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4 Tips for Staying Rested Through the Holidays

4 Tips for Staying Rested Through the Holidays

 Everyone knows the holiday paradoxical conundrum: it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but in reality, it’s also the most stressful time of the year. Between running around to accommodate for guests, spending thousands on presents and gifts, and looking ahead to make sure it all happens according to plan, many adults are stressed out during the month of December.

We have a few tips for providing yourself with restful and predictable schedules each day in December to ensure you stay happy and healthy into the New Year.

  1. SLEEP
  2. Be honest, probably the first thing that hits the curb during the holiday season is restful sleep. Did you know that lack of sleep can cause weight gain, irritability, and hinders productivity – all things that you probably don’t want to deal with this season? Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep between Christmas planning.
  3. Don’t dismiss your routine
  4. Your body is used to a very regimented sleep pattern and wake-up time throughout the year. The holidays are not an excuse for throwing your system out of whack and introducing new sleep times, wake-up times, and unnecessary meals during the day. Stay committed to your sleep cycle.
  5. Don’t forget me-time
  6. It can seem like the world could care less about what you want and what you need during the holidays, but it’s important to be firm about me-time. Take a moment each day to sit down, open up your favorite book, and just relax amidst the chaos.
  7. Body investment
  8. The holidays are a serious downer for people set on dieting. A little advice: make a commitment to either boozing your way through the family gatherings, or snacking your way through the conversation. Don’t do both.

Ready for the jolly family get-togethers and gift exchanges? Stay committed to all 4 of these tips, and you’ll sail through Christmas in no-time.

Why you want an afternoon nap

 Everyone knows that post-lunch feeling of wanting to just curl up with a warm blanket at work and take a little snooze. They even give workers time off for this sensation in Spain and other Latin American countries. Your “siesta-feeling” is often linked to eating a big lunch, and wanting to doze off while the body digests.

What if we told you this phenomenon is actually linked to a biological and cardiac rhythm clock programmed into our bodies? The fluctuation in sleepiness and alertness throughout the day are symptomatic of intricate sleep and wake machinery hard at work in your brain. There are two main processes that are the controlling factors in why you want to doze off around mid-afternoon, post-lunchtime.

The first is called your homeostatic sleep drive. This cycle determines that the longer you are awake, the more chemicals build up in your brain and send a signal to make your body feel sleepy. This cycle explains why someone who was been awake for 18 hours straight does not feel as inexplicably tired as someone who has been up for 36 hours straight.

You’re probably thinking – right, makes sense, but then why do I feel sleepier around 2PM than I do at 7PM? This has to do with the homeostatic interaction with your circadian rhythm. This rhythm is an internal clock that works to keep your brain feeling awake at specific times of the day. This rhythm takes a notable dip around the 2-4PM afternoon slot. At about 4PM, the rhythm kicks in again for your next jolt of alertness, carrying you right to be at about 10PM.

To develop a schedule that works well with this rhythm, plan on doing most of your work between 8AM and noon, and again from about 4PM until 7PM. Plan an easier activity for that afternoon lull.

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