A guide to sleep survival over the Santa Season has been published by The Sleep Council.
As the UK’s number one source of everday sleep tips, the consumer advice arm of the National Bed Federation has published its ‘Surviving Santa’ guide on www.sleepcouncil.org.uk
Said spokeswoman Jessica Alexander: “Christmas is the one time of the year when the sleep routine of just about everyone in Britain goes off the rails.
“Adults and children alike tend to go to bed quite a bit later than usual over the festive period. That along with all the preparations and partying can play havoc with sleep patterns.”
To help people survive the seasonal sleep disruption The Sleep Council suggests:
Try as much as possible to keep regular hours – we know it can be hard when you’re staying up late for Santa! Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time, will programme your body to sleep better.
Create a restful sleeping environment. Keep the Christmas decorations to the other parts of your home! Your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep and it should be neither too hot, nor too cold; and as quiet and dark as possible.
Make sure your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on one that’s too soft, too hard, too small or too old. It should also be as big as possible so your partner rarely disturbs you. Perhaps a new bed should be on your Christmas present list!
Take more exercise. Regular, moderate exercise such as swimming or walking can help relieve the day’s stresses and strains. But not too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. A good brisk walk is ideal to stop you feeling sluggish after a hefty Christmas dinner!
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 a hot milky drink or herbal tea instead.
Don’t over-indulge on turkey, mince pies and mulled wine! Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can play havoc with sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night. It is hard in the party period but try to swap to water a couple of hours before bedtime.
Keep some ear plugs handy to block out the sound of your partner’s alcohol or feast-induced snoring.
Try to relax and insist on some ‘me time’ before going to bed. Have a warm bath, listen to some quiet music, do some yoga - all help to relax both the mind and body. Your doctor may be able to recommend a helpful relaxation tape, too.
Resolve arguments before bed. Ongoing conflicts are not conducive to putting you in the right frame of mind for sleep!
If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again - then go back to bed.