Benefits of Being Sober

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Benefits of Being Sober to Remember in Recovery

Along the road of recovery, there are some times that one needs to be reminded of why they chose to control the disease of addiction. Relapse is what needs to be avoided at all costs, but sometimes cravings can set in, causing a person to romanticize their past alcoholic days. This might make one question why you choose to stay sober. To help put things into their proper perspective, we will explore the benefits of being sober to serve as a reminder as to why one should never go back. 

           Learn tips for staying sober by clicking here.

More Time to Do Things

Prior to getting sober, a great deal of your time was likely spent on getting booze, drinking, and then getting over the aftereffects. Many other activities were likely ignored because you simply didn’t have the time to do them and get drunk. One of the benefits of being sober is that you find yourself with far more time on your hands.

Furthermore, not only do you have more time on your hands, but you also have the motivation to want to do other things because your brain isn’t wired to just seek the reward from alcohol anymore. Of course, it’s important not to do nothing with the time as boredom can lead to cravings. Do new things, revisit old hobbies, or anything to fill your time in a healthy way.

Peaceful Sleep

Alcohol has several negative effects, one of which is the interruption of the REM sleep cycle – a type of deep sleep that is the most restorative and the time when people are believed to dream. It is also believed to be the time that our memories are processed and stored. You’ll probably remember the extreme groggy feeling you had after a night of drinking before getting sober; it was as a result of the effects on REM sleep.

One of the benefits of not drinking alcohol anymore is that you will have a more restful night’s sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed and your mind will feel clear because it was able to properly function during REM sleep. You may even start to have dreams again, too.

Increased Energy

One of the benefits of staying sober that ties into the previous benefit is that you will have more surplus energy through your days. The days of fatigue caused by alcohol are behind you and you have the energy you need to create a truly great life for yourself.

Before getting sober, the effects of sleep were impeded. Every night, our brains shrink up to 40 percent, which is a way for the brain to squeeze out all of the waste that has built up through the day. However, when alcohol abuse is present, this process doesn’t fully complete, which leaves the person with this extra waste, resulting in fatigue and clouded thinking. The benefits of being sober is that you’ll regain normal brain sleep function which ultimately results in increased energy for the day ahead.

Healthier Eating Habits

You may recall experiencing “drunk munchies” where you would get hungry and binge on junk food at the local Jack-in-the-Box among other fast foods. The food was unhealthy most of the time, and that type of food can drain one’s energy and actually lead to stress.

Another of the benefits of being sober is that you have the time and the mental faculty to be able to try new and interesting recipes that produce healthy foods. Eating healthy is an important part of staying sober cause it helps to give your body everything it needs to give you long-lasting energy and to help you perform optimally, helping to reduce stress and fatigue.

You Can Be Happier

Alcohol may have a relaxing effect at first, and one that can stimulate the reward centers in the brain causing a chemical happiness. However, this experience is short lived and what follows is the opposite of the happiness you feel. This imbalanced way of living causes more problems and negative emotions than positives, such as depression and anxiety during the aftereffects of alcohol abuse.

One of the benefits of not drinking alcohol is that you are ultimately a happier person, even if you sometimes get cravings for a few minutes. Your brain is able to naturally balance the amount of dopamine being released, which means that you end up with enough dopamine to last the whole day, instead of using it all up at once and feeling depressed afterword.

More Money

With high taxes on alcohol and the overall cost of maintaining a heavy drinking habit, it is common for alcoholics to spend a great deal of money on their addiction. Even when buying the cheapest spirits, it all adds up quickly due to the frequency that drinking takes place in.

Many people find that one of the benefits of staying sober is that they finally have extra money to spend on important things in their life. Not having to feed your addiction saves you thousands over a long period of time; money that can be spent on something enjoyable like a holiday.

You Look Better

When drank in high amounts, alcohol is a poison to the body. It can cause the classic redness of the skin seen in alcoholics and contribute to dark rings under the eyes. Stopping drinking leads to a healthier skin and complexion among other things.

Deeper Connections

Alcohol lowers inhibitions, but also lowers mental faculty. What this means it that a person may feel more sociable and feel like they are making a real connection with a stranger while they are drunk, but in truth, not much is being said. Alcohol numbs feelings and leads to irrational thinking; not the recipe for a deep connection with another.

When you are sober, you have higher empathy and are able to better understand others, among other things. This can actually help you to have a deeper connection with another because you can understand them better, and you have better rational skills to be able to maintain a real conversation.

You Make Better Decisions

With alcohol no longer impeding your rational mind and decision-making skills, you are in a position to make better decisions. This can affect more than just your daily life; it can extend to all areas of your short- and long-term life, ultimately leading you to many great things, and helping you to avoid the consequences of poor decisions.

If you would like to speak to someone about more reasons to stay sober, or if you are looking for a way to improve your relapse prevention skills, then contact Better Addiction Care at 1-800.429-7690.

Sources:

http://healthland.time.com/2013/10/17/your-brain-cells-shrink-while-you-sleep-and-thats-a-good-thing/

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery