PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A new Washington State University study is highlighting the health benefits of Dry January — the time of year in which people abstain from alcohol for the month.

According to Dr. Rotonya Carr, with the University of Washington School of Medicine, Dry January participants report generally feeling better.

Carr added “in our field, we also see improvements in cholesterol levels, the amount of sleep people are getting, decreased symptoms of fatigue, the liver tests are better, there’s so many things that improve just by one month of sobriety.”

“What we find is that people who participate in Dry January, if we asked the six months later, a year later, they are either continuing to be abstinent or have significantly reduced their alcohol intake and feel those same health benefits over time,” Carr said. “It’s truly an intervention that has long lasting results.”

To stay on track for the month, Carr recommends making a plan.

“Think forward to those social activities where there might be alcohol, and there might be temptation, and plan the drink that you would like to have,” Carr said. She also suggests drinks like spritzers or sparkling water as booze replacements.

Additionally, having a support system of friends, family or an online community, to participate in Dry January with can also help keep you accountable, Carr said.