Alcohol’s relaxing effects make it one of the most popular beverages around. Despite its temporary psychological benefits, alcohol consumption does pose several long-term health issues, be that wine with a meal or beer with friends at a local bar.
Some heavy drinkers do not get enough restorative sleep every day, while others may struggle with weight management, personal finance, and a host of medical conditions. If you must drink alcohol, you can lower your risk of developing serious health and lifestyle problems by keeping your intake within the recommended levels. There are many benefits to limiting alcohol consumption, including:
1. Get Better Sleep
Cutting back on drinking can boost the quality of your night’s rest and cognitive performance during your waking hours. It helps lower your risk of experiencing alcohol-related sleep disruptions like insomnia. For most heavy-drinkers, REM sleep is difficult to achieve due to trouble falling or staying asleep.
Not having sufficient REM sleep usually hinders memory optimization, impacting one’s thinking capacity in all aspects of their everyday living, such as work or school. Also, research shows that alcohol drinkers are 25 percent more likely to develop sleep apnea compared to nondrinkers. This condition affects sleep quality by disrupting breathing and causing loud snoring.
2. Lose Weight
If you are struggling with weight management, you will probably want to avoid alcohol as it can directly or indirectly cause you to pile on body fat. Your typical beer contains a lot of empty calories, meaning you are risking adding weight without gaining any nutritional benefit from it. You should also be aware of the high sugar content in alcohol as it can cause excess body fat.
When drunk, it is easy to deviate from a weight-loss diet and overeat unhealthy foods like candy bars, fries, or red meat. Following a strict fitness program, including regular exercise, can also be more difficult when drinking heavily. You might be less motivated to wake up for your workout if you had a few drinks the night before.
3. Mental Health
As alcohol depresses the central nervous system, a mental impact from heavy drinking is virtually certain. With its calming, sedative effects comes mood disruptions and other unpleasant psychological outcomes. For individuals with depression or anxiety, uncontrolled alcohol consumption can aggravate mental instability.
All these issues can negatively affect a drinker’s behavior and rational thinking. By gradually reducing the number of drinks you have over time, you can eventually experience remarkable mental health improvements.
4. Risk of Disease
Besides causing mental issues, heavy drinking puts individuals at a higher risk for developing serious diseases. Notably, the possibility of developing an aneurysm, as alcohol is one of the major aneurysm risk factors. With this medical condition, an artery wall becomes weak at a specific spot in the body and may swell and burst in severe cases. You may not even know you have an aneurysm as the condition usually has no symptoms before the rupture occurs.
Once the affected artery wall bursts, issues like nausea, seizures, and headaches usually come up. It is referred to as a cerebral aneurysm if it occurs in the brain. While the health condition has many potential causes, drinking less alcohol is one way to protect yourself.
5. Better Skin
Alcohol consumption can erode some of the gains you make with your skincare routine. It can cause dehydration and deprive your skin of the moisture it needs to feel and look smooth. You may not notice the effects immediately, but if your skin starts to feel tight and look rough, it may be time you tapered down your intake. Make a habit of drinking less alcohol and more water to stay hydrated. Hydrating and moderating your alcohol use can help keep your skin moist and clear unsightly acne on the face.
6. Save Money
Consider this financial benefit a bonus for cutting back on booze. You can save a decent amount of money if you usually spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on liquor. Potential drinking-related savings include:
- Cost of the beverages as you will not be spending a lot on cocktails or your favorite wine bottle every weekend
- Reducing or avoiding social drinking lets you cut costs for buying other people drinks
- You can save on cab costs with fewer trips to bars
Consider investing the savings in healthier hobbies like eating out with your family. Also, you could build a rainy day fund or save for a home-improvement project.
Drinking in Moderation
It’s best to moderate your drinking if you aren’t able to cut out alcoholic beverages altogether. After years of unhealthy alcohol consumption, many people discover that cutting back on the habit is a major way to avoid serious health issues. Turning down a beer from time to time can help improve your sleep quality, mental and physical health, or even bank balance.