There are lots of occasions where it may seem totally natural to have a glass of something alcoholic in your hand – whether it’s an evening out, a party, or even just enjoying a glass or two to relax and unwind at the end of a busy day.
So many social situations can include drinking, so it can be easy to overlook the negative impact it could be having on your physical and mental health. While totally cutting out drinking isn’t necessarily a choice everyone wants to make, there are certainly many compelling reasons why simply reducing your intake could make a big difference.
Here we’ve put together just five of the key benefits which you could see from cutting down how much you drink:
- Sleeping soundly:
To get a great night of restful sleep can be the difference between a good day and a great day. Drinking can disrupt our normal sleep patterns – for example, did you know that having more than six units in one evening reduces how much time we spend in the important restorative stage of sleep (known as REM) that night? So, making a change could help with those priceless minutes of rest.
- Physical health improves:
If you’re looking for ways to keep feeling your strongest, alcohol has a detrimental impact on your immune system, meaning you’re more likely to become poorly if you come into contact with a virus in the 24 hours after drinking – and excessive drinking over a long time can damage your body’s ability to heal itself.
- Feeling mentally refreshed:
Drinking less can not only have a refreshing impact the following day, without having to battle the dreaded hangover symptoms, but given the proven links between alcohol and depression, making a positive change can have a profound impact on your mental health.
The chemistry of your brain is altered when you drink, which is why we see a higher rate of depression among those who drink excessively (and the reverse is true, those with an alcohol dependency are more likely to be depressed).
- Helping your financial health:
We’d all like little lower supermarket bill, or spending less on a night out and the average cost of a pint in the UK has risen to £3.69 while a small glass of wine costs £4.25 on average. So, if taking care of your financial health is something you’ve been worrying about, then it’s worth counting up the costs of a trip to the pub! Opting for a soft drink every other round, or staying sober and driving rather than using a taxi, can help reduce the toll on your bank balance.
- Fewer future risks:
Thinking long-term, the effects of cutting back over time include lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and less chance of developing stroke, hypertension, cancer or liver disease. So, taking the decision to reduce your intake will be beneficial both now and in the future.
If you’d like support to reduce how much you drink, organisations like Drinkaware are there to help you. Paycare Policyholders can also access confidential telephone support, or book a telephone/video appointment with a practising NHS doctor via MyPocketGP 🧡😊