How Alcohol Affects Sleep
The holidays are the time of year when people let loose as they celebrate with friends and family. New Year's Eve is the grand finale where people tend to go all out. For some, it’s the last hurrah before they buckle down and focus on their resolutions for the new year. For others, it is a celebration of the last night of the year and an opportunity to drink and be merry. Whatever your reason, alcohol is likely involved. About 54% of Americans plan to drink some form of alcohol on New Year’s Eve.
When you combine this unusually high alcohol consumption with staying up late, you wreak havoc on your sleep schedule and quality. Minimize the negative ways alcohol affects sleep quality with these tips.
Start Preparing Early
Similar to preparing for the change in time during daylight savings, you should start preparing for New Year’s Eve several days in advance. Starting to prep a few days early can be tricky, especially since the holidays are full swing. Prepare for the big night out by following your established sleep schedule, scaling back your drinking, working out more, and upgrading your bedding.
Follow Your Sleep Schedule
In the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, slow things down. Try to go to bed at your routine bedtime. The goal is to lower the level of sleep deprivation that you are probably experiencing from celebrating the holidays with parties and get-togethers. Try not to let yourself sleep more than an hour over your routine wake-up time. You don’t want to oversleep and knock your circadian rhythm out of whack. Letting this happen will cause you to feel even more tired, a condition commonly referred to as holiday jet lag.
Scale Back Your Drinking
Give your liver a break in the week leading up to New Year’s Eve. Scaling back will help bring your alcohol tolerance back down. As a result, you won’t need to drink as much to feel the effects, saving you money and hangover pain. Not drinking allows you to get the best quality sleep during your prep week. Because alcohol negatively impacts your sleep quality, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by sabotaging your efforts by drinking in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve.
Doing physical activity during the day helps you burn off excess energy, which helps you sleep better at night. If you’re already planning on going to the gym or getting in shape as your New Year’s resolution, then why not get a jump start on it a week early? You don’t have to do anything serious; a daily walk can be a big help if you are not typically active.
Upgrade Your Bedroom
When was the last time you bought new sheets, comforters, or pillows? Chances are, it was when you purchased your bed. People tend to buy what they need and then forget about it. Now is the perfect time to take stock and assess what you have. Get rid of that old and flat pillow that gives you a neck ache each morning. Replace it with a breathable and supportive pillow that will support your head, neck, and shoulders. Toss those scratchy sheets that never felt as soft as you wished they had. Replace them with a set of organic cotton sheets that will glide over your skin and help you stay cool and comfortable throughout the night.
Be Ready on New Year’s Eve
When the big day arrives, it is time to have some fun! Drink plenty of water during the day to make sure you are well hydrated before you head out for a night of fun. Then once you are out, try the glass for a glass trick. No, this does not mean trying to keep up with those around you. Instead, drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume. Doing this does two crucial things for you. First, it slows your alcohol consumption, which reduces the amount of alcohol you drink throughout the night. Secondly, it keeps you hydrated and reduces the intensity of your hangover the next day. Dehydration is a big reason why you feel hungover after drinking alcohol.
Eat a light snack before you go to sleep. Avoid overly rich foods or things your body isn’t used to digesting. These are hard on your body and can disrupt your sleep.
Stick With It New Year’s Day
When New Year’s day finally arrives, don’t sleep more than 30 minutes past your regular wake-up time. This may be tough, given that you probably stayed up later than usual. However, doing this helps you stay on your routine and recover faster.
Upon waking, your first task is to hydrate. Alcohol dehydrates you, so you need to replenish your fluids. Take a walk outside and enjoy the sunshine. The fresh air and sunlight will help to de-fog your brain. Make it faster-paced and work up a sweat if you’re feeling up to it. Sweating will help your body expel the alcohol faster.
Start Preparing For New Year’s Eve
Get started now preparing for how alcohol affects sleep by upgrading your bed. You can easily do this by purchasing a new mattress. If your budget isn’t ready for a whole new mattress, you could add a topper to your old mattress. Upgrading now will help you establish a healthy sleep routine where you get a whole night of restorative sleep every night.Upgrade your bed’s mattress today and reduce the negative effects alcohol has on your sleep.