3 Ways Not Drinking Boosts Your Health Over Time

Do you ever wake up on a Sunday morning after a week of after-work happy hours and alcoholic brunches and think that a year without drinking wouldn’t be such a horrible idea? If you want to forgo alcohol for a while — whether to save money, feel clearer-headed in the mornings, or for any of the other numerous reasons to stop drinking — you might expect some of the more obvious health benefits, such as better sleep.

However, the unexpected benefits of not drinking may encourage you to keep your bar tab closed for longer than Dry January.”Most of us are familiar with the health benefits of a period of sobriety,” addiction specialist Dr. Joseph Volpicelli M.D. tells Bustle. “For example, giving up alcohol is associated with improved sleep, mood, and even complexion, with less baggy eyes and puffy skin.” However, he claims that many of the long-term benefits of sobriety are less evident and may be underappreciated, although being just as crucial to our health and well-being.

According to experts, quitting smoking can minimize liver damage, improve insulin resistance and cancer risk, and boost mental health. The signs of those gains may not be visible in the mirror every day, but they are no less real. Here are seven things that happen after you stop drinking in the long run.A month of abstinence is enough to help your liver recover from some of the damage caused by alcohol. Dr. George Koob Ph.D., head of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), tells Bustle that a 2018 study published in Alcohol found that patients had lower levels of harmful liver enzymes after a month of sobriety than before the trial began.

A woman drinks water while enjoying the unexpected benefits of not drinking alcohol

“These weren’t toxic levels of elevated enzymes to begin with,” he says, “but they did return to the normal range.” “Given that these enzymes reflect oxidative stress to the liver, a month of sobriety could be beneficial.” Long-term oxidative stress has been shown to have a part in liver illness, which can reduce life expectancy and make it difficult for the body to discharge toxins, so even if you don’t see any difference, sobriety may be assisting your liver to thrive.According to research, after a taste of sobriety, you may feel unexpectedly more content with life.

A research of almost 40,000 people published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2019 discovered that persons who stopped drinking, particularly women, saw a significant improvement in their emotions of wellbeing up to two years later. They used the SF-12 scale to assess wellbeing, which contains questions about physical and mental health, such as social functioning, pain, and emotions. The mental health effects of sobriety are complex, but evidence suggests that you may reap the benefits years after you decide to go sober. Sobriety may have an unanticipated benefit in your bedroom.

A woman holds a green smoothie. Not drinking alcohol has the unexpected benefit of making you want t...

“As Shakespeare said, ‘alcohol provokes the desire, but it robs the performance,'” Dr. Volpicelli tells Bustle. “Many people believe that drinking increases sex drive and removes inhibitions, but alcohol can also impair sex performance and is a major cause of erectile dysfunction.” People who have opted to stop drinking may feel increased desire, improved performance, and other advantages in bed. A 2018 study of nearly 700 participants discovered that drinking was also connected with feelings of regret following sex, so you may feel more confident about your decisions in bed while sober.

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