After excessive drinking during the holidays many join “Dry January”, experiencing that not drinking for one month has lasting effects. Although a sober January was introduced in Finland in 1942, the movement experienced a new rejuvenation in England under the name “Dry January” in 2013. Dr. Richard de Visser from the University of Sussex has done research to see what the follow-up numbers are when people stay sober for the full month of January. He based his study on three self-completed online surveys: 2,821 were registering for Dry January; 1,715 in the first week of February; and 816 participants in August. The top results that people reported was more energy, they saved money, they had fun without getting drunk and they slept better.
Details of the study regarding Dry January
Dr. de Visser reported that 93% of participants had a sense of achievement and 88% saved money. The list goes on: 82% think more deeply about their drinking habit, 80% feel more in control of it. 76% had more insight about when and why they drink, 71% realised they don’t need a drink to enjoy themselves. 70% stated that their health generally has improved, and 71% slept better. 67% had more energy, 58% lost weight and 57% had better concentration. 54% realized they had better looking skin.
Comments about Dry January
Dr. Richard Piper, the CEO of Alcohol Change UK said: “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. The brilliant thing about Dry January is that it’s not really about January. Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialise. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about our drinking, and to avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to.”
Benefits of not drinking
He went on to say: “Many of us know about the health risks of alcohol – seven forms of cancer, liver disease, mental health problems – but we are often unaware that drinking less has more immediate benefits too. Sleeping better, feeling more energetic, saving money, better skin, losing weight … The list goes on. Dry January helps millions to experience those benefits and to make a longer-lasting change to drink more healthily.”
Dr. De Visser noted that not all people who register for Dry January manage to stay dry for an entire month. He stated: “Interestingly, these changes in alcohol consumption have also been seen in the participants who didn’t manage to stay alcohol-free for the whole month, although they are a bit smaller. This shows that there are real benefits to just trying to complete Dry January.”
The movement to stay sober for one entire month following the holidays (Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas) has been very successful. It saves people money, makes them feel better, more energetic and improves their sleep. People feel they have more control over their drinking pattern. People feel their health has improved and they can have fun without drinking alcohol. Some even lost weight and others stated they could concentrate better. Dr. de Visser noted that Dry January changed people’s drinking pattern more permanently. It was measurable even in August later that year.