Between all that Christmas shopping, parties and family visits, the Christmas and New Year season can leave you short on time and sleep.
Partying the night away rather than resting up in bed after a long week at work can certainly take its toll so, with that in mind, we’ve prepared some sleep tips to help you through what can be a very tiring month!
- Stick to your normal sleep routine – If you have an evening holiday party to attend and you plan on staying up late, try to keep your wake up time the same, even if you feel tired the next day. It’s important to stay consistent to reinforce your sleep-wake cycle and encourage a more relaxing night’s slumber.
- Create a restful sleeping environment – Ensure your bedroom is neither too hot, nor too cold; and as quiet and dark as possible (wear earplugs if you need). Keep Christmas decorations to the other parts of your home and do not let your children to sleep in bed with you – it’ll disrupt a good night’s sleep for all!
- Make sure your bed is comfortable – It should also be as big as possible so your partner rarely disturbs you. If you find that you and your partner have different needs for a bed then try investing in two single mattresses of different tensions to make up a super king.
- Get plenty of exercise – Regular, moderate exercise can help relieve the day’s stresses and strains and promote a deeper sleep. However avoid strenuous exercise within three hours of bedtime or it may keep you awake. A good brisk walk is ideal to stop you feeling sluggish after a hefty Christmas dinner!
- Avoid caffeine after lunch – Don’t end up compensating for lack of sleep by going too heavy on coffee – especially in the evening. Caffeinated drinks will interfere with you falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Opt for a hot milky drink or herbal tea in the evening instead.
- Don’t over-indulge on food and alcohol – Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can play havoc with sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you fall asleep more easily at first, but once your body metabolises it during the sleep cycle it often disrupts sleep and wakes you up. It is hard throughout Christmas and New Year festivities to avoid completely, but try swapping your alcoholic drink to water a couple of hours before bedtime to re-hydrate and avoid eating within two hours of bedtime.
- Insist on some ‘me time’ before going to bed – Have a warm bath, listen to some quiet music, do some yoga – anything that helps to relax both your mind and body and wind down before bedtime.
- Keep your mind calm and anxiety-free at bedtime – The Christmas period can bring stress and anxiety along with excitement. If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Try keeping a notebook by your bed and writing down your thoughts; this should relax and clear your mind helping you to drift back off to sleep.