If you’re sober-curious or just looking into Dry January, you’re not alone. The 2020s have, so far, been an era where we’ve largely committed to cleaning up our drinking habits. And while Gallup polls show less people drank alcohol in 2023 compared to 2022, it also highlights a trend over the last 10 years of Americans ping-ponging back and forth between imbibing less—only to slingshot into drinking more.

If you’re looking to make sustainable changes to your drinking habits, a new approach is making the rounds on TikTok: The One Week Method purports that seven days of no alcohol, followed by three weeks of moderate drinking (or less), can improve your sleep, lift brain fog, and deliver glowing skin—many of the same benefits of a dry month, with less of a commitment.

The idea, according to the method’s creator Bridget Stangland, is to repeat the pattern of one week of no drinking every month for a full year.

Committing to seven days without spirits may feel a lot more realistic—and a lot less intimidating—for some than going cold turkey. And, depending where your social commitments fall in the month, it leaves you wiggle room to still have a few glasses of wine at a friend’s birthday or after a long day without feeling like you’ve broken your pact to yourself.

What’s more, the repeated abstinence from alcohol adds up: “We like to remind people that any reduction in alcohol consumption is worth recognizing, and if you stick to one week off from drinking every month, that reduces your days of consumption by 25% for the year,” points out Stephanie Garrison, LPC, director of clinical operations at Monument, an online alcohol treatment platform.

Now, seven days alone isn’t enough for anyone to make lasting changes to any habit, including overindulgence of alcohol, says Cameron Segura, RD, a Denver-based nutritionist and health coach specializing in behavior change techniques. In fact, a 2020 study from Dutch researchers found forming habits isn’t influenced by self-control as much as it is influenced by time: People who were able to consistently perform a goal over the course of 90 days formed the strongest long-term habits.

However, Garrison points out that forgoing alcohol for a week offers a glimpse into the upsides, namely improvements in physical and mental health such as better sleep, more mental clarity, and higher energy levels.



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