Regardless of your feelings about the term "sober curious", the phenomenon is firmly established in the mainstream culture. We started the year, as we came to do, with many participants in the month of January sec – but this year the month of January has ended in February, from February to March, and the hashtag #sobercurious sevi. Bars have started offering menus of non-alcoholic cocktails and some have started offering only non-alcoholic libations.
Refraining from drinking alcohol, even intermittently, can have some interesting side effects: no hangover, late night lighted decision, heavier wallet. But as drink breaks have become less of a millennial trend and a more widespread experience, medical science is rushing to concretely support the pause button for alcohol.
Almost all of the 850 Britons who participated in a January Dry study in 2016 reported feeling a sense of accomplishment after the end of the month and 62% said they had better sleep, as reported NPR. Almost half lost weight. Similarly, another study in the same year asked a group to avoid alcohol for one month and another to continue drinking normally. By the end of the month, almost everyone in the sober group was losing weight, had better blood pressure and insulin sensitivity, and even had a healthier liver, Aaron White, Senior Science Advisor from the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, says NPR. Although the improvements have been minimal, a month is just a small step in the scale of life.
In the Netherlands, another study was done on people who normally drank about two drinks a day – not at all. But even in this case, the study found that participants' livers were less stressed after a month without a sauce. "The results of these studies are actually very surprising," White told NPR. We all know it's a bad idea to drink a lot every day or regularly, but this study is one of the first to show that the body can take a break, even moderately.
As boring as it may seem to admit that "sober curious" is actually a term that deserves to be explored – or even encompassed – it's everywhere now, and it turns out that it has beneficial effects on health . Someone has categorically written the book about it. And science supports the idea that even point abstinence is worth it for moderate drinkers, their liver, their heart, and their bodies in general. Not to mention the mental health benefits of jumping alcohol in favor of Seltz or something else.
Of course, this is worth ten times more for those who have an alcohol consumption disorder. If you think that you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol problems, you can use a lot of help. Or you can always try an AA meeting.
Want more stories like this?
Do we hide the "diet" behind "well-being"?
8 wellness trends that everyone will be talking about in 2019
Medical myths that you and your doctor probably believe