Christmas is a wonderful time to relax, but it’s also a very busy period for socialising and catching up with friends and family. With an extended period of time off work or school, your sleeping habits can suffer as a result of late nights and lie-ins. This can affect your health in the short-term as well as lead to some bad habits forming which can be difficult to shake off by the time you go back to work. Learn about the importance of maintaining a healthy sleep pattern during Christmas.
The effects of lack of sleep
Even in the short-term, a lack of sleep can effect your health. While you might be more familiar with the grumpiness and irritability that come with lack of sleep, you might not be as familiar with some of the other effects. Regular lack of sleep can affect your immunity – making you more susceptible to winter colds and flu, as well potentially lead to obesity, heart disease and more.
An irregular sleeping pattern could leave you feeling tired, unable to focus and could affect your quality of sleep. Maintaining a healthy sleep pattern is good for your health, and will ensure that you’re not left struggling when you go back to work.
Maintaining a healthy sleep pattern over Christmas
Some useful tips for maintaining a healthy sleep pattern over the festive period include:
Avoid stress where possible
Christmas can be a stressful period for many people, but you don’t have to let it be that way. You can reduce stress at Christmas by trying not to get caught up in the hype, not saying yes to everything and trying not to overspend.
Eating too much at Christmas can make sleep uncomfortable – you don’t want to go to bed feeling full and bloated. Try to maintain as much of a healthy diet as you can over the festive period for the sake of your sleep.
Stick to a routine
Without work, university or school to give structure to your day, it can be tempting to lie in and go to bed late each night. Sticking to a routine will stop you from oversleeping, and help you ensure you get 7-9 hours sleep a night, which will help give you the energy you need.
Keep drinking to a minimum
Drinking alcohol can affect your sleep quality, leaving you feeling tired the next day. Try to keep drinking to a minimum and drink plenty of water when you’re drinking alcohol.
Your fitness routine can go out the window during the festive period. However, exercise will help to burn off excess energy as well as help you keep your weight down. Even if you don’t go to the gym everyday, a long walk can be a great way to help you feel energised during the day and ready for sleep at night. A walk will also reduce your need for an afternoon nap, so try getting up and taking a short walk if you start drifting off on the sofa.
With the right approach to your sleep pattern, you can help yourself to stay healthy over Christmas. Remember, if you become unwell over the bank holiday period, you can call 111 for assistance. If you need urgent care, they might direct you to your nearest out of hours surgery where you can get the treatment you need.