Most of the blog posts you will be seeing this week are about what you should do about many different things in the New Year. New Year’s resolutions abound, and I have a few myself. But, what about New Year’s Eve? This is a night celebrated by most everyone, and it usually includes several activities that will influence your sleep.
Let’s face it New Years is a fun holiday where we do a lot of drinking, eating, dancing, watching TV late, and of course celebrating! The big question is: How can we have all the fun and avoid the New Year’s Day exhaustion and start the year off feeling healthy? Here are some things to try this year.
Here’s what to do in the days before your New Year Celebration
- Slow Your Roll, Before The Big Night. You probably have a good idea of what you’ll be doing for New Years, and you have probably also been doing the holiday thing for a couple of weeks, you really want to lower your level of sleep deprivation prior to Dec 31. Make sure to go to bed at your calculated bedtime and wake up within an hour of your normal wake up time. This will keep your circadian rhythms in sync and you will not end up with Holiday “Jet Lag”!
- Give Your Liver A Rest. If you like to celebrate with a few adult beverages on New Year’s, you may want to consider a “dry” week just before the big night. Not drinking a few days before New Year’s Eve will do two things that may be helpful: First it will bring your new alcohol tolerance down if you’ve already been drinking over the holidays, so you don’t require more liquid fun on New Year’s which can leave you feeling terrible the next day. Second, alcohol affects sleep cycles and you are trying to get your best quality sleep prior to your celebration, just in case you stay out late!
- The single best way to improve your sleep quality is daily exercise. Even if you are just going for a daily walk, it will help improve sleep quality. Plus, if you are going to be dancing the night away, you will not want to run out of breath!
- Stock Up On The Right Stuff. If the holidays did not bring you a new pillow, get one now. While mattress shopping is a chore at times, an easy way to improve your sleep is with the right sleep equipment, and the best place to start is with my favorite pillow. This is the one I use each night and its great. If you have not replaced your pillow within the past 18 months, it’s time to treat yourself to something (for a change). Think of changing your pillow like changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, it is necessary and requires a regular schedule.
What to do on New Year’s Eve
This is a big one, you have the whole night to have fun. It’s time to think about safety, and of course SLEEP!
- Limit Consumption With This One Little Trick: A Glass for a Glass. For every adult beverage you have, drink a glass of water. In, fact make sure you are VERY well hydrated prior to going out (yes you may need to use the restroom a bit more, but this will help you with everything from stamina to nausea). Drinking a glass for a glass will do two important things for you: it will help you slow down the amount of alcohol you drink (which may be a good idea) and it will help keep your hangover at bay (half the reason you get a hangover is dehydration).
- Do Not Go Straight To Bed When You Get Home After A Night Of Partying (I know, this kind of goes against keeping close to your bedtime). Remember there is a really big difference between going to sleep and passing out! You may need to eat something to help with your alcohol consumption (carbs work well here consider Nightfood and again HYDRATE. Secret Sleep Doc trick: Coconut Water, it seems to help with the hangover. Just giving your body a little time to wind down is ALWAYS a good thing.
- Watch what you eat. I know it’s a time of celebration, but if you eat very rich foods or things your body is not used to eating, it can have a disastrous effect on your digestion. To be sure you are not up in the middle of the night in the bathroom with stomach distress, enjoy yourself but do it in moderation. If you are doing a Keto or Paleo diet, going off the rails, in a crazy way, is not a great idea. If you want to learn more about how these diets affect sleep along with intermittent fasting, check out my articles:
- Find A Ride Ahead Of Time. There are many ways to get around on New Year’s Eve but driving yourself around may not be the best idea. With all the ride-sharing services out there, there are plenty of sober people to help get you home. If you are the Designated Driver, then be sure to have followed my Pre-New Year’s recommendations above, remember drowsy driving has a huge effect on reaction time.
A few thoughts for New Year’s Day
- Don’t Sleep In More Than 30 Minutes Past Your Regular Wake Up Time. New Year’s day is on Tuesday this year, which means you may need to go to work on Wednesday. Avoid the Holiday Jet Lag, by getting up as close to your normal weekday wake-up time as possible.
- Wake Up And Hydrate. Remember even on a normal evening you lose almost a liter of water while breathing at night. Have that bottle of water ready by your bedside.
- Get Outside And Get Some Sunshine! If it is too cold to actually go outside, just go to your window and get 15 min of sunlight within 30 min of waking up, this helps re-set your clock and will help remove that “FOG” in your brain caused by Melatonin.
- Sweat It Out. If you did have alcohol, now is a great time to get it out of your system. Walk, run, bike, start the New Year off right with a trip to the gym. This will also help synch your rhythms and help you sweat out toxins you may have gotten into your system the night before.
That’s all from me today, I’ve had a great year sharing information that I hope is helping you sleep better every day. I wish you a safe, happy and healthy New Year. Look for more great sleep information in my blog and newsletter in 2019!