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  • Lauri Beekmann

Health is the main reason for participating in a Dry January – feeling more alert without alcohol

01.01.2024 - Over 40 percent of those who participated in Dry January reported doing so for health reasons. Many participants felt more alert during this alcohol-free month. Some also experienced better sleep. These results are from a survey conducted by the Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention (EHYT) and Kantar TNS Oy*.

Even a small amount of alcohol can impair sleep quality. Sleep becomes lighter and may be interrupted, affecting alertness. Alcohol increases the level of stress hormones and is therefore unsuitable for treating anxiety or insomnia.

“The positive changes from reducing or stopping alcohol use become noticeable during a Dry January. Sleep quality improves, the feeling of energy increases, and blood pressure may drop,” says Maaret Väkinen, a communication expert at EHYT.

Health has long been the most common reason for participating in Dry January, and its popularity appears to be increasing.

57 percent of Dry January participants continued into February 12 percent of alcohol-consuming citizens participated in Dry January in 2023. Remarkably, 57 percent continued into February. 13 percent reported drinking less alcohol afterwards than before.

The extension of Dry January into February has been queried for seven years. In five of those years, the majority reported continuing an alcohol-free lifestyle into February.

This year, more men than women participated in Dry January. It was particularly popular among those under 25.

“Dry January offers a good opportunity to reflect on one's alcohol consumption habits and their reasons. Everyone can participate in their own way, either by stopping alcohol use entirely or by reducing it,” says Väkinen.

The preventive substance abuse work network and EHYT coordinate the communication efforts for Dry January. The survey data was collected through phone interviews between February 6 and 18, 2023, representing the 18 to 79-year-old population. A total of 1,013 interviews were conducted.

Source: EPT-Verkosto

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