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Alcohol and Health

Health Benefits of a 30-Day No Alcohol Challenge

Published:
April 17, 2023
·
10 min read
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Written by
Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
April 17, 2023
·
10 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
April 17, 2023
·
10 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
April 17, 2023
·
10 min read
Reframe App LogoReframe App Logo
Reframe Content Team
April 17, 2023
·
10 min read

Whether you’re just coming out of the long winter months in the Northern Hemisphere or finally getting through the hot summer Down Under, now is a great time to consider taking a pause on your drinking. Maybe you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, or maybe you just want to test the waters to see what not drinking for a month would feel like. Regardless, you’ve come to the right place because Reframe has just kicked off its Sober Spring Challenge! That’s 30 days without alcohol to improve our health.

While you may think, “30 days no alcohol? No way!” we’re going to encourage you that many thousands of other people across the world just like you have already taken the Dry January Challenge this year and demonstrated that yes, it is possible — it just requires learning the right tools and having a supportive community to keep you encouraged. In this blog post, we’re going to show you all the benefits of no alcohol for a month so you can decide whether it’s right for you. Now, what happens to your body when you go 30 days sober? 

We Improve Our Sleep

First and foremost, when we don’t drink, our sleep is going to improve. Although alcohol has a sedative effect that can put us to sleep, once we drift off, it wrecks our REM cycles so that we aren’t really resting. Plus, since alcohol is a diuretic, we’re having to get up throughout the night to use the bathroom more. Additionally, alcohol creates imbalances in key neurotransmitters — we artificially spike our “happy hormone” dopamine, and when our brain rebalances this level later in the night, we can wake up feeling anxious. When we quit drinking for 30 days, our brain has the chance it needs to recover from the alcohol we’ve put into our body. And this sets us up for success with sleep!

Diagram about how alcohol decreases sleep quality

We’re More Productive

When we’ve gotten a better night’s sleep, we’re more focused and ready for the day to come. Imagine waking up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated instead of hungover. No more waking up and worrying about what we said or did the previous night! By avoiding this “hangxiety,” we give ourselves the gift of a peaceful morning during which we can focus on all of our tasks ahead. We also feel less bloated and there isn’t any nausea or vertigo to distract us. We aren’t overly sensitive to light and sound and our head isn’t aching. Consider also the benefits of not smelling like alcohol because you’re still sweating it out in the morning! If you’ve been struggling to get things done, consider taking a month off from drinking so you can get through your to-do list with more clarity and energy. 

Our Bodies Get a Break

Drinking alcohol on a regular basis can have a great deal of negative impacts on our body. For example, less alcohol means improved liver function for filtering out toxins, less risk of fatty liver and cirrhosis, and lower risk of our enzymes being out of whack. Our digestive tract is able to more efficiently process the vital nutrients we need (which it can’t do when our body is prioritizing alcohol over everything else). 

Additionally, our immune system stays stronger because it isn’t distracted by alcohol (a toxin!), which means we don’t get sick as often. When we stop drinking, our heart rate isn’t being artificially elevated, our blood pressure is lower, and our heart muscle isn’t under additional stress and risk of damage. No alcohol means our skin isn’t dehydrated and it gets a chance to clear up and restore the natural glow we’re looking for. From head to toe, our body gets a well-deserved break — one of the best benefits of no alcohol!

We Reduce Our Cancer Risk

Alcohol is classified as a known carcinogen and is directly linked to several kinds of cancer, including mouth, throat, colon, liver, and breast cancer. When alcohol is metabolized, it is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde, which interferes with our DNA and our body’s ability to repair our cells. This can lead to cancerous growths developing over time without us realizing the damage we’re doing. By eliminating alcohol from our body in the short term, we do ourselves a big favor in the long run by reducing the amount of toxins in our system. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you’re living a healthier lifestyle by taking a break from drinking?

We Save Thousands of Calories

Alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories, and as a toxin, alcohol has no nutritional value. Therefore, our body prioritizes processing the alcohol first. The actual nutrients we’ve ingested end up being stored as fat instead of being properly digested and used as fuel. Imagine how quickly the calories add up if we even have just a couple of drinks per day! Over the course of a month, you could be saving tens of thousands of calories, which translates into pounds that you could lose. That’s not even taking into account the questionable food choices we often make when we’re drinking — we can start saving those calories, too! If you factor in an exercise plan, just think about the amazing progress you could make in a month. Losing weight is much easier when you quit alcohol.

Taking a break from drinking can also relieve your body from the bloating caused by alcohol. The process can be sped along by drinking plenty of water, although it can still take up to several weeks for the bloating to subside. 

Our Mental Health Gets a Boost

Because alcohol is a neurotoxin that artificially boosts our dopamine when we drink it, we can experience mental health changes when we drink on an ongoing basis. Instead of maintaining steady levels of mood-regulating neurotransmitters, alcohol throws our brain out of sync with the homeostasis — the balance — that it craves. 

One of the benefits of quitting drinking is that you’re going to gain a great mental boost because your brain has the chance to reset itself. And thanks to the amazing benefits of neuroplasticity, we’re able to actually start rewiring the neural connections linked to sensations such as stress. As we learn more about mindfulness techniques like meditation and breathwork exercises, we retrain our brain to see anxiety and depression in a different light, making us less likely to use alcohol to cope with these issues after we stop drinking for a month.

We Improve Our Relationships

Think about the strain alcohol is probably placing on your relationships with those you love, hang out with, and work with. If you’re ready for a relationship reset with family, friends, and colleagues, then taking a 30-day challenge may be the right step for you. Improving our relationships is one of the many positive effects of not drinking alcohol

When we’re drinking alcohol, we tend to be less stable overall, which can negatively impact the way we interact with the people around us. From fighting a hangover at work during the day to hiding alcohol from our family at home at night, alcohol doesn’t serve us well. Even if we’re drinking to deal with social anxiety, what we learn from taking a month off is how to be comfortable in our own skin, even though this feels awkward and difficult at first. Imagine being your true self without resorting to alcohol to “help” you relax. Even if you are not ready yet, you can learn how to control drinking without quitting. It’s possible, and the only way to find out how is by trying it. The good news is that you’re not alone in this!

Whether you’re just coming out of the long winter months in the Northern Hemisphere or finally getting through the hot summer Down Under, now is a great time to consider taking a pause on your drinking. Maybe you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, or maybe you just want to test the waters to see what not drinking for a month would feel like. Regardless, you’ve come to the right place because Reframe has just kicked off its Sober Spring Challenge! That’s 30 days without alcohol to improve our health.

While you may think, “30 days no alcohol? No way!” we’re going to encourage you that many thousands of other people across the world just like you have already taken the Dry January Challenge this year and demonstrated that yes, it is possible — it just requires learning the right tools and having a supportive community to keep you encouraged. In this blog post, we’re going to show you all the benefits of no alcohol for a month so you can decide whether it’s right for you. Now, what happens to your body when you go 30 days sober? 

We Improve Our Sleep

First and foremost, when we don’t drink, our sleep is going to improve. Although alcohol has a sedative effect that can put us to sleep, once we drift off, it wrecks our REM cycles so that we aren’t really resting. Plus, since alcohol is a diuretic, we’re having to get up throughout the night to use the bathroom more. Additionally, alcohol creates imbalances in key neurotransmitters — we artificially spike our “happy hormone” dopamine, and when our brain rebalances this level later in the night, we can wake up feeling anxious. When we quit drinking for 30 days, our brain has the chance it needs to recover from the alcohol we’ve put into our body. And this sets us up for success with sleep!

Diagram about how alcohol decreases sleep quality

We’re More Productive

When we’ve gotten a better night’s sleep, we’re more focused and ready for the day to come. Imagine waking up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated instead of hungover. No more waking up and worrying about what we said or did the previous night! By avoiding this “hangxiety,” we give ourselves the gift of a peaceful morning during which we can focus on all of our tasks ahead. We also feel less bloated and there isn’t any nausea or vertigo to distract us. We aren’t overly sensitive to light and sound and our head isn’t aching. Consider also the benefits of not smelling like alcohol because you’re still sweating it out in the morning! If you’ve been struggling to get things done, consider taking a month off from drinking so you can get through your to-do list with more clarity and energy. 

Our Bodies Get a Break

Drinking alcohol on a regular basis can have a great deal of negative impacts on our body. For example, less alcohol means improved liver function for filtering out toxins, less risk of fatty liver and cirrhosis, and lower risk of our enzymes being out of whack. Our digestive tract is able to more efficiently process the vital nutrients we need (which it can’t do when our body is prioritizing alcohol over everything else). 

Additionally, our immune system stays stronger because it isn’t distracted by alcohol (a toxin!), which means we don’t get sick as often. When we stop drinking, our heart rate isn’t being artificially elevated, our blood pressure is lower, and our heart muscle isn’t under additional stress and risk of damage. No alcohol means our skin isn’t dehydrated and it gets a chance to clear up and restore the natural glow we’re looking for. From head to toe, our body gets a well-deserved break — one of the best benefits of no alcohol!

We Reduce Our Cancer Risk

Alcohol is classified as a known carcinogen and is directly linked to several kinds of cancer, including mouth, throat, colon, liver, and breast cancer. When alcohol is metabolized, it is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde, which interferes with our DNA and our body’s ability to repair our cells. This can lead to cancerous growths developing over time without us realizing the damage we’re doing. By eliminating alcohol from our body in the short term, we do ourselves a big favor in the long run by reducing the amount of toxins in our system. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you’re living a healthier lifestyle by taking a break from drinking?

We Save Thousands of Calories

Alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories, and as a toxin, alcohol has no nutritional value. Therefore, our body prioritizes processing the alcohol first. The actual nutrients we’ve ingested end up being stored as fat instead of being properly digested and used as fuel. Imagine how quickly the calories add up if we even have just a couple of drinks per day! Over the course of a month, you could be saving tens of thousands of calories, which translates into pounds that you could lose. That’s not even taking into account the questionable food choices we often make when we’re drinking — we can start saving those calories, too! If you factor in an exercise plan, just think about the amazing progress you could make in a month. Losing weight is much easier when you quit alcohol.

Taking a break from drinking can also relieve your body from the bloating caused by alcohol. The process can be sped along by drinking plenty of water, although it can still take up to several weeks for the bloating to subside. 

Our Mental Health Gets a Boost

Because alcohol is a neurotoxin that artificially boosts our dopamine when we drink it, we can experience mental health changes when we drink on an ongoing basis. Instead of maintaining steady levels of mood-regulating neurotransmitters, alcohol throws our brain out of sync with the homeostasis — the balance — that it craves. 

One of the benefits of quitting drinking is that you’re going to gain a great mental boost because your brain has the chance to reset itself. And thanks to the amazing benefits of neuroplasticity, we’re able to actually start rewiring the neural connections linked to sensations such as stress. As we learn more about mindfulness techniques like meditation and breathwork exercises, we retrain our brain to see anxiety and depression in a different light, making us less likely to use alcohol to cope with these issues after we stop drinking for a month.

We Improve Our Relationships

Think about the strain alcohol is probably placing on your relationships with those you love, hang out with, and work with. If you’re ready for a relationship reset with family, friends, and colleagues, then taking a 30-day challenge may be the right step for you. Improving our relationships is one of the many positive effects of not drinking alcohol

When we’re drinking alcohol, we tend to be less stable overall, which can negatively impact the way we interact with the people around us. From fighting a hangover at work during the day to hiding alcohol from our family at home at night, alcohol doesn’t serve us well. Even if we’re drinking to deal with social anxiety, what we learn from taking a month off is how to be comfortable in our own skin, even though this feels awkward and difficult at first. Imagine being your true self without resorting to alcohol to “help” you relax. Even if you are not ready yet, you can learn how to control drinking without quitting. It’s possible, and the only way to find out how is by trying it. The good news is that you’re not alone in this!

How Reframe Can Help

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet hundreds of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol. 

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today! 

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