You may have been experiencing a lot of headaches, nausea, dizziness, a dry mouth, depression or anxiety, or you may have just been feeling tired of the hangovers. These are all typical signs of a hangover, which is caused by consuming too much alcohol. However, whether or not you have a hangover, the presence of alcohol in your body does harm you over time.
While looking at options to deal with the hangovers, you may have decided that you want to cut back on alcohol. Or you may just be sober-curious and want to see what going 7 days alcohol free feels like! . Fortunately, we are in 2022, which means we now have delightfully robust alcohol-free spirits that deliver the same drinking experience without the nasty hangover. Oh, and there is a slew of additional short- and long-term health advantages of abstaining from alcohol!
Whether you’re trying to quit drinking altogether, are curious about what it feels like to not drink every night, or just want a mini “detox” from alcohol, it might help to know what it’s like.
Read on to know the full benefits of going 7 days alcohol free!
Short-term benefits of going alcohol-free
It might be surprising to see the benefits of quitting alcohol so soon, but you can experience some of these feelings as soon as one day into your alcohol-free week! These are some of the most prominent short-term benefits of going alcohol-free.
Contrary to what people think, alcohol does not make you sleep better! You feel like you’ve slept better because you fall asleep faster, but alcohol suppresses periods of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep that are necessary. On average, adults need about 6 to 7 REM cycles per night to wake up feeling rested. After drinking, you might only get 2 or 3. That’s why you might be feeling groggy, irritated, or even weak when you wake up!
Following a better, more restful night’s sleep, you’re certain to feel more energetic through the day. You’ll also be much less irritable and could perhaps wake up feeling much stronger and refreshed than you’re used to. For some people, this effect is almost instant and can be felt within the first couple of days. However, depending on your previous drinking habits, you may not experience this until much later, or depending on your sleeping habits, you may not experience this at all!
Better memory function
Sleeplessness or a lack of restful sleep is the main reason you become forgetful or can’t seem to recall the information you need when you need it, even though you remembered it just fine a minute ago. Going alcohol-free, you’re likely to be more focused since you’re well-rested and have more energy. So, you’re also more likely to remember and recall things better when you need to!
Reduced anxiety and improved mental health
Alcohol causes an imbalance of the chemicals in our brains, and that may lead to severe anxiety for some, inexplicable depression for others, and a host of other mental health issues. Going even 7 days alcohol free can help reduce your anxiety and depression levels and help your brain chemicals come back in balance. It leads to an overall improvement in brain function and mental health, even if you haven’t experienced issues before.
Weight loss and healthier skin
Alcohol consumption often makes us crave unhealthy foods, which invariably leads to weight gain and skin problems like acne. Drinking can also be severely dehydrating, especially if you’re a heavy drinker. You tend to urinate more frequently and drink a lot less water, too. Going alcohol-free for a week can help regulate hydration and reduce unhealthy food cravings. Both these things will show as your skin starts looking healthier and you stop gaining weight!
Long-term benefits of quitting alcohol
Along with the short-term benefits mentioned above, you can experience several benefits if you choose to give it up for a longer period or quit altogether! Even reducing your alcohol intake over extended periods can bring numerous benefits. Some of the most common long-term benefits of going alcohol-free are as follows.
Lowered risk of alcohol-based diseases
You will be less likely to develop diseases that are linked to alcohol consumption, such as:
- Liver cirrhosis
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Sexual dysfunction
You will experience several other benefits such as better athletic performance, better interpersonal relationships, being able to save money (or spend it on other things!), and being able to enjoy social gatherings for much more than just the drinks!
What about withdrawal?
It’s common to think of this when planning to go 7 days alcohol free, and even more so if you’re planning to give it up altogether!
So, will you experience withdrawal symptoms? Yes. Will they be severe? That depends on your drinking habits as well as how you cope with quitting.
For example, if you’ve been a light drinker, you may not feel a thing even if you do experience withdrawal symptoms as they’ll be very mild. But if you’ve been a heavy drinker or have been drinking for a long time, you are likely to experience symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, shaking, withdrawal headaches, and even sleeplessness more severely.
If you’ve been a heavy or long-term drinker, it’s best to consult a physician and understand how to reduce alcohol intake rather than quitting it all at once.
How to deal with withdrawal?
For severe withdrawal symptoms, talk to a doctor! But for others, especially the light drinkers or who have only been drinking for a few years, there are a few things you can do to feel better.
This is the best way to combat nausea, lethargy, and even headaches. Eat nutritious foods rather than reaching for junk.
Switch to mocktails
Continue to socialize and party, but avoid the liquor. Try switching to mocktails (or alcohol-free cocktails!), and you’ll quickly realize how the main portion of partying is about social drinking and having something in your hand – alcohol or not!
While you can still stick your morning cuppa, it might be best to avoid caffeine in the evenings. It can help you feel less restless and sleep better!
Going 7 days alcohol free has several benefits such as better sleep, better memory function, more energy, better mental health, and much more. The best way to maintain your streak of alcohol-free days is to eat healthier, avoid caffeine, and switch to alcohol-free spirits and cocktails for those days when you crave a drink.