Sober for October?
The wonders of giving up alcohol this October, as well as contributing towards a fantastic cause, there are also a number of health and lifestyle benefits attributed to ditching the booze for a month.
Sober for October, a Macmillan led campaign encourages us to go without alcohol for the entire month. ‘Soberheroes’ can raise money for people living with cancer by signing up to the challenge, with all proceeds going towards the fight against cancer. Alcohol contains no health benefits at all – so giving it up in any capacity will see your skin, immune system, weight, mental health and general wellbeing improve. But for some, October provides the perfect time to give it a break should you not be able to ditch it all together. Below is a list of the benefits attributed to taking part in this year’s campaign.
Studies have shown that alcohol impacts your sleep and that drinking before bed increases your alpha wave patterns making you get less shut-eye and therefore, meaning you will start your day on the back foot. Not drinking alcohol will give your body that time to rest up and will leave you feeling more refreshed. Sipping on a few beers or glasses of wine might make you feel like you’re ready for bed, but the reality is – we sleep far worse having consumed alcohol. As the alcohol starts to wear off, your body can come out of deep sleep and back into REM sleep, which is much easier to wake from. That’s why you often wake up after just a few hours’ sleep when you’ve been drinking.
Better sleep means better productivity. A night of alcohol will not only affect your night’s sleep, it will also impact on the entire next day – especially at the weekends – where we would prefer to lay on the sofa in a vegetated state due to the fact alcohol makes us more tired. Without the booze, your body is given more energy as you feel fresher. This gives you the perfect opportunity to get tasks done that often linger over you. You will then be able to relax and feel more satisfied with the work you have completed.
Work will benefit
Giving up alcohol for October should also benefit your job performance. Alcohol affects your concentration and focus, which will never be a positive thing when it comes to your work. Not drinking alcohol leaves you with a clearer, purer mind – ready to attack the day.
Alcohol dehydrates the skin and lowers your body’s antioxidant defences – leaving it far more prone to spots. Ditching the drink will give your skin plenty of time to replenish and hydrate itself to give you that glowing feeling. This is often one of the biggest benefits that arise having given up alcohol!
The feeling of an alcohol-free night will not only leave you feeling fresh, but it will also see you spend less on average.
Alcohol is absolutely riddled with calories. The average Long Island iced tea can pack up to 800 calories per drink and will be harmful to you in your weight loss goals. Studies have shown that you can lose a pound a week by giving up the booze. You will also see improvements to your blood pressure and heart health.
Reduce your risk of a stroke
Alcohol raises your blood pressure and can cause irregular heartbeats as well as nerve damage. By removing alcohol you will find that your body will be getting some much needed respite and recovery reducing the risk of a stroke.
Good luck to everyone taking part in Sober for October!
Credit: Expert comments from Geeta Sidhu-Robb, founder of Nosh Detox