We’ve all been there—that horrific hangover that leaves you in the fetal position promising to never drink again. For most of us, that promise epitomizes hyperbole as we hop back off that wagon in a couple of days. But is there value in an extended time away from alcohol? Common sense tells us there is, but now science does as well. Let’s take a closer look at what a month away from alcohol can do for your health.

The first thing to know is that taking time off from alcohol does bring with it a number of health benefits. One of the most profound of which is the effect sobriety has on your sleep.  Whenever you have alcohol in your bloodstream the quality of your REM cycle is severely compromised. By taking time away from drinking you give your body time to maximize your REM sleep, and take advantage of that clarity by going through several sleep cycles.

Not only will taking a break from drinking help your sleep, it will also help your immune system! Alcohol is an immunosuppressant, which means it causes your immune system to be less effective when it’s in your system. That’s why if you ever feel a cold coming on, it’s always a good idea to take a few days off drinking. Taking a few weeks off of drinking will get your immune system back in tip top shape.

An extended time away from alcohol will also have some positive effects on your skin. Alcohol causes dehydration, which can take a serious toll on your complexion, especially during colder months. A few weeks of full hydration will do wonders for your skin. The changes can be slow so it might help to take a before and after picture of your face to compare.

We’re not advocating giving up drinking completely, but we do think it’s a good idea to let your body reset to baseline every few months by taking a break. There are clear health benefits, and that means you’ll be able to enjoy a nice cocktail all the more after your break is done.

Of course, if you are a regular drinking that takes a prolonged break from alcohol you need to remember that your tolerance is going to reset! We know it can be tempting to dive right back in, but unless you want another life-altering hangover you really will have to pace yourself.

Of course, if you made it to the Intelligent Drinking website the odds are good that you, in fact, did not pace yourself. For those rough mornings, it’s important to hydrate and keep a Primer packet handy. Visit www.intelligentdrinking.com to learn more.

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