The silly season is approaching fast, and that means delicious foods, flowing drinks, and lots of laughs! While there’s nothing better than enjoying time off with family, friends and loved ones, we shouldn’t totally neglect our wellbeing or our sleep.
Yes, the holiday’s may mean more sleep-in’s, but this doesn’t necessarily make for a better quality of sleep. And the underlying problem? The foods and drinks we’re consuming.
Alcohol – especially the sugar-heavy stuff – can really mess with the quality of sleep you get. As the alcohol is processed by your body, it is converted into sugars, causing a sugar high in the middle of the night.
As for foods, Sarah Remmer, a registered dietitian based in Calgary, says that spicy foods “can produce an excess amount of stomach acid, therefore causing heartburn, bloating and discomfort which can disrupt sleep”. Fatty and fried foods that can tax or upset your stomach are also best avoided before sleep.
So how can we enjoy the silly season without compromising our sleep and wellbeing?
Yes, planning your alcohol consumption ahead of time isn’t the most festive of behaviour, but neither is a restless sleep and enduring a hangover the next day.
Before the party and fun begins, work out your booze strategy. You might drink alcohol slower, choose low-alcohol varieties of beer and wine, make every second drink water, or even set a limit.
Whichever way stops you from overindulging and paying the price the next day. Your body will thank you!
Of course, our eating habits are going to suffer over the silly season, and with all those Christmas parties, work events and family outings, it might seem like a never-ending buffet of Christmas fares.
But, make sure those prepared meals count (however few and far between they may end up being). Prepare meals that are nutrient dense and pack a nutritional punch, they can make a huge difference.
Find Some "Me" Time
Now is the time of year when our schedules look seriously crazy – Christmas parties, catch-ups with friends, Sunday barbecues, and family time. Take a few moments now to look ahead in your calendar and plan out some time for you to relax and unwind. This can be as simply as booking in a yoga class every week, or blocking time to have a quiet night at home – whatever you need to recharge your battery and help look after yourself.
If you’re after more helpful ways to improve your slumber, look after your gut and better your health, check out our Sleep Cleanse eBook.