For seasoned drinkers, understanding where your limit lies is a critical piece of the party puzzle. While drinking provides many with the chance to socialize with friends and loosen up after a long week, unregulated and excessive drinking habits can cause a slew of health complications—like a weakened immune system and hazy, forgotten nights. Though some may resort to quitting alcohol cold turkey after one too many hangovers, there are other less extreme options for cocktail lovers looking for a refresh button.
Although taking a break from alcohol may seem like more work than it’s worth, allowing your body to detox and reset its tolerance will enable you to continue drinking casually long-term. A short one-to-two-week booze break will work wonders on your overall health and allow you to enjoy future nights out guilt-free. However, if your consumption habits have reached a destructive point, it may be time to seek a medically supervised alcohol detox. Should you find your drinking habits spiraling out of control, trade that after-work cocktail for a self-reflection session. Eventually, with the help of trained medical professionals, you’ll be back on the horse and leading an addiction-free lifestyle.
If you’re curious about the mental and physical benefits of short-term alcohol breaks, read on for eight reasons you should consider taking a drinking hiatus.
If you’ve noticed your sleeping habits going down the drain, it may be worth investigating your drinking habits. Though alcohol helps many people relax and wind down, it doesn’t improve your sleep. In fact, in many cases, it hinders it. A long night of drinking can wreak havoc on your REM cycle, a critical aspect of deep, restorative sleep. Luckily, a short break—think seven to ten days—can reset your cycle, leaving you well-rested and ready to re-enter your favorite bar.
An excellent health benefit of taking short booze breaks now and again is improved weight regulation. Over drinking can cause weight gain and consistent bloating, which can be uncomfortable and detrimental to your long-term health. By stepping back from alcohol, you can regain control of your weight and health, introducing it back into your routine after a much-needed detox.
Another reason to consider cutting back on the cocktails is clearer, healthier skin. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol causes your body to drain water faster, ultimately drying out your skin and increasing breakouts. Luckily, a simple detox can rehydrate your skin, especially when paired with water intake.
Although alcohol is an upper, unhealthy consumption can lead to mood swings, temper flare-ups, depressive episodes, and overall emotional dysregulation. Stepping back from consistent drinking can help you to take control of your mental health, improving your daily moods and overall cognitive health.
Give your liver a break
One of the most significant health benefits of alcohol cut-backs is allowing your liver to recoup and heal from any potential damage. Although casual drinking is nothing to be ashamed of, consistent consumption can take a toll on your liver function over time. That said, drinking responsibly, taking necessary alcohol breaks, and living a healthy lifestyle will keep your liver—and the rest of your vital organs—in tip-top shape.
Improved gut health
Your gut plays a large part in your overall mental and physical health, which is why it’s crucial to keep your stomach happy. Unfortunately, excessive drinking habits can negatively impact your digestive tract and its ability to process, store, and pass food and liquids. Taking a short consumption break allows your gut to restore itself to total health and take on any future alcohol intake with ease.
Though it may be easier said than done, cutting back on the amount you drink or taking a short hiatus allows your body to detox and refresh, ultimately enabling you to continue casual drinking in the future.