Family & Relationships What's keeping you awake over Christmas?

07:36  18 december  2017
07:36  18 december  2017 Source:   Netdoctor (UK)

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A sleep expert explains all about festive sleep disruption and what ' s keeping you awake at night. Sourcing an outfit for your child's nativity play, an endless shopping list, being on top form for the Christmas do; the social and financial pressures of December are numerous.

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5 things keeping you awake over Christmas, explains a sleep expert © Kevin C Moore / Getty 5 things keeping you awake over Christmas, explains a sleep expert For the most part, Christmas is pretty good fun. But, alongside the late nights, rich party food (read: chocolate for breakfast and canapés for dinner) and flowing alcohol, come sleepless nights and exhausted mornings. If you find your sleep pattern is in disarray this festive season and you struggle to get a good night's sleep, a report by holistic sleep expert Christine Hansen (commissioned by eve Sleep) might help. 

Here, Christine explains the issues keeping you awake - and how to solve them...

'TIS THE SEASON TO STRESS

According to the report, stress is one of the biggest causes of a lack of sleep - especially if you're female. Whether it's financial worry or finding the time to get everything done, spikes in cortisol and adrenalin caused by stress can limit your chances of a good night's sleep.

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To counteract this, Christine recommends carrying a notebook with you during the day and whenever something worries you, write it down. Also, no matter how tempting, if you wake up during the night don't stay in bed. "Get up, change rooms and do something that will shift your focus, but won't engross you passionately," she explains. "As soon as you notice a yawn or your eyes go heavy, go back to bed."

PERSONAL PRESSURES

Sourcing an outfit for your child's nativity play, an endless shopping list, being on top form for the Christmas do; the social and financial pressures of December are numerous. This can also have a knock-on effect upon wider thoughts and feelings, leaving you negatively reflecting on the past and upcoming years.

Christine actually recommends imagining the worst that can happen in each scenario to realise how ridiculous (and unlikely!) it is. If you can't shake off the fear, read our article on catastrophising here. Why not write a list of your achievements - little and large? You'll soon realise that you achieved a lot more than you gave yourself credit for.

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EAT, DRINK AND HAVE DIGESTIVE ISSUES

From creamy Irish liquor to pigs-in-blankets, Christmas food and drink is tasty, but can wreak havoc on digestion and blood sugar levels. If you suffer from acid reflux, IBS or chronic conditions, such as IBD, symptoms can be exacerbated by rich festive foods. Avoid or limit potential triggers and over-indulgence, and avoid eating certain foods too close to bedtime that are likely to disrupt your digestion. 

FESTIVE TIPPLES

Alcohol lulls us in to a false sense of security, making us feel like we've had a deep sleep. In fact, alcohol interferes with our sleep cycles and restorative phases and makes us feel groggy and exhausted the following day. On top of this, alcohol dehydrates us - ever wake up with dry mouth craving a glass of water?

In an ideal sleep scenario, alcohol would be avoid but it's Christmas. Try alternating every glass of alcohol with a glass of water and always avoid drinking on an empty stomach.

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KIDS AT CHRISTMAS

Much of the magic of Christmas definitely resides with children, however the excitement and disruption of routine can often leave parents dealing with tantrums, overtired kids and sleepless nights. Christine suggests you have to wait 60-90 minutes after a tantrum before you can calm a child down and encourage them to sleep.

She advises parents to try and keep to a bedtime routine as much as possible and avoid letting your child get overtired.

Need more inspiration? Here are 6 tips to get children to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Related: 24 effective ways for a good night sleep

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Why the Queen doesn't take down her Christmas decorations until February .
The Queen doesn't take down her Christmas decorations until February.Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh are said to keep the decorations up at the Sandringham Estate until 6 February each year – some six weeks after Christmas Day.

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