Disturbed sleep and increased fatigue for almost a month - that sounds a lot like the festive season, doesn't it?
As we foresee the festivities soon, it is important to understand why quality sleep will help you enjoy every moment of it!
A good sleep is controlled by three things: the supply-and-demand relationship between sleep and wakefulness, the body clock and psychological factors that calm us down in readiness for sleep. The coziest bedtime is the perfect blend of them working in harmony.
You are more likely to sleep well when sleep pressure is high, our circadian rhythm hints it's time for bed and our mind is calm. While there could be numerous factors that tend to affect our nights filled with good sleep, it is highly difficult to sleep when we’re concerned about events of the following day.
The festive season delivers a perfect storm that challenges all of these processes all together and it is really difficult to catch up on lost sleep. The result is lingering fatigue.
How festive celebrations are enemies to sleep
First, there is an imbalance between the supply and demand. The festive season simply means longer days and later bedtimes.
Diwali parties, family get-togethers- fun needs time, right? But opportunities for compensatory lie-ins are less. There are always family visits, gift shopping or festival season sales that demand attention. Most of us experience sleep deprivation.
On top of this, it’s not only that lack of sleep during the festive period but also, the interference with the timing of those habits with our routines. It keeps us from maintaining our circadian rhythm in sync.
Don’t you feel a change in your getting-up times, mealtimes and exercise times? When this routine dissolves, sync fluctuates, and sleep suffers.
The festive season planning in turn generates anticipation and anxiety, we seek perfection with decorations, parties and guest visits. This can add to our pre-sleep stream of consciousness as cognitive arousal, which is alertness that delays the onset of sleep.
We often find ourselves lying in bed but just thinking. With homeostatic, circadian and psychological pressures, some people struggle to sleep. But there are two further disruptive elements in this seasonal storm: food and alcohol.
But there are two further disruptive elements in this seasonal storm, wondering what they are?
Overeating to be the first. It is not uncommon at this time of year and poses a risk factor for indigestion. This in turn is associated with insomnia.
And, the second is alcohol. While most of us believe that consumption of alcohol in moderate amounts can promote sleep, it may not really be true. An active ingredient in alcohol, ethanol rapidly breaks down in the body. So alcohol-induced sleep shows disturbances later in the night.
On the other hand, higher levels of alcohol amplifies these effects leading to early awakening and, of course, the least favorite part of the next morning, a hangover. In short, alcohol-induced sleep is never really good.
How can you have fun and remain well-rested?
Sleep disturbances triggered by festivities is often the onset of chronic insomnia. So managing good sleep through these times may be challenging but is much needed.
Avoid getting into this festive period with a sleep debt. Set realistic goals and maintain a routine. Compensate for lost sleep with an early night sometimes or squeeze in a small nap every now and then.
What’s most important is, gift yourself a pillow that suits the needs of your body.
Yes, investing in a good pillow makes all the difference. Imagine, snoozing in with softness and comfort, and waking up fresh and ache-free!
This festive reason, embrace festivities the White Willow way.