Is Dry January worth it? This study has the answer

For many, the Christmas period is a season for letting it all hang out.

Across London, businesses everywhere are throwing parties for their clients and customers.

There are free bars, champagne laden events, and in addition many of us will also be enjoying private festive parties with friends and family.

It’s no wonder that by the time New Year’s Eve has been and gone, some of us are feeling in need of a detox.

In recent years, a full month’s abstinence for January has gained currency. This is thanks in part to Alcohol Concern, whose Dry January campaign has seen thousands of people across the UK quit the booze for 31 days.

In the past it has been suggested that a drink-free month may have no long term benefits, as people may see it as a free-ticket to 11 months boozing to make up for it.

But a new study by the University of Sussex has found that there are genuine long term benefits to taking part in Dry January.

Researchers quizzed 900 participants who went sober for a month, and found that six months on, 72% had kept harmful drinking episodes down, and that 4% had continued abstaining.

Participants also reported that they were sleeping better, feeling more energetic and many said they had lost weight.

More than three-quarters said they had saved money and felt a sense of achievement, the BBC reports.

The University of Sussex senior lecturer in psychology Dr Richard De Visser, who led the research, said: “What’s really interesting to see is that these changes in alcohol consumption were also seen in the participants who didn’t complete the whole month alcohol-free.

“Even if participants took part but didn’t successfully complete the 31 days, it generally led to a significant decrease across all the measures of alcohol intake.”

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