Skip to main content

Benefits of cutting down or giving up alcohol

A better relationship with alcohol can mean better relationships with the people you care about.

This can mean:

  • more quality time together
  • fewer arguments
  • the chance to bond over different activities
  • less tension

No more hangovers

You may find you spend your Sundays nursing a hangover or suffering from the ‘the fear’. This is the low mood that often follows a night’s drinking.

To wake up with a clear head and feeling energetic can be a welcome break. This will help you to make the most of your free time.

Taking the focus off alcohol can give you new experiences that don't revolve around the pub.

Related topics

Hangovers and feeling down

More money

1 in 3 Irish people spend between €30 to €75 a week on alcohol. Depending on how much you drink, you could save a lot by cutting back.

What an extra €150 a month could do for you

  • A family holiday every year.
  • Take around 8 years and 50k off a 200,000 30-year mortgage.
  • A monthly payment on a new car.
  • Dinners out, sports or theatre tickets every month.
  • A monthly treat - some new clothes, fancy gadgets or something special.

Taking a break from alcohol or cutting down is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Use our drinks calculator to find out how your drinking affects your health, money and weight.

Benefits of taking a break or cutting down

Short-term benefits can include:

  • lower blood sugar
  • lower blood pressure
  • fewer alcohol-related symptoms, like headaches, heartburn, indigestion and stomach upsets
  • less fatty build up around the liver
  • improving existing conditions - depression, high blood pressure or skin conditions like rosacea
  • better sleep
  • more energy
  • weight loss
  • better absorption of nutrients like vitamins B1 and B12, folic acid and zinc
  • fewer injuries

Weekly low-risk alcohol guidelines

Drinking within the recommended weekly low-risk alcohol guidelines has long-term benefits.

The benefits include greatly reducing your risk of:

  • high blood pressure and strokes
  • depression and anxiety
  • 7 kinds of cancer
  • liver disease
  • many other alcohol-related conditions

Related topics

Weekly low-risk alcohol guidelines

Alcohol and blood pressure and the heart

Alcohol and cancer

Weight loss

Alcohol has almost the same calories per gram as pure fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, cutting back on alcohol can help.

Late night snacking after drinks and hangover junk food binges can also lead to weigh gain.

Related topic

Alcohol and weight gain

Better sleep

Alcohol can reduce the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep you get. This can make you feel drowsy and affect your concentration during the day.

You might need to give your body time to adjust to falling asleep without alcohol. Once you do, you should find yourself more rested and full of energy.

Related topic

Problems sleeping

page last reviewed: 08/11/2019
next review due: 08/11/2022

HSE Drugs and Alcohol Helpline

Freephone 1800 459 459 for confidential information and support