From Christmas feasts to late night partying, the festive season is all about eating and drinking – and we all know how hard it can be hard to resist another mince pie or glass of fizz!

While most of us aware of how it impacts on the waistline, many don’t realise the effects it has on the quality of our sleep.

Don’t worry we’re not scrooges here at the Sleep Council – we don’t expect you to abstain from alcohol and desserts – but we thought it might be helpful to know a few good tips so you continue to sleep well over the Christmas break.

• Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night. It prevents you for getting deep restful sleep plus you will find yourself waking in the night dehydrated and needing the loo. It is difficult in the party period but try to swap to water a couple of hours before bedtime.

• Don’t starve yourself during the day because you’re going to be eating more later on. It may seem like a good idea to ‘save the calories’ but the likelihood is you will end up overeating because you’re hungry.  Instead eat lightly at regular intervals during the day.

• It may seem tempting to pile your plate with food but indulging in large meals can make it harder for your body to digest, which means you may have trouble getting to sleep later on.  Where possible, eat a heavy meal at least three to four hours before bedtime to avoid indigestion and heartburn.

• Don’t end up compensating for lack of sleep by going too heavy on stimulants such as caffeine in tea, coffee or cola – especially in the evening. They interfere with falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Have some water (for any looming alcohol-induced headaches), a hot milky drink or herbal tea instead.

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