Alcohol free man walking his dog

It’s well publicised and relatively common knowledge what can happen TO your body when you drink, from severe dehydration and increased risks of certain diseases. But less is known about what happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol.

This may be because many feel their drinking is under-control and limited to the odd night out or glass of wine over dinner. But for some, alcohol cravings turn into alcohol addiction, and knowing some of the benefits to try and detox off alcohol or beginning a programme on a road to an alcohol-free life can really help beat cravings.

Here’s what happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol

You’ll get more sleep, and better sleep too

Excessive drinking has been shown to increase brain activity, making it more difficult to get to sleep and whilst you are in deep sleep, brain activity can remain at waking levels which is one of the reasons you can wake up feeling fatigued even after 8+ hours in bed.

You’ll lose weight but crave sugar, but blood-sugar levels return to normal

Alcohol is packed full of calories, especially beers, ciders and wine, so naturally, drinking less of these calories will result in the pounds dropping off. Another side effect of excess alcohol drinking though is you tend to eat more – more of the wrong types of food too. So even if you’re on the gin and tonics, calling those takeaways at 3 am will cancel-out any calorie-saving.

Your skin will clear and hair look healthier

Alcohol is severely dehydrating and forces water to exit the body, why we feel so hungover in the morning. The side effects of this dehydration though include dry-looking skin, rosy red cheeks and complexion, dandruff and even eczema. Less drinking, more hydration will result in these side effects starting to subside and your complexion improve.

Liver fat reduces

Research by the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health unearthed that not drinking alcohol for just 30 days reduced liver fat by 15%. Fat accumulation lead to liver damage and eventual disease, so the less the better!

Reduced risk of developing breast and mouth cancer

Just some of the cancers linked to excessive drinking include mouth, liver, breast, colon and rectal cancer. Drinking less alcohol also reduces the risks of your body developing these cancers. Around 3.5% of all cancer deaths in the UK in 2009 were attributed to over-drinking for a sustained period according to research by the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Your immune system will work better

Alcohol has been shown to cause stress to and over-exert the immune system, making it more likely that pneumonia and other respiratory disorders, in particular, can be developed, alongside more serious issues included post-op infection and sepsis too.

Read more: Why do people get addicted to alcohol?

Knowing when to get help

Alcohol cravings are real and alcoholism, as a result, is difficult to beat on your own. Experts and the right place to heal will really help set in-place a strategy to deal with cravings, beat them, and make really positive life changes.

Find out a little more abouthow we help people fighting alcoholism here.