The pounding head. The nausea and queasy stomach. The seemingly unquenchable thirst.
The feeling of dread when you check your IG story and text history. The embarrassment when you see the cold, hard evidence of your misbehavior, out there on social media for the world to laugh at. Sound familiar?
Although the physical aftereffects of too many craft beers or glasses of Shiraz will subside in time, the feelings of shame and guilt may stick around a bit longer. Maybe it’s time you hung up your beer goggles for good?
If you’re considering becoming a teetotaler, it’s important to understand what happens when you stop drinking. Read on to find out!
Your Head Will Be Clearer
Drinking impairs judgment — as those ill-advised texts can attest. And we’re not just talking in the short term, either. Excessive alcohol use can lead to neurological issues such as diminished critical thinking and forgetfulness.
Once you stop drinking for good, however, the structural brain damage you’ve incurred will begin to reverse itself. After several months of sobriety, you’ll likely find you’re more clearheaded, can remember things better, and are more able to pay attention.
You’ll Have Better Quality of Sleep
Think you always sleep great after a night out on the town? Think again. When you drink heavily, you’re not falling asleep so much as you’re passing out. In fact, alcohol has a profound and negative effect on sleep quality.
Prolonged alcohol abuse can alter your body’s ability to produce melatonin. That’s the hormone in charge of your internal clock. The result is chronic insomnia, which can take a serious toll on your everyday ability to function.
You Might Lose Weight
Alcoholic drinks are high in calories, and they’re empty calories to boot. A bottle of beer has approximately 150 calories. A glass of Chardonnay clocks in at about 130, and a martini is 300 calories.
It’s not just the number of calories in the alcohol you need to worry about, either. When you’re intoxicated, you’re more likely to consume fatty, salty, or sweet foods.
You’re much less likely to practice portion control, too. So what happens when you stop drinking is you’ll no longer be scarfing down those late night burgers and pizza, or trying to tame your hangover with a greasy breakfast.
Just make sure to limit your intake of sweets. Both alcohol and sugar boost dopamine levels, so when you quit drinking, you may find yourself craving cake, cookies, or candy bars.
You’ll Save Money
The cost of tying one on is high, not only in terms of your health but also quite literally. Even if you do your drinking at home, and opt for bargain-bin booze, you’re still going to spend a fair amount of money.
When your inhibitions are lowered, you’re also more likely to make impulse purchases. Whether you decide to buy a round for everyone in the bar, or you’re drunkenly bidding on eBay auctions, this habit can get costly quick.
Your Overall Health Will Improve
Alcohol abuse is linked to increased risk for cancers of the mouth, liver, colon, and rectum. It can raise your cholesterol levels, make you more prone to developing diabetes and weaken your immune system.
In fact, heavy drinking is the fourth-highest cause of preventable death in the United States.
Now That You Know What Happens When You Stop Drinking
If you’ve been debating whether or not to hop on the wagon, these examples of what happens when you stop drinking may have just given you the extra push you needed.
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