‘Below Deck Med’: Captain Sandy Encourages Fans to Try ‘Dry January’

A new year typically means resolutions as many people resolve to make changes in January and set personal goals. One big movement is to put a moratorium on drinking alcohol during the first month of the new year.

Sandy Yawn, Joao Franco, Lea Palmieri
Sandy Yawn, Joao Franco, Lea Palmieri |Greg Endries/Bravo)

“Dry January” has become increasingly popular over the years. The month comes after several weeks of overindulgence, resulting in no alcohol for at least the next 31 days. Captain Sandy Yawn from Below Deck Mediterranean is challenging her fans to consider banishing booze for the month. She’s posted about Dry January, asking her fans to give it a try. “I LOVE this tradition,” she shared on Twitter. “It’s a great way to start the New Year, and I’ll be here to help you. Your Body Your Decision Your Life!”

Yawn also tweeted during the month about drunk driving. She urged fans to reconsider getting behind the wheel if they’d been drinking. “#PSA Remember to Celebrate Responsibly this Holiday Season!” she shared along with a highway image, “Only Rudolph should drive lit.” So what is Dry January and does 31 days of no alcohol really provide health benefits?

What are the benefits?

Obviously, it’s never a bad thing to reduce or completely cut alcohol consumption. But can abstaining for just a month impact overall health? According to WebMD, there are specific benefits. This includes a drop in blood pressure, weight loss, and an improvement in insulin resistance. Eliminating cocktails may also improve sleep quality and have a positive impact on the overall immune system too.

“You’ve been drinking during the holidays, and the idea is that if you stop drinking for the next month, your life and health would be better in the coming year,” Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital told WebMD.

Beyond the physical, are the psychological benefits. “Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialize,” Dr. Richard Piper, chief executive officer of Alcohol Change UK said. “That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about our drinking, and to avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to.”

The effort hits home for Captain Sandy

Yawn has personal reasons for backing Dry January. She exclusively told Showbiz Cheat Sheet that addiction nearly destroyed her life and she wants to use her story to help others. “I was a mess,” she recalled to Showbiz Cheat Sheet in August. “By the grace of God, I’m alive. No matter how much money you have, it’s not going to save your life if you are an addict or an alcoholic. And I was a major addict and alcoholic.”

She was also arrested for drunk driving.  “I always got bailed out,” she says. She’s not a convicted felon but the thought she could have hurt someone haunts her. “But I could have killed someone. My life would be very different right now.”

Thankfully, Yawn found sobriety and a passion for yachting in her mid-twenties and uses her story as a way to help others. Below Deck Med fans likely recall her emotional heart to heart talk with deckhand Travis Michalzik. The crew became concerned with Michalzik’s excessive drinking and Yawn was there to offer support to him.