Life

Surprising things I learned when I gave up drink for a month

Doing Dry January? Here are six things Katie Wright discovered when she quit drinking for a month...

Going dry for a month – any month – has benefits, though the joys of soft drinks isn't one of them
Going dry for a month – any month – has benefits, though the joys of soft drinks isn't one of them Going dry for a month – any month – has benefits, though the joys of soft drinks isn't one of them
  • I slept better:

My first booze-free night was a Friday and I awoke the next morning astonished to find I'd had a full eight hours of sleep – this almost never happens. Sadly, my improved sleep didn't last but I found I did get more sleep throughout the month overall, because when I was sober, I didn't spend as much time procrastinating, making snacks and trying to drink water before I went to bed.

  • Soft drinks are boring:

Until I gave up my beloved sauvignon blanc, I'd never noticed the way wine is moreish, whereas soft drinks aren't, because once you've quenched your thirst, you don't really want any more.

Katie Wright at an all you can eat/drink brunch that made her want to give up alcohol for a month
Katie Wright at an all you can eat/drink brunch that made her want to give up alcohol for a month Katie Wright at an all you can eat/drink brunch that made her want to give up alcohol for a month
  • Sober dating is better:

I was worried dates would be difficult without a bit of 'Dutch courage', but on the contrary, being sober made it easier to figure out if I actually liked someone.

  • Not having a hangover is great:

As someone who suffers horrendous hangovers, going sober meant I didn't waste entire days in bed, so I got more done, nor did I have a cloud of 'hangxiety' hovering over me. Don't underestimate how going dry for a month – any month – could improve your mental health.

  • It's made me drink less now:

Forcing myself to give up booze for 31 days has made me realise that even when I only have one or two glasses of wine, it negatively affects my sleep and my mood, so I'm now more likely to stick to non-alcoholic drinks if, say, I'm going out for dinner during the week.