How did you spend your Christmas holidays? Whether it was enjoying late nights and a few too many mulled wines or early mornings filled with delicious but heavy food, it’s likely you’re finding it harder to get quality rest.
Since sleep loss can affect our mood, skin, health and even memory, it’s important to get back on track for the New Year. To help you adjust, we’ve shared five top tips to improve your sleep after the holiday season.
1. Snack on left-over turkey
The food we eat has a huge impact on our sleep quality, and all the sugar we snack on over Christmas can wreak havoc with our rest. But there is some good news – Christmas turkey is a great source of tryptophan, which can improve our rest.
This amino acid boosts serotonin levels, which in turn helps us get a good night’s sleep. Just make sure to make it a turkey sandwich – tryptophan only has a noticeable effect when it’s paired with carbohydrates to help absorption.
2. Write a to-do list before you head to bed
It can be hard to get back into the swing of things after Christmas. There always seems to be so much to catch up on to get ready for the New Year, and this stress can affect your sleep. One way to prevent this affecting your rest after the holidays is to spend 10 minutes before bed writing down everything you should do the next day. Having a clear plan of action in place helps you relax, assured you have everything under control.
3. Treat yourself to a natural mattress
Our mattresses are the biggest influence on our sleep quality. As you probably know, trying to catch a few zzz’s on an unsupportive mattress will leave you feeling exhausted and full of aches and pains when you wake up. For that reason, your mattresses should be replaced every 7 years. Choose an organic natural mattress for the best sleep, as these are specifically designed to support every inch of your body.
4. Get back on a sleep schedule
Christmas is the season of late-night parties and cosy morning sleep-ins. However, when it’s time to go back to work in the New Year it can be incredibly hard to get up in time for a 9 o’clock start. Try to get back on a sleep schedule by gradually scaling your wake-up time back.
Start this a few days before you’re due back at work to get over the morning grogginess in time. Plus, make this a little bit easier by getting as much sunshine as you can during the day – natural light helps us reset our internal clocks!
5. Cut out the holiday nightcap
Indulging in a tipple before bed is to be expected over the holidays, but this actually disrupts your rest. Even if you fall asleep faster after a glass or two of mulled wine, the quality of your sleep suffers. As little as one glass of alcohol stops you from spending as much time in the restorative REM stage of sleep. While this probably won’t cause you to wake up during the night, it will cause you to feel tired and groggy the next morning!