How To Make The Most Of Your Sleep Over The Festive Season

Pretty redhead resting on the armchair at christmas at home in the living room

By Silentnight’s sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan.

Dr Nerina Ramlakhan

Dr Nerina Ramlakhan

Get the basics right

Senior woman drinking from a water bottle

Pic: iStockphoto

First of all – make sure you get the essentials right. This means eating properly, staying well hydrated, getting enough exercise, and avoiding excessive alcohol and refined sugar. It’s also a good idea to take multivitamins throughout the season to ensure your immune system remains robust.

Remember it’s OK to say ‘no’

We all know December can be a hectic month for parties, but I think it’s important to try and avoid over-booking and over-committing yourself. Ask yourself ‘do I really want or have to go to this event?’

Constantly telling yourself ‘I must do this’ and ‘I should do that’ is draining – remember that you can’t possibly do everything.

Get some fresh air

A mature couple walk through a woodland area smiling and laughing to one another while they walk their dalmatian dog. They are wrapped up warm on a cold Autumn day.

Pic: iStockphoto

Get out into nature and aim to have as much exposure to natural daylight, fresh air and sunlight as possible. This will keep your nervous system in balance and optimise melatonin production.

Christmas is a great time for a wintery walk with the family, and even just 20 minutes of exposure to sunshine is enough to boost your vitamin D levels and your mood.

Reduce time with technology

Try to maintain a healthy balance with technology. Constantly posting about what you’re up to during the festive season might boost your mood for a short while but it is bound to disrupt your sleep in the long term.

Have a nap 

Calm millennial woman relaxing on soft comfortable sofa meditating or having daytime nap, carefree lazy girl breathing fresh air enjoying no stress free peaceful weekend morning resting on couch

Pic: iStockphoto

There’s nothing worse than feeling run down when everyone else is full of festive cheer. So if you’re feeling off-colour, try napping for 5-20 minutes at some point between 2 and 4pm. This is the best time to take a daytime nap, and can help to reboot your immune system.

Buy some essential oils 

Oranges cut in half

Pic: iStockphoto

Using aromatherapy oils in your bedroom, such as lavender and eucalyptus, can really help optimise your sleep. Orange oil is also really useful during the festive season, as not only does it have a warming Christmassy scent, but it will also give you a much-needed boost if your energy levels are flagging.

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!