It’s officially January, and for many people that means one thing: laying off the juice. Dry January has never been more popular, with an estimated three million UK residents giving it a try last year. And word on the (science) street is that taking part in Dry Jan can actually have an unexpected health benefit for our bodies.
A study led by The University of Sussex has revealed that those who do Dry January tend to drink less for months after, meaning they experience a longer-term health benefit well beyond the first month of the year. In fact, those who chose not to drink for the whole month of January in 2018 were still drinking less than normal eight months later.
The study monitored the drinking habits of over 800 people who took part in Dry January last year, and found that the benefits of doing so were long term and continued on into the rest of the year.
‘The simple act of taking a month off alcohol helps people drink less in the long term: by August people are reporting one extra dry day per week,’ explained Sussex psychologist Dr Richard de Visser, who led the study.
‘There are also considerable immediate benefits: nine in ten people save money, seven in ten sleep better and three in five lose weight.’
Indeed, on average, by August most participants were drinking 3.3 days per week rather than their usual 4.3, and units consumed per drinking day dropped on average from 8.6 to 7.1.
In addition, participants also found a number of other benefits. For example, 88 per cent saved money, while 71 per cent slept better and 54 per cent had better skin.
‘Put simply, Dry January can change lives. We hear every day from people who took charge of their drinking using Dry January, and who feel healthier and happier as a result,’ concluded Dr Visser.