With the ‘silly season’ fast approaching we all find ourselves looking for that edge that will help us ‘fit it all in’! Oh, to be the perfect 1950’s TV family: the parties, the shopping, the cooking, the card-writing - on top of the laundry, the deadlines, and kids… ugh it’s exhausting just thinking about it! A study in the US showed that 53% of parents will sacrifice their sleep due to holiday activities and stress, and 63% report asking for sleep and relaxation-related holiday gifts.
So…what we are craving is sleep. We recognise that we need to get better at it, but we still sacrifice it for late-night online shopping and cookie-baking. Until we figure out how to duplicate ourselves, move at super-speed, or travel through time - this article will show you how prioritising sleep will give you the power-up you need to survive (and maybe even enjoy!) this holiday season.
The Stress Stopper: The Christmas chaos naturally results in increased levels of stress hormones. Making sure we get enough sleep helps to reduce our stress levels and makes us more adept at managing stress when problems, inevitably, present themselves.
Peak Performer: As you desperately try to meet your end of year deadlines, you need to be performing at your best, not fixing up careless mistakes. Sleeping well, in particular getting good REM sleep, is essential to re-energising us physically and mentally, giving us better stamina, motivation and improved attention to detail!
Brain Booster: Making sure we are well rested boosts our brain power: we learn better, retain information and are able to have fresh and creative ideas. This allows us to be on our A-game. While we can’t guarantee that sleeping well through the holidays will guarantee a win at family games night, you’ll definitely be more able to think clearly and make quick decisions that could seize victory from your suspiciously ‘lucky’ grandpa.
Happy not Hangry: Sleep may just be the secret ingredient to a svelte figure. When we are rested we feel less hungry and our body manages calories more effectively. Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same section of our brain. So when we feel sleepy, the hormone that makes us feel hungry increases, and the hormone that makes us feel full decreases. Now I’m not here to begrudge you that Christmas cookie or 2nd glass of wine, BUT, with a good night’s sleep, let that decision be up to you instead of your cravings.
Impressive Immunity: If there was one superpower we all needed in 2020 - this is it! In order to have a strong immune system we have to give our bodies quality sleep time to repair, regenerate and recover. When we are well-rested, we are better equipped to fend off infection and bounce back to wellness faster.
Good Vibes: Because this is really what it is all about right? Holiday cheer? Dreaming (or REM sleep) is when our brain processes emotions and memories, helping us to be better able to recognise and react. When we are well-rested, we find it’s easier to read other people’s mood and navigate social cues. Good sleep is like a reset button – improving our mood so we can start the day with a positive outlook. Getting enough sleep helps us cope with change, stay calm and let that comment from your mother-in-law go through to the keeper. Now if that isn’t a superpower, I don’t know what is!
This silly season - don your cape, grab your pillow, and let your quality sleep be the superpower that carries you through the holiday madness to live the life you dream.