The festive season – a time for joy, merriment, good food and drink, family gatherings, and parties. It’s a celebration. It turns out though that too much of a good time can have a serious impact on your sleep.

An irregular sleep schedule, anxiety caused by the demands of planning Christmas and end-of-year events, overeating and drinking, as well as anticipation surrounding the whole holiday season can seriously mess with our sleep. Not to mention jet lag and sleeping in different surroundings if we’re heading off to enjoy the holiday season away from home.

Insomnia can begin with events that cause sleep disturbances. In a fairly short time, we can find that our usual sleep routine is totally messed up and this begins a cycle that can be difficult to break. Apart from late nights and sleep-ins, indulging in food and alcohol can cause us to have disturbed sleep. Even if we are sleeping between 7-9 hours a night, we might not be getting the amount of deep sleep and REM sleep required by the body to function well the next day.

The best way to survive the festive season is to manage your sleep well through this period. Here are a few tips:

  • It’s important to start without a sleep debt. If you’re already struggling to achieve healthy sleep and feeling tired, it will be even more difficult to manage your sleep well during this time of the year
  • Be kind to yourself and don’t aim for standards that are impossible to achieve. This will just cause you enormous anxiety (and lost sleep) and you’ll likely not be able to achieve the standards you’ve set for yourself
  • Try to make up for lost sleep with an earlier night or a nap that’s no later than 2 pm
  • Once the celebrations are over, get back to your regular sleep routine as quickly as possible
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