Sleep and the Holidays

insomnia, natural sleep aid, can't get to sleep, can't stay asleep, waking up in the night, colorado natural medicine and acupuncture

Does the holiday season have you running like Rudolph – even in your dreams?

If sleep is something you’d put on your wish list then you must have been good this year because Santa is coming early, bringing you tips for solid sleep during the holidays.

Sleep is crucial for a healthy holiday season, yet can sometimes be elusive this time of year.  There are early travel days, late night parties, last-minute shopping, luscious desserts and potent drinks – and the list goes on and on of why we don’t get adequate amounts of quality sleep.

However, we are here to provide insights into why your sleep may be off during the holidays and what you can do to get more of it!

It’s important to target the specific reason for your disrupted sleep, so we have listed out common holiday sleep issues and treatments: 

  1. Support the Adrenals.

You know the feeling – you’ve been out all day holiday shopping, a marathon mall day for all the sales and you’re utterly exhausted when you fall into bed.  You think you’ll sleep like a rock…but find you either can’t fall asleep or are wide awake in the middle of the night.

Why is that?

It could very well be due to your adrenal glands on over-drive.  All day long they were producing adrenaline and cortisol and even though you are tired, they can have a hard time calming down.

To support your adrenal glands at night, try:

– Acupuncture

– Cortisol Manager™ by Integrative Therapeutics®

– Cortisol Calm by Pure Encapsulations®

– Adrenal Response® by Innate Formulas

– CBD Oil

– Lavela WS1265™ by Integrative Therapeutics®

As well as a calming meditation or epsom salt bath.

  1. Calm the Mind.

With so much on our to-do lists it’s easy to not be able to shut our brains off when it’s time to get some sleep.  Between last minute end-of-year projects at work to the school class party to the New Year’s Eve grocery shopping, it’s not a surprise that many people find their minds racing when it’s time to be relaxing.

If you find it’s difficult to get to sleep, try:

– Acupuncture

– time-released melatonin 1mg, 3mg, or 5mg

– Insomintol™ by Designs for Health®

– CBD Oil

– NeuroCalm™ from Designs for Health®

And for kids who find it hard to fall asleep with all the anticipation, opt for:

– .5 mg of liquid melatonin as needed (to be used occasionally – please call us if sleep is an issue every night)

– Sleepytime Tea by Celestial Seasonings

  1. Understand the Effects of Alcohol.

A glass of champagne here, a peppermint cocktail there, and before you know it you are asleep.  Well, until a few hours later when you wake up and can’t fall back asleep.

So what gives?

Initially, alcohol increases GABA production and can bring on drowsiness, making it easy to fall asleep.  But when the GABA drops a few hours later, then the excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate, kicks in and yep, you’re awake.

In addition, alcohol throws off your blood sugar.  It brings it up at first and then when it crashes in the middle of the night, cortisol increases to bring sugar levels back up which leads to waking up and staying up – and many times you may not feel good when you do wake up due to dehydration.

If you chose to drink, consider:

– eating a salty meal with the alcohol to encourage the body to store water

– staying hydrated with a glass of water or electrolyte drink in between alcoholic drinks

– staying up a bit later and take a walk to help the alcohol process before going to bed

– eating some protein and drinking a glass of Gatorade before bed

– drinking water and eating a salty snack if you wake up in the middle of the night

– taking a Liver C™ by Mountain Peak Nutritionals® before bed to help flush out toxins

  1. Be Prepared When You Travel.

Sure, booking that 6:00am flight seemed like a good idea at the time but now that you have to wake up a few hours prior, it doesn’t seem all that great anymore – no matter how much you saved.

But whether it’s getting up early for a flight or being stuck in the car for hours or sleeping in a bed that just isn’t your own, holiday travel can put a strain on our sleep.

To help acclimate to sleep while traveling, be prepared with the supplements you may need such as time-released (for adults) or liquid (for kids) melatonin as well as any additional ones that may target your specific travel sleep issues.

And before you travel, schedule an acupuncture appointment to balance your qi, lower your cortisol levels, and prepare your body for good sleep.

If you’re ready to give Rudolph a run for his money this year you’re going to need to be well-rested and we are here to help!

If you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the Greater Denver Metro area and would like to order supplements, schedule an appointment, or talk with Dr. Graves about sleep challenges, please call our office at (303) 688-6698 or click here.

Happy holidays to all and to all…A GOOD NIGHT!

Posted in Anxiety, blog, Fatigue, Functional Medicine, Natural Medicine, Natural Remedies, Sleep Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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