Why holidays can make you sleepy

Don’t you just love holidays? The chance to sleep-in – maybe even sneak in an afternoon nap. 

After a busy year and the hectic socialising around Christmas and New Year, a chance to avoid setting your alarm and break with the ‘usual’ routine is often just the tonic you need.

Often, we feel even more tired at year’s end. Why?

The end of year slump

It sometimes feels like once you’ve stopped racing around, meeting work deadlines and juggling life’s daily responsibilities, you’re suddenly overwhelmed by fatigue.

Without realising it, you may have fallen into a habit of staying-up late and waking-up early. The result is cumulative sleep deprivation. Most of us can push through this for a while, but once we break our normal routine, we can really feel the lack of sleep.

Most people need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. When we push the boundaries and skip sleep, our health can suffer.

Too much alcohol can mess with your sleep

The giddy round of parties and get-togethers in December often leads to late nights and imbibing more alcohol than usual.

Alcohol suppresses melatonin. It interferes with your body clock (otherwise known as your circadian rhythms). This can really mess around with your sleep. The closer you drink to your normal bedtime, the more your sleep patterns are interrupted. If you must enjoy a tipple, turns out ‘happy hour’ is a preferable time to drink – that’s around early evening.

Drinking too much may also affect your partner’s sleep, as it’s more common to snore after a heavy night on the turps.

Eating too much, too often

Starting with the Christmas feast and continuing through all those get-togethers with family and friends, most of us tend to overindulge during the holiday period.

Eating too late and too much definitely impacts the quality of your sleep. Going to sleep on a full stomach is simply uncomfortable, especially if you’ve enjoyed a spicy or high-fat meal. Certain foods have been shown to improve the quality of your sleep. These include milk, fatty fish, cherries and kiwifruit.

So, what’s the best way to make sure you’re recharging your body, ready for the year to come?

  • Enjoy the holidays, but consider drinking and eating in moderation
  • Try getting enough sleep most nights – enjoy the chance for a little nap when you can, but not too long so that it interferes with your night-time sleep
  • Keep up your exercise routine – stretching and a moderate amount of exercise can improve the quality of your sleep.

If you haven’t replaced your mattress for a while (The Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every 7-10 years), now’s the time!

Shop your new mattress from SleepX here.