What Happens to Your Brain When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Occasionally indulging in drink or drinking in moderation is relatively safe, but abstaining from alcohol often has a number of health benefits, including the improved appearance of your skin and sleeping better at night. It can also improve cognitive abilities, mental health, and emotional stability. The baseline for moderation provided in the article is three drinks within 24 hours for women, but no more than seven drinks over the course of the week. For those who drink excessively, going without alcohol will have obvious results within the first 24 hours.

  • After a night of heavy drinking or drinking without also consuming water, it is likely that the person will exhibit withdrawal like symptoms as the alcohol stops affecting the brain. A person will likely be more irritable and anxious, with some people feeling depressed. It could also lead to food cravings. Physical discomfort is also likely, with headaches and nausea being well-known issues the day following excessive drinking, as well as dehydration.
  • A week after a person stops drinking, they will start to see numerous mental and emotional benefits. Perhaps the best improvement will be to sleep quality. Alcohol can help a person get to sleep, but it prevents the person from getting good sleep. Without alcohol, people sleep better, improving their physical, emotional, and mental health, as well as cognitive abilities. Depression and anxiety often become less severe since alcohol is a depressant that can exacerbate these problems.
  • A month after a person stops drinking alcohol, they will see overall health improvement as they will have gotten better sleep for several weeks, making them more productive and motivated. Many people opt to start doing things that either improve themselves through exercise or activities, or they focus on the areas of their lives that they have been neglecting.

Drinking in moderation or occasionally is largely fine. However, excessive drinking or drinking too often has numerous negative effects on every aspect of a person’s health. For more details on what changes to expect when a person eliminates alcohol for their life for a full month, check out What Happens to Your Brain When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

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