Skip to main content

We use small files called cookies to help us improve your experience on this website and to provide services like web chat. We also use cookies to measure the effectiveness of public health campaigns and understand how people use the website.

Read our cookies policy to find out more about cookies and how we use them.

Coronavirus: advice to stop the spread. Extra restrictions are in place for Kildare, Laois and Offaly

8 reasons to drink less this Christmas

Hangovers and low mood can affect your Christmas in many ways.

Published: 16 December 2019

1. Your family

Christmas is a family time, and especially a time for children.

From the time they settle down to the Toy Show, to the time they spring to their feet on Christmas morning, it’s all about the little people.

Drinking alcohol can affect family life in many ways.

Hangovers and the low mood you can get after drinking can make it harder to cope with the demands of family life, meaning you have less energy and patience.

Children can feel uncomfortable or upset seeing parents under the influence of alcohol or suffering the after-effects.

In homes where there is a parent with an alcohol problem, Christmas can be a time of disappointment, confusion, tension, arguments and even violence.

Related topic

Coping with difficult situations

2. Christmas memories

Whether it’s the annual fight over the Monopoly, the special nights out or the kids’ first visit from Santa, Christmas memories are precious.

Alcohol can affect the way the brain stores short-term memories, causing memory loss and blackouts that can happen when we’re drinking.

Drink less this Christmas to keep your memories safe.

Related topics

The effects of alcohol on the brain

3. Avoid the hangover

If you’ve ever faced a huge family Christmas dinner or over-excited kids at the crack of dawn while nursing a hangover, you may understand the benefits of cutting back on the amount you drink.

Drinking less can help you to avoid the headaches, sickness and low mood that can follow a heavy session, and keep your celebrations happy and bright.

Related topics

Hangovers and feeling down

4. Your mental health

As well as the low mood that can follow a night’s drinking, alcohol can have a long-term impact on your mental health. It can cause anxiety and depression or make an existing condition worse.

Related topics

Your mental health at Christmas

5. Your night’s sleep

At the end of a long and busy year, you deserve some rest and relaxation. But if you drink to excess over the Christmas period, you could end the festive season feeling more worn out than ever.

Though you might drop off more easily, alcohol can reduce the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep you get, which can leave you feeling drowsy and with poor concentration during the day. Not to mention having a hangover, which can drain your ‘get up and go’.

People who stop drinking or cut down often say they wake up feeling properly refreshed and find it easier to get up, compared to when they were drinking.

6. Your looks

Alcohol can dry out your skin and hair and cause bloating, so cutting back during party season is a good idea if you want to look your best.

7. Your finances

Christmas is an expensive time of the year, whatever your budget. With the average Irish adult spending €35 to €70 per week on alcohol - and let’s face it, more at this time of the year - it all adds up. Save those funds to treat yourself in the sales or save for that big family holiday you have planned in 2018 instead.

8. Your weight

A glass of wine can contain as many calories as a few chocolate biscuits, not to mention the nibbles you’ll have with it. Cutting back a little might just mean you reach your January weight loss goals a little easier. Food is a big part of everyone’s Christmas traditions but did you know that alcohol can also stop you absorbing nutrients from your food such as vitamins B1 and B2, folic acid and zinc?

Did you know? It takes around 2 to 3 hours' walking to burn the calories from 3 pints of beer or 3 large glasses of wine.

Find out more

If you're thinking about drinking less for a happier and healthier Christmas, we have some tips and information to help.

Related topics

Benefits of cutting down or giving up alcohol

Tips for drinking less

Drinks calculator

Alcohol service finder

Find alcohol support and treatment services in our area

HSE Drugs and Alcohol Helpline

Freephone 1800 459 459 for confidential information and support