Why Sleeping Through the Holidays is a Good Thing
(Family Features) Battling crowded shopping centers. Purchasing last minute gifts. Party preparations. Travel arrangements. Hosting family. In addition to cheer and excitement, the holidays also seem to bring never-ending “to do” lists that often cause you to sacrifice basic needs in order to check off every task. One of the first things many people give up is a good night’s sleep – not knowing the crucial role that it plays in staying healthy throughout the holiday rush.
Getting enough sleep is crucial to immune function, memory and other vital functions that keep you going. According to research published in the journal Sleep, lack of sleep can have the same effect on your body as physical stress or illness, causing you to overproduce white blood cells as if you are fighting an infection.1
A good night's sleep won't grant you immunity from stress or illness, but getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night can have a positive impact on your health and ability to successfully manage your day. Dr. Heith Durrence, a PhD in Psychology with a specialty in Behavioral and Sleep Medicine, explains that, “Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is essential for the health of your immune system. Practicing good bedtime habits will help ensure your body is equipped to handle the busyness and stress of the holidays.”
To improve your sleep during the holiday season, Dr. Durrence recommends:
- Ensuring your bedroom environment is welcoming and associated with sleep by removing distractions, keeping room temperature cool and using curtains to block unnatural light
- Developing a calming routine before bedtime, such as taking a warm bath or listening to relaxing music
- Avoiding using mobile phones and tablets before bedtime, as the LED lights can suppress melatonin levels
- Don’t eat greasy, spicy or protein-filled foods before bedtime, which can disrupt digestion or upset your stomach
For some people, practicing good bedtime habits alone may not be enough. Each year in the United States, 40 million people experience sleep problems and 4 million people have chronic insomnia. While insomnia affects people in different ways, staying asleep is the number one reported problem of people with the condition.
If you think you need additional help with your sleep problems, speak with your health care provider about your routine, lifestyle and symptoms. If you are diagnosed with insomnia, your health care provider may prescribe a prescription medication. There are several options available, one of which is SILENOR® (doxepin). SILENOR® is a prescription sleep medicine that is used to treat people with insomnia who have trouble staying asleep. It works with the wake-promoting mechanism of your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle to help you stay asleep during the night and keep you from waking too early in the morning.
Managing stress and staying healthy starts at night. Practicing good bedtime habits can help strengthen your immune system so you are able to power through and enjoy the busy holidays. To learn more about the benefits of a good night’s sleep and SILENOR®, visit www.silenor.com.
1 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120701191638.htm, Katrin Ackermann, Victoria L. Revell, Oscar Lao, Elwin J. Rombouts, Debra J. Skene, Manfred Kayser. Diurnal Rhythms in Blood Cell Populations and the Effect of Acute Sleep Deprivation in Healthy Young Men. SLEEP, 2012; DOI:10.5665/sleep.1954
Photo courtesy of Getty Images