Studies Show That Avoiding Alcohol For A Month Can Yield Major Benefits, Especially For Women

A dry month could make a world of difference, women are finding out.

Alcohol lines shelves.
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A dry month could make a world of difference, women are finding out.

As the New Year begins, many people are thinking about their new year’s resolutions and things they might want to change in the coming year to benefit their physical and mental health. One particularly great thing to try is to take a break from alcohol, researchers say. Women, in particular, are encouraged to try out a dry month and see what sort of physical and mental benefits they yield from the process, according to Today.

For some, it might be hard to imagine turning down a glass of wine while at a restaurant or celebration. However, if alcohol does play a pretty regular role in one’s life, taking a break from it can allow them to take a closer look at their relationship with it and to ensure they are not reliant on it. Giving up alcohol for one month might be a challenge, but it’s been one that women may be glad they embarked upon.

Sharon Wilsnack, an expert on drinking behavior in women and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the University of North Dakota, explained why it’s a prudent idea to take periodic breaks from alcohol.

“It’s a kind of self-diagnosis of how important alcohol really is to you. Can you go a week or can you go a month without any alcohol? And if you can’t, why not? What is it that’s driving your need for alcohol?”

Dr. James C. Garbutt, a psychiatry professor at the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina, emphasized that a woman doesn’t have to give up drinking forever. Instead, they could try out sobriety for a month or so and see how it affects them. They may find they want to avoid it for even longer.

“Sometimes, within four weeks people will say, ‘I’m sleeping better, and I feel less irritable and less anxious. I like this; maybe I’ll just keep this going for a while longer,” he said.

Dr. Garbutt recommended that if someone wants to try the sober month challenge, January would be a good month to do so. December, July, or other months in which they are holidays and other celebrations could prove to be more difficult.

It’s not just better sleep and more energy that could be gained from giving up alcohol. As The Inquisitrpreviously reported, there’s really no such thing as a ‘safe’ amount of alcohol. Avoiding drinking can prevent elevated levels of blood pressure.