For many people, alcohol consumption is just a normal part of life. A cocktail after work, a beer with friends at a baseball game, a glass of wine with dinner…it’s just something you do. You aren’t alone, either. According to data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 86.4 percent of people 18 and older report that they’ve drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. Roughly 70 percent report drinking in the last year, while 56 percent report having a drink in the past month.

While some people struggle with serious cases of alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and binge drinking, most people consume in moderation. However, even for people who are disciplined enough to cut themselves off after a couple of drinks, it’s important to note that drinking isn’t exactly the healthiest habit in the world.

4 Health Benefits You’ll Enjoy
What’s the longest period of time you’ve gone without a drink? A couple of days? A week? A few months? Believe it or not, there are numerous health benefits associated with giving up alcohol for an extended period of time. If you’re willing to give it a try, you may experience some or all of the following:

1. You’ll Lose Weight

After quitting alcohol, one of the first things people notice is weight loss. Not only do alcoholic beverages, such as beer, contain a bunch of calories, but alcohol itself has been shown to be one of the biggest driving factors in overeating. For many people, this leads to smarter eating habits.

2. You’ll Sleep Better

Because alcohol makes you sleepy, you may think that it’s a good way to wind down at the end of a long day. However, research shows that drinking before bed actually leads to much more restless sleep throughout the night. In other words, you may fall asleep quickly, but you’re less likely to experience deep sleep.

By eliminating alcohol from your diet, you can develop much more stable sleeping patterns. As a result, you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed and energized.

3. Your Heart Will Thrive

“The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body, and it also happens to be especially susceptible to the effects of alcohol,” American Addiction Centers explains. “While heart complications caused by alcohol are most common in people who participate in excessive consumption for a prolonged period of time, drinking too much on a single occasion can have negative effects on the heart as well.”

Some of the effects of alcohol on the heart include irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, stroke, and stretching of the heart muscle. While there is research to indicate that very moderate amounts of alcohol improve health, too much drinking can be quite dangerous.

4. Your Risk for Certain Cancers Will Fall

When you look at research conducted by the National Cancer Institute, there’s clearly a connection between alcohol consumption and an increased risk of multiple types of cancer – including cancers of the liver, breast, mouth, rectum, and colon. The more you drink, the higher your risk. By cutting alcohol out of your diet, you can expect to see your risk drop.

Is Health Your Number One Priority?

It’s time to be honest with yourself and think about your priorities. Whether you drink in moderation or feel like you have a problem with abuse, regular alcohol consumption isn’t doing your body any favors. By giving it up for an extended period of time, you’ll find that you’re more vibrant, confident, and healthy. Sure, you may miss out on a social gathering or two, but the benefits far exceed the sacrifices.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Jessica and I am an independent journalist, freelance blogger, and technology junkie with a passion for music, arts, and the outdoors. One of my greatest passions and joy is assisting communities and business owners. My utmost desire is to help people and business owners to succeed and prosper in their personal and business affairs. I share, comment, write and edit popular news stories.