For many years, conflicting papers on the health effects of alcohol on the human body have been published. Some claim that excessive consumption of alcohol can have deadly health consequences while others suggest that drinking alcohol in small controlled amounts may in fact have positive health benefits. But a global report that was published this year seems to oppose this assumption. The report claims that no amount of alcohol is safe.
The paper has awakened people to the “dangers” of this indulgence and there seems to be a frantic effort to try to cut down on booze. Some people are pledging to stop drinking altogether while others are engaging in long breaks from alcohol in order to detox their body. One campaign in particular called “Sober for October” is urging participants to stop drinking for at least 31 days. As it turns out, quitting alcohol even for a month can have noticeable positive impacts on your mind and body.
According to Fiona Sim, a former GP and medical adviser to Drinkaware, giving up alcohol for a month can lead to a reduction in high blood pressure as well as sleep improvement. She also notes that giving up booze for the one month could have positive effects on the liver but this will largely depend on just how much damage has been caused already. For heavy drinkers, these positive effects may not be entirely visible. In fact, they will be replaced by withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, nausea, and headaches. This may lead to a lapse in any effort to reduce alcohol intake.
Sim says that in the case of heavy drinking, an abrupt stop may not be a wise thing to do. Instead, she recommends a slow and gradual process that starts by first of all reducing the alcohol intake. There are some drinkers too who have experienced loss of sleep in the 31 days that they decided to give up booze. This is also part of the withdrawal symptoms. After all, alcohol can be used to induce a state of relaxation in the body which leads to sleep. Removing intake means that the body will probably need more time to readjust to its new state.
But the biggest benefits are perhaps on the mental health side. Alcohol is a depressant. While it feels good when you are drunk, in the long term you realize that you lack the mental capacity to deal with situations without the “bliss” of intoxication. Alcohol among people who drink it to reduce stress has been linked by a number of studies on self-harm and suicidal thoughts. It has also led to memory impairment. People rarely remember anything after a night of heavy drinking. Experts argue that this memory loss may become permanent over time. Other benefits of going sober may also include a better more radiant skin, a decreased risk of obesity, and less headaches. Besides, it can also be a great way to save some good money.