The days are getting shorter, the weather getting colder, and as Christmas approaches the season has already taken centre stage in our daily lives.
For the lucky few who have already completed their shopping and pre-ordered their turkey, this is a time to enjoy the cozy winter nights. However for the majority of us who haven’t even thought about what to get our friends or family, the Christmas season can be extremely draining.
During this month when stress levels can be high and energy levels low, it’s as important as ever to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. The change in routine, from Christmas shopping to work parties, can play havoc on our body clock and subsequently our mood.
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, Silentnight’s sleep expert, has shared some tips to help ensure we get enough sleep over this busy time of year.
Reduce your time with technology:
Try to keep your interaction with technology limited in the evening, as it’s important to wind down before heading to bed. The ease of online shopping in bed is tempting for people who may be struggling to find time in the day. However it may be counter productive if it’s keeping you awake, leading to less energy for the following day.
Don’t overbook yourself:
Whether it’s family or friends, invitations for various Christmas occasions can soon fill a schedule. It’s important to not turn these time of joy into fear, and attend parties because you ‘should’. This feeling of obligation can be draining. Ask yourself if you ‘want’ to go; its okay to say no.
Aim for 4 early nights a week:
Even if you’re getting a good amount of sleep, the time at which your getting it is still important. Sleeping late can deprive you from some of the deeply restorative hours of the sleep cycle. Getting to bed at around 10:30pm for four nights a week can improve the benefits of your sleep. Try fitting these nights in around social events to help you maintain energy throughout the week.
Avoid too much alcohol and refined sugar:
Although Christmas treats can be very enticing, it’s important to remember the effect they can have on our energy levels. Too much refined sugar early in the morning can lead to a crash in the afternoon and too much in the evening can keep us awake. In addition to this, although alcohol can help us get to sleep, the sleep you’ll actually be getting will be highly inefficient. Moderation and timing is key during this season as it’s near impossible to avoid all temptations.
Try taking a bicarbonate bath before bed:
After a long or stressful day, try adding two mugs of sodium bicarbonate to a bath. The effects will help with detoxification and aid in getting you into a deep sleep. This would be ideal the day after Christmas shopping or before a night out to help prevent your energy levels getting too low.