No in the New Year is Yahoo Life’s series about the power of saying no, establishing boundaries and prioritizing your own physical and mental health.

For some people who imbibe, the champagne toast at midnight on New Year’s Eve is the last drop of alcohol they typically touch for the next month. That’s the official start of Dry January, an initiative that was originally started in 2012 by Alcohol Change UK in order to get people to see the mental, physical, and even financial benefits of living without alcohol.

Yet most people who participate in Dry January have no intention of quitting alcohol for good — completing the month-long break is the goal. However, if the point of Dry January is to feel better and be overall healthier, is 30 days (or in January’s case, 31) even enough?

Unfortunately, the experts Yahoo Life spoke with all agreed that 30 days isn’t enough time to reset your body after years of drinking regularly. However, there may be other surprising benefits of trying out sobriety in the short term.

According to Dr. George F. Koob, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, participating in Dry January can be a great way to learn more about your drinking habits, which can help you make healthier choices moving forward.

“There are many potential benefits to taking a break from alcohol if done wisely,” Koob tells Yahoo Life. “At the very least, taking a break from alcohol gives a person a chance to evaluate their relationship with alcohol and cultivate alternatives for relaxing, socializing, coping and other reasons why people drink.”

It can also shed light on how drinking alcohol affects your physical and mental health. “Some people might discover that their alcohol use was irritating their stomach, disrupting their sleep, contributing to weight gain, interfering with their morning exercise routine, affecting their relationships, or that they relied more on alcohol for stress relief than they thought,” says Koob. “Waking up without the fatigue, malaise and other common symptoms of hangovers could potentially improve a person’s quality of life. And for some people the financial savings could be substantial.”

In terms of purely the physical results of Dry January, heavy drinkers may find they see the biggest change, Dr. Tyler Oesterle, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Health System’s Foundation Centers, tells Yahoo Life. “Alcohol is toxic to a lot of organ systems in the body,” Oesterle says. “It can affect the liver, pancreas, heart and the nervous system, just to name a few. One month of abstinence, if any of these organ systems are compromised, could improve acute symptoms. For example, if individuals are heavy drinkers and have suffered some liver damage, then abnormalities in their liver enzymes can improve over the first 30 days.”

Oesterle adds: “There may also be other improvements for heavy drinkers in the first 30 days depending on the physical impact of their alcohol use. If an individual is a light drinker, the one month abstinence can be used to establish a new abstinence-based habit. However, it is not really enough time to make any significant difference physically for light drinkers.”

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