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How to catch some quality sleep amid the holiday season
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How to catch some quality sleep amid the holiday season

Experts believe that during the holiday season, sleep patterns can be affected by factors like irregular schedules, sedentary lifestyles, lack of exercise, and jet lag due to time zones
Practice sleep hygiene by sticking to a regular bedtime schedule and engaging in regular physical exercise.
Lack of sleep during the holiday season can lead to a variety of health issues in the long run.

The festive season is a time of joy and celebration, but it is also a time when sleep deprivation is common. With the holiday season fast approaching, many individuals are caught up in a hectic schedule of celebrations, travel, and night-time drinking. The holiday season is a time to relax and unwind, but it can also bring with it a lot of stress. To ensure a restful night’s sleep, experts believe, sleep hygiene, and a regular sleep schedule can be beneficial

Before going on holiday, people often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting everything ready, which can have a negative effect on their sleep quality. Stress can also disrupt their sleep patterns, leading to loss of focus and anxiety, says Dr Asfia Khaleel, consultant psychiatrist and director of Ummeed De-addiction and Rehab Centre, Bangalore,

The domino effect on sleep quality during holidays

During the holiday season, sleep patterns can be affected by a variety of factors, such as irregular schedules, sedentary lifestyles, lack of exercise, and jet lag due to time zones, says Dr Vishwanath V Bellad, senior consultant pulmonologist, Sagar Hospitals, Bangalore.  Staying up late and waking up early leads to sacrificing sleep to spend quality time with your family or friends.

Lack of sleep during the holiday season can lead to a variety of health issues in the long run. “If you are exhausted and have a disturbed circadian rhythm for an extended period, you are more likely to develop heart complications, decreased exercise capacity, and stomach problems caused by high acid production,” explains Dr Nikhil Modi, senior consultant, respiratory & critical care medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi.

When you go to bed at night, your hormone levels are low. However, when you wake up the next morning, your body’s hormone levels are at their highest. Because of the increase in metabolic activity during the night, your body produces more endorphins, which act as natural pain-relieving and mood-boosting hormones that keep you awake for longer. This causes an imbalance in your hormonal levels and affects your sleep quality in the long run, elaborated Dr Modi.

How to manage a healthy sleep-wake cycle during holidays

Combat holiday anxiety: Dr Khaleel points out that anxiety is caused by two main triggers: over-planning and fear of being alone. If you have a lot to do, plan your activities rationally and realistically. Balance social activities with self-care. If you don’t have any prior engagements for the holidays, plan some activities that you can do alone. Whether it’s going for a hike, watching a movie, or hitting the gym, finding moments of joy amidst the holiday chaos is essential for your mental health.

Combat holiday stress: Dr Modi recommends de-stress activities like listening to calming music, meditating, and adjusting your schedule to get 6-8 hours of sleep for a restful mind and body.

Combat jetlag:  To address jet lag for individuals who are travelling to different time zones, Dr Modi recommends allocating at least 24-48 hours for your body to adjust to the new time. Wake up during sunrise and expose your body to the sun which will help in adjusting your body’s circadian rhythm.

Dietary choices: During the holiday season, it is recommended to avoid caffeine and alcohol. Additionally, a balanced diet with plenty of roughage should be consumed, including salads, to promote healthy bowel activity. Additionally, it is important to stay hydrated and consume fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, which can help to improve overall health and increase the chances of getting a good night’s sleep.

Lastly, it is suggested to practice sleep hygiene by sticking to a regular bedtime schedule and engaging in regular physical exercise. This can help to reduce the disruption caused by holiday activities and promote better sleep.

Takeaways

  • To get a good night’s sleep during the holidays, it’s important to practice sleep hygiene by keeping a regular sleep schedule, engaging in regular physical activity, etc.
  • Listen to calming music or meditate before going to bed and plan in advance to help reduce stress during the holiday.
  • Don’t spend all night binge-watching TV, focus on sleeping and waking up early.
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol can not only help improve your overall health, but it can also help improve your sleep quality.

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