The festive period is finally over and we are all starting to settle back into our normal routines. Hands up who was ready?
As much as I love Christmas, all the eating, drinking and late nights does throw my routine out of the window. I didn’t even know what day it was some days! Everything got later – whether that was bedtime, wake up time and even mealtimes all shifted forward.
That’s why throughout December, we wanted to find out what affected your sleep over the festive period. And the results are in.
A quarter of those who answered our poll said it was late nights that most affected their sleep – which doesn’t come as much surprise! Our body clocks get programmed to going to bed and waking up at similar times but when we have a period of change (such as Christmas or going on holiday) our body clocks reset and we can have a hard time readjusting when we return back to our normal routine. Where possible try to keep regular sleeping hours – going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time, really does programme your body to sleep better.
Alcohol and money worries were the next common reasons for disturbed sleep. The effects of alcohol on sleep are well known. While, initially, it may help you fall asleep, it will interrupt your sleep later on in the night, leaving you feeling unrested. It is often wise to stop drinking a couple of hours before bed and swap to water.
Christmas is also a big financial strain on families. Not only may you feel the pressure to overspend, but some people may borrow money to get through the festive period. Feeling anxious over your finances has a detrimental effect on sleep. If your mind is racing when you get into bed, try writing down any worries in a notepad by your bed. Practise some deep breathing exercises to control anxious thoughts.
While we want people to enjoy special occasions, it is worth noting that they can play havoc with your sleep routine – which can ultimately affect our physical and mental health. Be mindful, and where possible try to enjoy at least 30 minutes of relaxation before you head to bed!