Miley Cyrus has opened up about her relationship with alcohol, saying she has been “sober sober” for six months.
The 27-year-old told Variety: “It’s really hard because especially being young, there’s that stigma of ‘you’re no fun.’ It’s like, ‘Honey, you can call me a lot of things, but I know that I’m fun.’
“The thing that I love about it is waking up 100%, 100% of the time. I don’t want to wake up feeling groggy. I want to wake up feeling ready.”
So what can actually happen to your body if you forgo alcohol for six months? “Dependent upon our existing alcohol levels, the results can range from pleasing to life-saving,” says Cheryl Lythgoe, matron at Benenden Health…
Some changes can be fairly instantaneous, like the impact on your sleep. While a glass or two of wine might help you drift off, studies like this one show how alcohol might act like a sedative, but can lead to “subsequent disrupted, poor quality sleep later in the night”.
Alcohol is also a diuretic, so could be why you need to get up and go to the toilet more in the middle of the night, compared to when you haven’t been drinking.
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In the longer term, giving up booze could positively impact your stomach health.
“Alcohol can be an irritant on our stomach and gastrointestinal system, so we may find that any indigestion or digestion symptoms are rapidly improved if they don’t otherwise disappear completely,” explains Lythgoe.
Lythgoe also notes that cutting out alcohol could also help reduce “the weight that we carry around our tummies, which has a direct link to cardiovascular disease.”
And the benefits go way beyond just looking slimmer: “Our internal sugar control will also improve.
This means our risk of diabetes will reduce, or an improvement in existing diabetes can also occur.”
Alcohol is also dehydrating and sugary, meaning it can wreak havoc on your skin and even make you look older than you are.
Cutting out booze can help make your complexion look clearer, brighter and plumper – which is definitely less expensive than investing in a bunch of fancy skincare products.
Ditching booze can potentially benefit your mental health, although this can be hard to tangibly measure.
Lythgoe describes how your “thought processes, headaches, hydration and sleep patterns” will likely show “a well-deserved improvement, and that doesn’t even take into account the omission of the morning-after, negative, body-wide response commonly known as a hangover”.
Skip the booze, and you can help yourself avoid the anxiousness and poor mental health experienced when suffering from ‘hangxiety’.