The holidays have to be the most anticipated season of the year. Whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or New Year’s, there’s something to be said about decorating, partying, seeing family, and indulging in your favorite foods. Even though the holidays are fun and exciting, they can also be stressful and interrupt your routine. This can impact your sleep quality. Here’s what we know about sleep and the holidays.
More Fun = Less Sleep
There is so much to do through the holiday season that it can interrupt your routine. You may not feel bad for staying out late one or two nights a week, but it does make it more difficult to get the sleep you need to feel fully rested. Your circadian rhythm is out of sync.
Holiday Foods Are Yummy, But How Do They Affect Your Sleep?
Sleep and eating have a bidirectional relationship. According to the Sleep Foundation, overeating interferes with sleep, especially when you indulge in rich treats or spicy foods. Sleep deprivation can impact your eating habits, causing you to choose unhealthy meals when you do eat. Holiday foods tend to be rich and indulgent. Eating more calories and fat than you’re accustomed to can decrease sleep.
Festive Drinks Do Not Help You Sleep
Alcohol often loosens your inhibitions so you can let your hair down, so to speak. Although many people drink in moderation without any impact on sleep, the added pressure to drink during the holidays can wreak havoc on your system. Alcohol is a depressant, which causes your brain activity to slow down. Drinking too much can really impact your quality of sleep
Sleep Apnea and Sleep Quality Through the Holidays
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects around 22 million Americans
. Obstructive sleep apnea can be a significant health issue in which your airway is blocked when you sleep. Your sleep is fragmented because your brain interrupts your sleep when you can’t breathe. You may never wake up because the awakening is so brief, but your body
remembers. You never reach the deep, restful phase of sleep.
The holidays can make it even more difficult to get enough sleep, especially when you struggle with sleep apnea. You may feel more tired than usual from overindulging in food or alcohol or staying out later than normal. Travel can also interrupt your routine.
Plan For a Good Night’s Sleep
If you are suffering from a lack of sleep through the holidays, you may need to change your plans. Take a nap before you go out to a late-night party. Don’t eat too close to bedtime. Plan for sleep when you travel. Make sure to bring your sleep appliance with you when you travel. Visit
your sleep apnea dentist if you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea