#nofilter: When you drink less, you feel and sleep better

Even cutting down slightly on your alcohol consumption yields positive results: your blood pressure declines, the quality of your sleep improves, your liver can rest and your mood gets a boost.

A small amount of alcohol is enough to weaken the quality of your night’s rest, as it leads to fitful and light sleep. Habitual drinking has many adverse effects on health. For instance, it raises your blood pressure and burdens your liver. Reducing alcohol use or not drinking at all gives your body the opportunity to rest and recover. As alcohol also affects the skin, your skin will look fresher after taking a break.

When you drink habitually, small amounts can easily add up. Alcohol contains plenty of calories. A small bottle of medium-strength beer has about 130 and a bottle of cider around 180. And when you’re having a glass of wine or a pint, you might find yourself reaching for snacks, too. When you cut down on your drinking, you often start losing weight and feel more energetic.

“Tipaton, our Dry January awareness campaign, is a good way to test your relationship to alcohol. If reducing your alcohol intake feels difficult, it’s the right time to think about why alcohol plays such an important role in your life,” says Antti Hytti, who heads up services for adults at EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention.

The AUDIT test and OttoMitta app (available only in Finnish) enable you to check your alcohol use. There are many ways to cut down on drinking. You can drink less per occasion, switch to a beverage with a lower alcohol content or choose a non-alcoholic option. Or you can take a break from drinking.

The theme of EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention’s Dry January awareness campaign (Tipaton) is habitual drinking: for instance, a glass of wine a day adds up to 52 bottles of wine a year. The campaign features, for instance, the vlog of the fictional Riitta, a 50-year-old woman. She shares her experiences of what it feels like to abstain from alcohol for a month and how it changes her daily life.

You can take part in the Dry January challenge on social media #aikapaljon #tipaton