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Top six benefits of giving up alcohol

Woman holding a beer bottle

More people than ever are drinking too much alcohol. It is an increase fuelled by the COVID-19 era of uncertainty.

A recent study discovered that American adults, especially women, are drinking more during the worldwide pandemic. Consumption of alcohol increased by 14 percent from one year ago.

But the study also revealed that heavy drinking among women has surged by 41 percent. Heavy drinking is viewed as at least four alcoholic drinks for women within two hours and at least five for men.

This data came from the RAND Corporation nonprofit research organization and was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It carried out the research on 1,540 adults in the US aged between 30 and 60.

Director of the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) Dr George Koob was reported in the USA Today newspaper as saying that previous research had already revealed people are much more likely to drink more “during times of uncertainty and duress”.

But this always comes with a warning from experts such as Dr Koob. “Any increases in alcohol use during the pandemic could be a cause for concern. This is particularly if the increases stem from an attempt to cope with negative emotions associated with the crisis.”

Whatever the reason or justification, drinking too much and/or too often has definite proven long-term and short-term negative health consequences. This includes not only physical health but emotional and mental wellbeing too.

Here are six major benefits of giving up alcohol.

1. Better sleep

During sleep the body is busy repairing and restoring.

When alcohol is in the system the body is spending more time trying to rid itself of toxins. Stopping drinking gives the body a chance to do its job properly when asleep.

Many people think that alcohol actually makes them sleep better. It can certainly seem that way.

But it is in fact the opposite: a major disturbance to the body’s natural restorative process. This frequently means a feeling of tiredness and being unable to think clearly the day after drinking.

Lack of decent sleep is also linked to depression, stress and anxiety. So it often creates a vicious circle. 

2. Improved health

Regular proper sleep means our immune system is stronger. So we’re less likely to catch such as a virus – and if we do we can respond and recover better.

It also means we are less likely to have mishaps and accidents. Life in general will seem more in order – with, for instance, much more likelihood of eating healthy meals at regular times.

Alcohol is high in calories as well. For instance, a large glass of wine is nearly equivalent in calories to a donut.

Our body’s ability to burn fat is hindered by alcohol consumption. So quit drinking and the weight is more likely to fall off.

Additionally, too much alcohol negatively impacts on every organ in the body – including the heart, brain, pancreas and liver. Over time, it increases the risk of many life-threatening illnesses.

Alcohol also has a detrimental effect on the immune system. People who drink too much and too often will be more prone to illnesses and take longer to recover when they get ill.

3. More zest & productivity

Most people who drink too much will waste hours that add up to days and weeks every year. By quitting drinking you’ll be giving yourself more time to be productive and see the people you love as well as doing hobbies you enjoy.

Clarity of thought and better physical coordination will add an overall positive impact. All of this is a boost to emotional wellbeing too.

4. Better bank balance

Most people who quit drinking find they have more money. This is from the obvious fact that their money isn’t being spent on alcohol and any associated costs such as taxis home.

But it’s also from the fact that there will be less sick days and those other days when it’s just a struggle to get through the day. Productivity and decision-making is also improved.

Consequently, you’ll get much more done. That’s clearly a great benefit to your work life and earning potential.

5. More hours every day

Not only will there be less sick days and days of muddling through, there will be no mornings wasted in bed. There is also much more time compared to when there used to be those hours spent drinking.

This is an often overlooked major benefit of quitting drinking. But it’s one of the first things that people realize, even in their first week of not drinking.

6. Improved general wellbeing

Alcohol is a mood-altering substance. When people stop drinking they often notice their moods become less erratic, meaning they are calmer and more steady in life.

Many people notice that their emotional health is vastly improved. For example, this means they will be able to have much better healthy boundaries.

So the positive results for someone quitting alcohol can be excellent. This also benefits all the people who are close to them too.

Our expert team here at Tikvah Lake Recovery has many decades of experience in treating people with all types of problems. We carefully listen before offering treatments that are proven to work.

Every treatment we offer is completely personalized, so that it works the best for each of our guests. That is not only to gain the swiftest results – but also to ensure recovery is long-lasting and continues when you leave us.

Get in touch with us right now to speak in confidence. Discover how we can help you or someone you love.

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David Hurst

David Hurst has four books published on mental health recovery, including 12 Steps To 1 Hero, The Anxiety Conversation and Words To Change Your Life. He has written for national newspapers and magazines around the world for 30 years including The Guardian, Psychologies, GQ, Esquire, Marie Claire and The Times. He has been in successful continual recovery since January 2002.

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