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Friday, December 6, 2013

All I Want For Christmas is a Little More Sleep!

Blog contributed by Greg Barnes, BS, PinnacleHealth Sleep Center Supervisor 

This time of year many women sacrifice sleep while trying to balance holiday tasks with the rest of the busy American lifestyle. Shopping, decorating, cooking and other holiday activities are just a few of the demands this time of year. Be careful though, a lack of sleep can increase stress and reduce your ability to enjoy the season.

Here are a 8 tips for a more restful holiday season:

  1. Sleep schedule: Try to maintain a sleep schedule, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Keep your schedule even on your days off and holidays.
  2. Watch what you eat: The holidays bring lots of opportunities to overindulge and eat foods that you might not usually eat. A light meal before a party might help keep you from overindulging! Heartburn indigestion can make it difficult to sleep. Don’t go eat right before bed, it can be tough to sleep with a full belly.
  3. Caffeine and alcohol: Both can be a detriment to quality sleep. Did you know that caffeine effects can last for up to 12 hours? Contrary to popular belief, alcohol also negatively effects sleep for most people.
  4. Your sleep environment: Make certain your bedroom is ideal for sleeping. Cool, dark and quiet usually works best.
  5. Naps: Daytime naps that are too long can interfere with nighttime sleep; keep naps to 30 minutes or less.
  6. Physical activity: Daily physical activity can promote better sleep. Give yourself plenty of time to wind down before bedtime.
  7. Manage stress: When you have too much to think about, your sleep is likely to suffer. So get organized, set priorities and delegate tasks.
  8. Try to anticipate and budget the extra time needed to carry out your holiday 'to-do' list. Start early and do a little each day to save time and reduce stress. Delaying until the last possible minute not only leads to sleep loss, it brings heavier traffic, aggressive crowds in stores and the stress of spending lots of money at once.

If you or a loved one still struggle to get restful sleep, you may have an underlying condition.  Many sleep disorders can be treated.

For more information or to set up an appointment call the PinnacleHealth Sleep Center at 920-4325 or visit us on the web at

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