Even a Week Of Sobriety in Sober October Has Health Benefits!

You may have heard of Sober January when after the holidays, people eschew alcohol, fattening foods and head for the gym to get in shape.  But did you know that there is also a Sober October that was started in the U.K. in 2014 as a campaign to raise money for cancer? Since then Sober January has become a worldwide event, with or without raising money for a cause.

Although October is half- way over, you still can reap the benefits within just one week.  This is not an ad endorsing miraculous benefits, but research from Harvard that confirms that after three to seven days, most drinkers will notice that their skin conditions like rosacea, dandruff or eczema improve.

By not using alcohol for two weeks, you can expect the following:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer alcohol-related symptoms like headaches
  • Less heartburn, indigestion, stomach upsets
  • Less fatty build-up around the liver
  • Improvement of existing conditions such as rosacea, depression, and high blood pressure

Healthline.com touts the benefits of not using alcohol for thirty-one days, resulting in:

  • More Energy
  • Better Sleep
  • Improved Concentration
  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Lower risk for Cancer
  • More Control over your Emotions
  • Increased Ability to Fight Off Illness
  • Less Irritability and Anxiety

Sober October can make you more aware of your drinking patterns and how you can avoid situations when alcohol is present.  Tempting as drinking booze is, to stay on course for sober October, try these tips:

  • Some people do the Sober Challenge as part of a fundraising event.
  • Think of the money you’ll save by not drinking
  • When asked if you want a drink, say, “no thanks!” I’m sober for October!” Bring your own beverage so you won’t be tempted.
  • Keep a sobriety diary.
  • Partner with a non-drinking buddy for the month.
  • Try cooking and eating at home.
  • Think of the health benefits: how much better you will feel and look.
  • If you used to go out after work for drinks, consider going to the gym or taking up a hobby that will keep your hands and mind occupied like knitting.

What About the Mocktails?

Mocktails have become popular either ready-made or concocted by you.  Use your left over summer-to-fall garden vegetables to make a Virgin Bloody Mary or a Mint Mojito, for example.

What about the non-alcoholic beers like Heineken and ABV beer?  According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau (TB), a pint of 1% of ABV beer contains just over a half a unit of alcohol which is why 0.05% ABV drinks can be labelled as alcohol-free.  However, if you drink a lot of those beers, you are consuming many carbohydrates.

The recommended Sober Challenge guidelines for moderate drinking are one drink per day for women and two drinks for men. Alcohol affects men and women differently.  More recent research cautions against any alcohol use.

Heavy drinkers should not detox from alcohol for Sober October by themselves.  Withdrawing without supervision for them is dangerous and can result in possible seizures, sweating, vomiting, shaking, nausea, anxiety and disorientation.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting. Currently, she is targeting her writing about recovery to parents whose children have substance abuse disorders.

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