The most immediate effects of cutting down include:
- feeling better in the mornings
- being less tired during the day
- your skin may start to look better
- you’ll start to feel fitter
- you may stop gaining weight.
Other health considerations include:
Long-term heavy drinking can lead to your heart becoming enlarged. This is a serious condition that can’t be completely reversed, but stopping drinking is an important part of preventing it getting worse.
Regular drinking can affect your immune system. Heavy drinkers tend to catch more infectious diseases.
Drinking can affect your sleep. Although it can help some people fall asleep quickly, it can disrupt your sleep patterns and stop you from sleeping deeply. So cutting down on alcohol should help you feel more rested when you wake up.
Drinking can affect your judgment and behaviour. You may behave irrationally or aggressively when you’re drunk. Memory loss can be a problem during drinking and in the long-term for regular heavy drinkers, drinking less can help prevent this.
There’s a strong link between heavy drinking and depression, and hangovers often make you feel anxious and low. If you already feel anxious or sad, drinking can exaggerate this, so cutting down may generally put you in a better mood.
Women and alcohol
Doctors suggest that women should drink less than men. This is because women’s body tissue absorbs a higher concentration of alcohol than men’s. As a consequence, women often:
- get drunk more quickly than men
- recover from drinking more slowly than men
- go over the legal driving limit more quickly than men.