Present buying, wine drinking and party going are the most common causes of a poor night’s sleep at Christmas, according to The Sleep Council.

“Christmas preparations can play havoc with our sleeping routine – which can ultimately affect our physical and mental health,” said Lisa Artis, spokesperson for The Sleep Council. “Worrying about buying presents, seeing relatives and finances can cause sleep problems including sleep walking, talking and eating whilst asleep. It is therefore extremely important that people remember to take some time out during the holiday period to relax and de-stress so they make it through the festive season awake and alert.”

If you’re not getting as much rest as you need, try following these simple tips to help yourself to get a better night’s sleep:

  1. Stick to Routine

Try as much as possible to keep regular sleeping hours – we know it can be hard when you’re staying up late for Santa, but going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time, will programme your body to sleep better. Also, regular, moderate exercise such as swimming or walking can help relieve the day’s stresses and strains. But not too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. A good brisk walk is ideal to stop you feeling sluggish after a hefty Christmas dinner!

  1. Create a Restful Environment

Keep the Christmas decorations to the other parts of your home – your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep and it should be neither too hot, nor too cold; and as quiet and dark as possible. It might also be handy to keep some ear plugs handy to block out the sound of your partner’s alcohol or feast-induced snoring!

  1. A Comfy Bed

Make sure your bed is comfortable.  It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on one that’s too soft, too hard, too small or too old.  It should be as big as possible so avoid partner disturbance. Perhaps a new bed should be on your Christmas present list!

  1. Don’t Over-Indulge

Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can play havoc with sleep patterns.  Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night. It is hard in the party period but try to swap to water a couple of hours before bedtime.

  1. Make Time for ‘Me’ Time

Try to relax and insist on some ‘me time’ before going to bed.  Have a warm bath, listen to some quiet music or do some yoga – these all help to relax both the mind and body. It’s also important to resolve arguments before bed. Ongoing conflicts are not conducive to putting you in the right frame of mind for sleep!

For further information, please visit www.sleepcouncil.org.uk