Why Do We Sleep So Much During the Holidays?

The holidays are here, which means you’ve finally got some time off from work to look forward to.  So, why do most of us wind up sleeping through it all? Consider these facts we got from Newsweek.

  • First holiday sleep inducer: The Christmas turkey AND the trimmings. It’s true that turkey is loaded with tryptophan – an amino acid that relaxes your brain, and triggers deep sleep, but turkey alone won’t send you off to dreamland. That’s according to research by the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. They found that in order for tryptophan to work effectively, you need to eat all other stuff too – like mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, and stuffing. These contain high-glycemic carbohydrates that neutralize the other amino acids in your body – helping you fall asleep faster. In other words, if you don’t want to snooze through the big game this Christmas lay off the carbs!
  • A second holiday sleep culprit is  your seasonal social schedule. Chances are that between Thanksgiving and Christmas, your evenings are booked with dinner parties and shopping trips. These all cut into the eight hours of recommended sleep time you need each night and that leaves you feeling more drowsy each day! Plus when the days are shorter in winter, your body produces more melatonin – a hormone which helps you sleep, and affects your mood. So, this time of year you naturally have less energy, you sleep longer, and you might even be a little depressed.
  • The last holiday sleep culprit: spiked eggnog. Alcohol can have a devastating effect on your sleep habits. Initially, it acts as a sedative for your body – making it easy to fall asleep. When the booze wears off – usually in the middle of the night – you’ll find yourself wide awake, with no chance of getting back to sleep. So, if you want a good night’s sleep during the holidays, lay off the rum eggnog and mulled wine.

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