Alcohol intake has increased dramatically amongst the over 55s in recent years. With more of us drinking regularly at home and because of that we’re probably not getting the required hours or quality of sleep that is so important, not just for our age group but for everyone.
Have you ever thought about cutting down on drinking or perhaps even stopping completely?
This article is not recommending you cut down or even stop drinking because that’s your choice and as we’ve been told drinking one or two glasses of wine once or twice a week has some health benefits, especially for the over 40’s as it reduces risk of cardiovascular disease.
What this article hopes to do is to remind us of the effects that alcohol has on our bodies but also how quickly those effects can be reversed by cutting down or indeed stopping consumption all together.
Here’s What Happens in as Little as 30 Days
Reduced risk of cancer and cirrhosis of the liver
Drinking alcohol has been linked to increased risk of many cancers including liver, colon, brest, neck, oesophagus and bowel. Cirrhosis of the liver is a scarring of the liver and takes many years of alcohol consumption to happen and you may not notice because early symptoms do not normally appear.
After about four weeks of not drinking, liver fat reduces up to 15 per cent, increasing its ability to flush out toxins. Mild liver disease, like fatty liver can be reversed completely if a person stops drinking alcohol altogether. When there is no alcohol in your blood for several months, the liver cells can return to normal.
Better quality of sleep
Many people think that a night cap will help them get to sleep easier and they may be right in their thinking but it also leads to poor quality sleep by waking you up to either go to the bathroom or with reflux.
Even just a couple of drinks will affect the quality of your sleep.
By consuming more than 14 units a week you may find you wake up the next day feeling like you haven’t had any sleep at all. The long term cumulative affects can be and very unpleasant, especially in later life such as dementia and depression.
If your are consuming alcohol in the evening, try to avoid it close to bed time and give yourself time to process the alcohol. It can take about an hour to process one unit of alcohol.
Better memory and clarity of thought
After consuming too much drink you most likely wake up feeling sluggish and tired and that feeling can last most of the day. In as little as a few days abstaining from drink or at least cutting down you will notice you brain is a little bit sharper and you’ll feel like you could do well on Mastermind.
Most alcohol contains lots of calories and according to Drink Aware just one (medium) 175ml glass of wine will add 160 calories to your daily intake and one (large) 250ml glass will add as much as 228 calories – that’s more than a jam doughnut!
Cutting down on the calories has all kind of benefits especially empty calories.
Improved skin appearance
Alcohol dehydrates our bodies, including the skin – this happens every time we drink.
Drinking alcohol can also cause our faces to look bloated and puffy. We might find that it bloats our stomach too. This is caused by the dehydrating effects of alcohol which leads to more wrinkles and can make you look 10 years older.
The good news is after 5 – 7 days your skin will start to look better due to better hydration (especially if you drink more water) and better quality sleep.
More energy and vitality
Because you will be sleeping better and feeling better, you will probably now be making better lifestyle choices such as drinking more water, choosing healthier food and possibly going for more walks and even thinking about starting to exercise more.
You may also like to read: The Amazing Benefits of Exercising for Just 5 Minutes a day