How to survive the festive period on little sleep

So last night was actually not a very good night sleep for me, but it had nothing to do with Oliver. In fact, I had a night away for business without him. The reason I didn’t sleep was our hotel room was 24 degrees in November, which is way too hot for me! Feeling how I do today reminds me of this time last year when I used to get up feeling worse than this every day for 10 months.

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It was at the beginning of December last year that I was close to breaking point. I was already feeling exhausted, low and unwell so the pressure of the busy festive period made me feel the only way I could be happy was to do what everyone else was doing; drinking, socialising and basically spending energy I didn’t have.

The result was January hit and I was in an even worse state than the month before. Oliver was still waking at least every 2 hours and to make matters harder he would not settle for naps during the day. I just felt completely hopeless and helpless. If only it was the lack of sleep, unfortunately my sleep deprivation lead to further ill health, a lack of productivity with my work, arguments with my husband, pranging my car twice which cost us £2000 to fix and generally spending most days in tears.

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So I’ve decided to write this today to ask you not to be me and to help you to look after yourself whilst you are not sleeping this Christmas. I know it’s easier said than done, after all tis the season to be jolly. So I’m sharing with you 3 useful tips on how to survive this Christmas on little sleep.

Prioritise your sleep

It is so easy to get caught up with attending every social event and catch up due to having FOMO this Christmas. However, having been the exhausted mum who tried to do everything last year, it was not worth it! Make catching up on sleep your top priority, whether it be enjoying early nights, taking short cat naps in the afternoon or if you have a sleepless child ask friends and family members to look after your little one whilst you catch up on some sleep.

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Now I am not saying turn into a hermit this Christmas and do nothing. It is important to enjoy some time for yourself, perhaps choose 1-2 social events to attend (excluding the 24th, 25th, 26th) that you would be absolutely gutted to miss out on. Just remember this is only one month, one Christmas, if you conserve your limited energy now, it will make a huge difference to the start of your 2018!

Nutrition and Supplementation

Now this may seem like a toughie, naturally you want to treat yourself to mince pies, cakes, chocolate and sweets because you see December as the month we should indulge. This really has just stemmed from clever marketing ploys which make us think that we need these treats to make our Christmas special. Somehow if we don’t have them it means our Christmas is incomplete.

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Really? Christmas is truly about spending time with your loved ones and sharing magical moments together. The problem with eating sugar when you are not sleeping is it quickly raises your blood sugar making you feel like you are buzzing, yet afterwards your blood sugar significantly dips making you feel exhausted. This is where the vicious sugar cycle comes into play, because when you are in this low you start to crave the buzz again so you grab the next sugary snack to keep you going. This common habit can lead to further health problems such as diabetes, obesity, low mood and even depression.

I’m not suggesting living off celery and cucumber for the month but instead of mostly eating sugar for 31 days of December, strive to consume foods that protect your immune system (which is already weakened due to your lack of sleep) and boost your energy (which is already limited). Mainly eat a balanced diet and allow yourself to enjoy treats in moderation across the three main days of Christmas.

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Equally sleep is one the main pillars of health, so be sure to make sure that you are taking high quality supplementation to further support your immune system whilst you are not sleeping. I can highly recommend taking Forever Living’s Bee Pollen, Bee Propolis, Probiotic and Aloe Vera Drinking gel all of which have helped me stay in tip top health since this beginning of this year. Forever Living’s supplements are very high quality, whichever brand you decide to go with make sure they are rigidly monitored and the finest ingredients are sourced. You can purchase Forever Living's supplements here, where they also come with a 100% 60 day money back guarantee. As with all supplementation ask your doctor or midwife any questions you may have.

Fresh air

Stepping outside during the winter months is always a daunting prospect when you live in a cooler country. No matter where you live in the world, getting out in the daylight and fresh air is so important when you are not sleeping.

Firstly, when the daylight hits your eyes your brain releases cortisol, which is the hormone that ensures you wake up in the morning. Melatonin on the other hand is the hormone which tells us when to feel sleepy and it is released by a lack of light e.g. darkness.

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What we all need to ensure a good night sleep is high cortisol/low melatonin in the morning and low cortisol/high melatonin in the evening. By going outside early in the morning, the release of cortisol not only makes you feel more awake but it also ensures both hormones are triggered at the right times of the day.

What we all need to ensure a good night sleep is high cortisol/low melatonin in the morning and low cortisol/high melatonin in the evening. By going outside early in the morning, the release of cortisol not only makes you feel more awake but it also ensures both hormones are triggered at the right times of the day.

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I hope these three small steps help you to have enough energy for this festive period and more importantly for the start of 2018.

If you are feeling exhausted and low from a lack of sleep and would like further expert advice and tips on how to boost your energy and mood when you are not sleeping. Then check out my 12 day online course “Have a Very Mindful Christmas” which is starting on Monday 4th December.

 

Kathryn Stimpson