While we all know that taking part in Dry January can help you lose weight and save money, did you know that it could better your sleep, too.
Drinking just one serving of alcohol can decrease your sleep quality that night by a staggering 24%.
So, to help, the sleep experts at MattressNextDay shared three positive impacts doing Dry January can have on your sleep and sex life:
You can sleep better, and for longer
A normal sleep cycle consists of four stages: three stages of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and, finally, one stage of REM (rapid eye movement). These cycles repeat in this order each night, and last around 90–120 minutes So, four to five cycles for eight hours of sleep.
But alcohol can suppress REM sleep in the first two cycles. This is because alcohol can act as a sedative, making you fall into a deeper sleep quickly. So, your sleep is out of order and imbalanced. You’ll have more slow-wave sleep and less REM sleep (which is the stage you are most likely to dream), decreasing your sleep quality.
Likewise, as alcohol affects your REM sleep and disrupts your sleep stages, you are more likely to experience insomnia.
It can make it more exciting to get going in the bedroom
Alcohol not only affects your sleep but also your libido. That’s because alcohol consumption can cause erectile dysfunction, meaning that you might not be able to get an erection. If you do manage to get one (after more work than normal), alcohol reduces the intensity of your orgasm, meaning it won’t be nearly as nice as if you were sober.
It will help improve your performance in the bedroom
We know that alcohol reduces blood to your penis. So, it means difficulties getting and then maintaining that erection, impacting your performance in the bedroom.
The same also goes for women. They may experience reduced lubrication and find it harder to reach orgasm, reducing the intensity and their performance overall.
6 Ways to maintain a successful Dry January
If you’re struggling to do Dry January, here are some tips to keep you motivated:
- List your goals. This is always essential when you are taking up a new challenge. What is it that you want to accomplish by the end of the month? Is it donations? Health benefits? Either way, writing them down means you are more likely to reach those goals.
- Exercise more. Exercising can improve your sleep quality and duration of sleep, while a healthy sleep-wake cycle ensures more strength and endurance when working out. So, why not use your new habit of not drinking as motivation to kickstart another habit – exercising? Even 30 minutes three days a week can help you sleep better.
- Drink lots of water to give yourself an energy boost. Keeping hydrated is proven to give you an energy boost, which can help you throughout your work week and lessen the chances of needing an alcoholic beverage after a hard day.
- Tell your friends and family that you’re doing Dry January. This will give you some accountability, and make you feel more comfortable in saying no to social events that revolve around alcohol. Or it could even inspire your friends to arrange more non-alcohol focused social plans, such as going for a coffee.
- Spend more time outdoors to boost your vitamin D intake. Just 10 minutes spent in the sun can boost your serotonin and stop you from feeling sad, which will lessen your chances of wanting a drink if that’s usually what you turn to when feeling down.
- Practise self-care. Many people turn to alcohol as their go-to way to destress or treat themselves, however, you should use this month to think about the other things that make you happy in life. Could you instead run yourself a bath, or perhaps make some exciting mocktails.