After all the parties in December, many people choose to abstain from alcohol in January. But is a white month really worth it?
The Finns were the first with the concept of a white month when they already introduced Raitis Tammikuu – sober January – in 1942. In Great Britain, the term “Dry January” was coined in 2014, and last year a full six and a half million Britons stated that they would abstain from alcohol in January. But the question is, is a white month really worth it?
Not good for everyone
A white month is generally considered healthy, but the fact is that for people who normally drink heavily, a sudden break can be harmful. Ian Hamilton, who lectures on mental health and addiction at the University of York, says it is inappropriate for people who are addicted to alcohol to stop drinking abruptly – this can result in side effects such as headaches and convulsions.
For people who usually drink moderately, however, a white month brings many benefits. According to the charity Alcohol Change UK, people who try a white month in January report the following:
- 7 out of 10 sleep better
- 86% say they save money
- Two-thirds experience a general improvement in health
- Many people experience a better ability to concentrate
A study conducted by researchers at University College London in 2018 where participants tried a white month also showed that participants’ insulin resistance improved after 30 days:
“We saw remarkable benefits from one month of abstinence in these otherwise healthy participants,” lead researcher Dr. Guatam Metha said of the study. “The changes in insulin resistance in particular were large, around 25%.”
Source: The Week