Do you get stressed out during the holidays? Are you getting enough sleep? Even though you may feel like there are not enough hours in the day, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Easier said than done, I know, but without proper sleep, your body will not be able to function properly.
By getting the daily recommended amount of sleep, your risk for developing illnesses is decreased. Proper management of your sleep cycle also means a decrease in healthcare costs. This can be especially helpful around the holidays when budgets tend to be overspent on gifts and travel. Don’t forget to sleep over the holidays.
Many companies are now actively promoting healthy sleep habits and encourage their employees to have sleep studies done and see their doctors regularly. Healthy employees equal happy employees, which means a more productive workforce overall. A common motto in today’s workforce is “work smarter, not longer”.
Stress is the one hindering factor that most often interferes with the quality and quantity of sleep that we get each night. When this happens night after night, we become fatigued. Many times people complain of “chronic fatigue syndrome”, which occurs from repeated insufficient sleep.
Sleep loss affects your cognitive abilities, work performance, and overall productivity levels in daily life. This can eventually spiral into depression and/or anxiety.
Something else that we need to be aware of is the increase in drivers traveling during the holidays. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a higher volume of holiday travelers, including a significantly higher number of alcohol-impaired drivers, results in more crashes and fatalities at this time of year. Aside from alcohol-related incidents, we also need to be aware of icy road conditions, and people driving who are sleep-deprived.
The NHTSA states that during the Christmas period, for example, an average of 45 fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver occurred each day. That number increases to 54 per day over the New Year’s holiday. Medical professionals and hospitals across the United States prepare for this holiday traffic trauma. Additionally, the NHTSA estimates that approximately 100,000 crashes each year are related to driver fatigue/drowsiness. Sleep deprivation leads to lapses of attention while driving, which can attribute to behavior that would cause a car crash. Most crashes occur between 4:00 – 6:00 a.m, midnight – 2:00 a.m. and 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Nearly one-quarter of adults (23%) say they know someone personally who has crashed due to falling asleep at the wheel.
(Statistics courtesy of The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Most people have elevated stress levels during the holidays, whether it’s due to travel, food or financial issues. Try and remember to stop and take a deep breath, make sure you are getting enough sleep, and take care of yourself!
For tips and tricks on beating holiday stress, click here. To start your New Year off right, make sure to prioritize your health. If you think you may have a sleep disorder but haven’t done anything about it yet, start by calling Dr. Klein and getting more information on Sleep Disorders (586) 573-0438.