission fees, damaged or lost property and of course the alcoholic drinks themselves.
Depending on where you are, a single cocktail can often cost up to £20 and even a beer can be as much as £5 in larger cities.
The more you drink, the less concerned you may become about seemingly small purchases such as bar snacks, buying rounds of shots hangover meals.
However over the course of a month, these purchases can often add up to a substantial sum, so keeping that money in your pocket is an immediate and noticeable benefit of giving up alcohol for a month.
3. You’ll lose weight more easily
Alcohol is surprisingly high in calories, and many people find that they lose weight effortlessly after giving up alcohol for a month without increasing their exercise levels or drastically changing their diet.
Any calories consumed through alcohol are known as ‘empty calories’ and have no nutritional value.
A pint of beer can contain almost 200 calories, while an alcopop can rack up as many as 350 calories. 
Drinking alcohol is also thought to reduce the amount of fat that your body can burn, potentially preventing you from losing significant amounts of weight even if you are eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
Taking a month-long break from alcohol can cause the amount of fat on your stomach and around major organs to decrease, leaving you much healthier than you were previously.
4. You’ll be less dehydrated
It’s easy to assume that consuming alcohol can keep you fully hydrated – after all, you’re drinking plenty of liquids throughout the evening!
However, one glass of an alcoholic drink can cause you to lose the equivalent of four glasses of water, increasing the chances of dehydration and the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects of this condition.
When you are dehydrated, you’ll likely feel extremely tired and lethargic. It can become increasingly difficult to concentrate on tasks and you may even become nauseous.
Headaches are a common complaint of people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis, and this is due to the body taking water from the brain in an attempt to replenish major organs.
Once you make the switch from alcohol to water, even for just one month, you’ll notice a huge difference in the way your body and brain function when you are fully hydrated. You’ll feel so good, you may even be tempted to extend your alcohol ban!
5. You’ll notice improvements in your mental health
It’s common for many people to unconsciously turn to alcohol in an effort to cope with the stresses and pressures of life or to relieve the symptoms of a mental health condition.
Removing this substance from your life, even temporarily, can force you to seek more effective treatment or help such as counselling and healthier lifestyle choices.
Have you ever woken up after a night of heavy drinking and experienced an intense feeling of anxiety? This is due to physical changes within the brain and body, as alcohol can cause an excessive amount of serotonin to be released resulting in a large come down the next day.
Long-term, drinking large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis is thought to be a factor in causing an anxiety disorder. 
If you are concerned about your mental health and have noticed yourself feeling more anxious and depressed, particularly after drinking, try giving up alcohol for a month and replacing this activity with something more healthy and productive.
6. Your skin will look healthier and clearer
Some of your skin issues may not be simply due to the natural ageing process – instead, they may be entirely preventable and caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
The good news is, these physical effects are usually reversible and can be greatly improved by giving up all forms of alcohol for a month.
If you’ve noticed broken capillaries, red patches and blotchy dull skin becoming more apparent over the years, it’s time to give your body a break from alcohol and let your body’s largest organ work on repairing itself. 
Dehydration caused by drinking alcohol can have noticeable effects on your skin, but taking a break from this substance can allow the body to restore elasticity and improve the tone and texture of your face.
7. Your liver health and function will improve
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over a long period of time can cause physical changes and damage to the liver, which is an essential organ used for breaking down toxins and filtering every drop of blood throughout your body.
This damage isn’t just seen in people with alcohol addiction – it can also happen if someone frequently binge drinks to excess. Thankfully, the liver is extremely adaptable and taking a month-long break from alcohol can allow this vital organ to recover and repair itself.
You may notice an improvement in any puffiness or yellowing of the skin and eyes after a few weeks of abstinence, signs that the liver is successfully reversing any prior damage.
Of course, it’s important to remember that the liver can easily become damaged again if you revert back to your former drinking habits after a month-long break.
The long-term liver benefits can only be obtained after abstaining from alcohol permanently or at the very least for a number of months or years.
8. You’ll have more energy
Due to the reasons listed above, you’ll likely find yourself with an abundance of energy after giving up alcohol for a month.
Your mind will be sharper and quicker after a few weeks of restful and rejuvenating sleep, you may have lost a little excess weight and many of the small, niggling problems such as headaches and fatigue that can often plague us for years may have improved or even vanished completely.
This increase in energy can make you feel more productive, and the extra time that you previously spent drinking can now be spent on your hobbies or working towards your future goals.
Many people find that their mood improves significantly and feelings of anxiety and depression may be reduced, as your hormones and natural chemicals will be more balanced as opposed to dramatically increasing or decreasing on a regular basis.
Although alcohol is a common part of life in many countries across the world, taking a break for a month or even giving this substance up for good can result in numerous benefits and allow you to work towards your fullest potential in every aspect of life.