You’ve probably heard about Dry January, but do you know about Sober October? It also encourages people to cut back on alcohol or stop drinking completely for 31 days, sometimes raising money for charity in the process. But aside from the good it can do for others, a month without booze is really good for our health and comes with all kinds of health benefits.
Here’s what experts say you can look forward to by doing Sober October:
- A better night’s sleep - Alcohol can have a negative impact on sleep and keep you from getting the quality rest you need. “Alcohol may have an initial sedative effect, but sustained drinking is a major disruptor for circadian rhythms,” explains registered functional medicine nutritionist Samantha Bloom. So you’ll likely snooze better without the cocktails.
- Healthier skin - According to Dr. Hasia Al Khubra, who specializes in skin, alcohol is believed to be the second biggest cause of skin aging after sun damage. She explains that alcohol increases inflammation and can make conditions like acne and rosacea worse, plus it can dehydrate you and leave you with dry, flaky skin, and fine lines and wrinkles will be more visible. But after a month of sobriety, your complexion will be clearer and more hydrated.
- More money - People are concerned about their finances as the cost of living goes up, so not buying booze for a month will help your budget as well as your health.
- A healthier gut - Anna Mapson, registered nutritional therapist, explains that excess alcohol can increase inflammation in the gut as well as damage the tissues in the intestines. Poor gut health can affect mental health and has been linked to changes in mood, anxiety and depression, but cutting out drinking for a month will improve gut health.
- A happier you - “Drinking alcohol reduces your serotonin production - a key neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy,” explains pharmacist Giulia Guerrini. “So taking part in Sober October can boost your energy, mental health and mood while also making your head feel less foggy.”