Happy New Year!
The excitement of Christmas and New Year has come and gone but do you feel rested after your break?
Or are you feeling tired and rung out?
We all look forward to the Christmas break and expect to chill out and recharge our batteries. But the truth is that we often go back to work in January, knackered! And add the dark, gloomy, grey days of January into the mix, and it’s no wonder you feel exhausted.
Apparently, January is THE month people go online scouring the internet for solutions to their sleep problems.
Why is this a tricky time for sleep patterns?
Most of us are manic before Christmas, tying up work projects before the end of the year and getting ready for the festivities. Plus, we have probably experienced quite a few weeks of partying in the lead up to and during Christmas! This all adds up to disrupted sleep routines – going to bed late and getting up at irregular times. And we’ve also been eating lots of richer and heavier food, maybe drinking too much alcohol and taking little or no exercise. More changes that impact badly upon our sleep.
Add to the fact that many of us have been on the move during the holidays, visiting relatives and friends. Sleepless, restless nights on uncomfortable mattresses that leave the body aching and done in add further to the problem.
In short, the festive season is the perfect environment to get into bad sleeping habits and get your slumbers out of sync.
It’s not just us adults that feel out of whack, it’s the kids too. Their routines have been disrupted, they’ve been on a high sugar diet for a few weeks and are wired – they’re craving sugar like candy! Consequently, they’re not sleeping, they’re tired and they’re disturbing your sleep too.
So, what can you do to get back on track?
Here are a few of my top tips.
Routine, routine, routine!
Did I say routine? Routine is key, your brain loves routine! Unfortunately, your brain doesn’t recognise weekends or holidays, so it’s essential that you go to bed at more or less the same time every night and get up at the same time each morning – you’ve probably got a 30 – 60 minute window of lie in time; or you could be suffering from what is known as “social jet lag”, where your body clock has moved into a different time zone over the weekend.
Have a soak before bedtime
A warm bath or shower is great for relaxing you, but don’t make it too hot or it will make you sweat too much and raise your heart rate, which isn’t conducive to helping you fall asleep. Allow at least 20 minutes to make sure your body cools down before hitting the sack.
Step away from the tech
Have a tech embargo at least an hour before going to bed, to reduce your exposure to blue light from screens, which disrupts your drive for sleep. It’s not just the screen glare, the content you’re looking at could either stimulate or stress you, waking you up when you should be feeling sleepy.
Keep electronic devices to a minimum in the bedroom, no phones, tablets, laptops or televisions. Not only do they emit electro-magnetic pollution, which disrupts your sleep, but it also stops the temptation to either watch or use them in bed. Particularly important where children are concerned.
Are you struggling with your sleep? If you are, would you like to have a free 15 minute chat to see how I can help you?
You can access my online diary here and pick a date and time that suits you.
Just CLICK HERE to make your booking.
Rachel McGuinness, our guest blogger, is an expert in sleep deprivation and solving sleep problems. She is trained in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia and is a Neuro Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner. She runs her own business called Wake up with Zest . As well as helping individuals with sleeping problems she also gives talks to businesses about how to get into good sleeping habits.