Although we all enjoy the excitement and fun of winter holiday events, the disruption of regular sleep routines causes problems for anyone who has trouble sleeping. Then on top of this we have the extra sugary snacks and perhaps an adult beverage or 2 .Keeping as close to your routine can help you get through the season feeling somewhat rested, help you resist over indulging and even help you from catching a cold or the flu. Things to keep in mind are:
- Routine time to bed and time to rise. Even on days when you don’t need to wake at a regular time, do it. This will maintain your Circadian rhythm and help ensure you are tired enough to retire at a proper time. Getting your required 7-8 hours of sleep is hard when you stay up late, shorten your sleeping hours, or when you have slept in so long you are not tired enough to sleep at bedtime.
- Limit screen time and power down at least an hour before bedtime. Light emissions from computer and television screens affect your body’s melatonin production. Melatonin, known as the sleep hormone, helps make us sleepy. Put the screens away and let the body’s own sleep cycle develop.
- Avoid sugar (including alcohol) and caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime. Although this is especially difficult during the holiday season, it will help if you aim for as little caffeine or sugary food and drinks after noon whenever possible.
- Maintain a bedroom conducive to sleep. Keeping the bedroom dark and cool is easier during winter but if you need a boost, some people find eye-masks and lowering the thermostat will help.
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is difficult during the holiday season. So if you have lost the rhythm, it’s important to re-establish your regular routine as soon as you can if you are to remain healthy throughout the year.
Regardless of the season, poor sleep quality – as in Snoring or Sleep Apnea – can affect your health in several ways, some of which can be very serious.
So if, despite having a regular sleep routine and adequate hours of sleep, you still wake up tired, are sleepy during the day or have snoring bothering others you really should be assessed. Your holiday motto should be Don’t Ignore the Snore!
A simple consult and home sleep study can easily check to see whether snoring is affecting your health, or whether you have a more serious underlying Sleep Apnea which can contribute significantly to problems with your health.
Contact Dr Muir at “Sleep Better Live Better” in North Vancouver by booking on line using the online link on this website or by calling the office at 604-987-5337 for a complementary consultation.