Give Yourself the Gift of Sleep for the Holidays
( HealthDay News) -- Many people sacrifice sleep in order to complete all their shopping, decorating, cooking and other holiday preparations. But a lack of sleep can reduce your ability to enjoy the season, warns Dr. Alejandro D. Chediak , president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
"In order to best enjoy the holiday season, anticipate and budget the extra time needed to carry out your holiday 'to-do' list. Getting an early start and doing a little bit each day will save time and relieve stress. Delaying your 'to-do' list until the last possible minute not only leads to sleep loss, it also makes one contend with heavier street traffic and more aggressive crowds in stores," Chediak said in a prepared statement.
Chediak offered the following holiday season sleep tips:
* Take time to relax in the evening. Giving your brain time to calm down before bed will help you sleep better.
* Stick to your regular sleep/wake schedule. Customary pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath or a few minutes of reading, can also help ensure you get a good sleep.
* Plan ahead for holiday activities. Set aside time to wrap gifts, decorate the house, or plan your holiday menu.
* If you become drowsy while driving, pull off into a rest area and take a short nap -- about 15 to 20 minutes.
* Don't eat a heavy meal before bedtime. This can cause heartburn or discomfort that can make it difficult to fall asleep or disturb your sleep.
* When you're at evening holiday parties, don't have too much alcohol or caffeine. Both can inhibit your normal sleep pattern.