Whether it is worrying about finding the perfect gift for your loved ones, fretting how to get the Christmas turkey just right or too many Christmas party invitations, the festive season can have a negative impact on our sleep.
Silentnight’s resident sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, has some essential advice for how to improve your sleep this festive season, ensuring you wake up refreshed and energised when the big day arrives.
Dr Nerina says “Organising and preparing for any big day or important event, such as Christmas, can be a daunting task. With a never ending list of things to do and a head swirling with information and thoughts, it can prove difficult for anyone to switch off at the end of the day. Throw in additional stresses and strains of daily life and sleeping through the night can prove even trickier than usual.
Here are Dr Nerina’s top tips to help restless sleepers;
• Minimise electronic equipment in your room. It may be tempting to buy Christmas presents online or search the web for inspiration before you head to your bedroom, however you should avoid spending time on laptops and smart phones in the 60 to 90 minutes before bed if you want to look and feel refreshed the next morning.
• Christmas is a time of year when forgetting things is so easy, what may seem such an simple tip is often the most effective. Write a to-do list, or keep a journal so you can switch off before you go to bed.
• While some of you may like to skip breakfast if you’re in a rush, this can have an adverse effect and actually affect your sleeping pattern. You need to eat healthily and avoid skipping breakfast. People who eat breakfast produce more melatonin and therefore sleep better. Include protein in your breakfast for an even greater effect.
• Ensure your sleep environment is just right for you – the right degree of support and comfort from the right kind of mattress and pillow, the right level of light, room temperature and sound levels. The secret to a great night sleep could be as simple as changing your bed / mattress. The longer you keep your mattress, the more worn out the springs become and the less support it gives your body. Research by Silentnight shows 80 per cent of people sleep better in a new bed or mattress, so it might be worth considering investing in a new bed if you find your sleep is often disturbed.
• Ensure you are well hydrated during the day – dehydration is a key cause of frequent waking or ‘shallow’ sleep. This will also keep you looking as well as feeling good, especially following your Christmas parties!
• Research shows that people who go to bed happy tend to sleep better. So deal with your worries before you put your head on the pillow. And if you can’t let those worries go then get up, go to another room and write down all the worries in your head on a piece of paper. Then go back to bed and get as comfy as possible.
• Remember a good night’s rest is much better than you trying desperately to get to sleep. Try not to lie there thinking “I must get a good night’s sleep tonight; I must sleep well so I perform well the next day”. Trying too hard to sleep can set you up for a bad night’s sleep, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just relax.