Fighting Fatigue Over the Holiday Season

December 15, 2015

The holidays can be chaotic. One minute you are relaxing with family and friends, and the next you are juggling the grandkids and whipping up dinner for 10! It’s important to feel energised so you are ready to tackle anything that comes at you. But holidays can also bring about a surprising amount of lethargy, especially for retired adults who are used to more effortless living.

Lethargy is a state of sluggishness or tiredness, usually arising out of a lack of energy. One of the culprits is of course the hot Australian summer. Although it’s not just the heat you should watch out for. There are other contributors to avoid when on holidays that may lead you to feel exhausted.

Overindulging During the Silly Season

Aspects of seasonal festivities can upset your slumber in a number of ways. One of the most prominent factors is alcohol. When on holidays, alcohol may be consumed more frequently, or in higher quantities. Some people may think alcohol can help to get to sleep, but it leaves the second half of your sleep much more fragmented. Try leaving a few hours between having a couple of alcoholic drinks and going to bed to ensure you have a better sleep.

The holiday season is also a time when we tend to eat more than normal and try a wide variety of foods, some of which may disagree with us. Discomfort in your digestive system may definitely lead to an uncomfortable sleep. Anything that can cause reflux or indigestion like heavy, spicy food might be the cause of your fatigue. Eating desserts, especially late in the evening may also have an affect on your sleep. Sugary foods give you that well-known “sugar high” that can make you feel stimulated and not sleepy right when you should be going to sleep. Try to maintain a well balanced diet the best you can over the holidays and avoid overeating and drinking.

Afternoon Naps

When you mix a heavy meal with a bit of alcohol, some sleep deprivation and some seriously hot weather, you might find it just impossible to stay awake throughout the day. So when the afternoon comes along all you can think about is having a post-lunch nap. Although studies have shown it may not just be your indulgent day to blame. The “mid-afternoon dip” you tend to feel around 3 pm is actually a part of the biological clock that influences when you feel awake or when you want to sleep and it can happen whether you’ve had food, or not.

Power Naps for Energy

Some other factors that may cause tiredness include when in the day and for how long you sleep. That afternoon siesta could be the cause of feeling so tired. Napping too long during the day can weaken your body’s drive to sleep at night, meaning you’ll find yourself tossing, turning and not able to fall asleep until the late hours of the night. If you limit your daytime naps to no longer than 20 minutes you will feel re-energised for the afternoon and still be able to sleep well in the evenings for a perfect balance of holiday fun and relaxing.