Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2022 at 2:14 pm
The holidays are here, a joyous and merry time of the year. However, if you suffer from sleep apnea, you may notice that the quality of your sleep tends to drop off during the holidays. Why? It may be because some traditional holiday indulgences can cause physical and emotional disruptions. These disruptions can exacerbate your sleep apnea symptoms and make it tough to tuck in for a good night’s sleep.
At Silent Night Therapy, we want to help you uncover which holiday traditions may make your sleep apnea worse.
Out with Routine
The holidays are magical. However, they can also be quite stressful and disruptive. Shopping, wrapping presents, going to holiday parties, welcoming family, and traveling can interrupt your day-to-day routine. You may stay up too late, wake up too early, and generally face an inconsistent schedule.
Your body relies on patterns. Sleeping is easier when your body knows what to expect. A solid bedtime routine can help trigger chemicals in your brain to prepare you for sleep. Disruptions to your routine cause disruptions in your sleep cycle, making falling or staying asleep more challenging. Although you might find it difficult at this time of year, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. If you are traveling, bring your CPAP machine, oral appliance, or other supplies with you on your trip. Do not leave home without the things that help you maintain normality. Sticking to a consistent routine throughout the holiday season can help you feel refreshed and keep you running on all cylinders.
Mental Health Struggles
The holidays are supposed to be a cheerful and heartwarming time of year. Yet, the holiday season can also become emotionally overwhelming. Worrying about your financial situation, what gifts to buy, or stressing out about travel arrangements, can degrade your mental health. Mental health struggles like depression and anxiety can cause sleep disturbances and make coping with sleep apnea more difficult.
It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of the holidays. For your mental health and to improve the quality of your sleep, take a few moments each evening to hit the reset button. Meditate, take a hot bubble bath, read a book, exercise, or engage in any activity to help calm your mind at the end of the day. It’s noble to put family and friends first this time of year, but don’t neglect your needs. You deserve self-care and rest.
Overindulgence is almost synonymous with the holiday season. However, holiday weight gain can eventually lead to worsening sleep apnea symptoms, especially in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea.
The overconsumption of alcohol can also make your sleep apnea symptoms worse. Alcohol is a depressant, and people tend to think it will help them fall asleep when the opposite is true. Alcohol does slow your breathing and makes it shallower. However, this can lead to snoring problems and disrupted breathing, relaxing the throat muscles to the point where less air passes through into your lungs. Individuals with sleep apnea who over-consume alcohol are more likely to wake up multiple times during the night and report feeling exhausted in the morning.
Contact Us for Better Sleep Today
Need help getting a better night’s rest? At Silent Night Therapy, our goal is to help you wake up feeling vibrant and refreshed all year long. For a free consultation with one of our sleep professionals, contact our New York office at 631-983-2463. A new you for the new year is only a phone call away.